KOTA BARU, 14 Sept 2008: The Internal Security Act (ISA) should be used specifically to stem the activities of terrorists, communist subversives and those attempting to topple the government by force, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Zaid Ibrahim said today.
He said the ISA should be used for the stated purpose and "we keep to that".
The country has many laws which could be applied in issues such as racial tension and threats to national security, he told reporters at his residence.
Zaid also said that if his views were incompatible or inconsistent with those of the cabinet, he was willing to leave the government.
Zaid was asked to comment on the detention of Malaysia Today blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin, Seputeh Member of Parliament Teresa Kok and Sin Chew Daily reporter Tan Hoon Cheng under the ISA on Friday. Tan was released yesterday.
"We have many laws which the police could have used to detain the three people without having to use the ISA. We have the Sedition Act and the Penal Code," he said.
Zaid also said many other approaches could be employed to minimise racial differences or issues, including through dialogue sessions and peaceful discussions.
Meanwhile, Zaid is expected to contest the post of Kota Baru Umno Division head in a straight fight with the acting head Datuk Mohd Fatmi Salleh.
Zaid was suspended as the division head for 18 months from 1 Jan 2007, and the Umno Supreme Council decided that he cannot lead the division after serving out the suspension and had to wait until the next divisional election. – Bernama