LUMPUR, April 30 -- Opposition Leader Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan
Ismail Wednesday reiterated her call to the government to release
unconditionally all Internal Security Act (ISA) detainees or try them
in open court.
She said that
since its formulation in 1960, the ISA had become the most powerful
tool for the Executive to detain an individual or a group without
The Member of
Parliament for Permatang Pauh claimed that the ISA had curtailed
freedom of the individual, enhanced the power of the Executive,
weakened the power of the courts to examine any injustice, and posed a
threat to human rights.
A total of 10,711
people had been held under the ISA since 1960, she said when debating
the royal address in the Dewan Rakyat, here. Currently, 70 people are
being held under the ISA at the detention camp in Kamunting, Taiping,
PAS president and
MP for Marang Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang spoke in support of Wan
Azizah, saying the ISA was no longer necessary for Malaysia if the
government genuinely practised a democratic system.
"The ISA was
introduced when the country was facing an emergency and it was
retained even after independence. This is not necessary," he said.
He also said that
continuing to use the ISA would portray that the country was not
stable and peaceful.
Abdul Rahman (BN-Pasir Salak), however, disagreed with them.
He said the ISA
was necessary to ensure that the country's security and stability were
not undermined, considering that Malaysia was a cosmopolitan nation.