KUALA LUMPUR, 10 Oct 2008: Wanita Gerakan has called for the Internal Security Act to be replaced with an Anti-Terrorists Act to prevent abuse of the law.
“The women’s wing is concerned about the way the ISA is being abused. It is used to silence the voice of the people for the political interests of a few,” Wanita chief Datuk Tan Lian Hoe said.
She said a law specifically on anti-terrorism would be more effective in guarding national security rather than the ISA which is applied broadly.
The women’s wing passed this and three other resolutions at their annual general meeting today.
The other three request the government to preserve racial harmony by avoiding racists statements by politicians and by disciplining politicians who do so; lower inflation by monitoring the price of goods and ensuring continued economic growth; and more concerted efforts by the police to lower the crime rate, especially rape.
Tan: “Anti terrorism law more effective”Tan, the Perak Wanita chief, won the wing’s top post uncontested in the wing’s triennial election.
The only contest in the wing was for the deputy chief post, which was won by Penang Wanita chief Ng Siew Lai, who polled 276 votes. She beat the Wanita speaker Ong Kim Suan, who received 134 votes.
In her speech at the opening of the assembly, Tan had strong words about the people’s loss of confidence in Gerakan and the Barisan Nasional.
“Gerakan must accept that it has faults. We have been afraid to speak out. We are perceived as weak under the thumb of Umno.
“Despite the lessons of the 8 March general election, there are still leaders who are arrogant and play the racial card on issues of privileges and lordship. The people did not elect politicians for party infighting, to put on a performance or to be clowns.”
She also took a hit at former Bukit Bendera Umno division chief Datuk Ahmad Ismail without mentioning his name: “We are not immigrants. History shows that Malays came from the Nusantara islands. Chinese came from China, Indians came from India. People know this history but there are some who deliberately want to forget it.”
“Don’t use race to gain support and become heroes in your party. We don’t want leaders who split the races. We cannot accept leaders with this kind of third-class mentality,” Tan said to loud cheers from the over 2,000 delegates present.
Ahmad had called Malaysian Chinese “immigrants without equal rights” during a campaign in the run-up to the 26 Aug Permatang Pauh by-election. He was subsequently suspended from Umno for three years.