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ISA: Pandangan Dari Dalam
By Man Kubur
28/4/2001 3:51 am Sat
Tidak ada kisah gembira buat sesiapa yang ditahan ISA - tidak
kira samada laki-laki atau pun wanita. Semua di dera secara fizikal
dan mental sehingga ada yang menyerah diri untuk menanda-tangani
sesuatu yang sudah disediakan agar dapat bebas segera - iaitu pengakuan!
Di sinilah kekuatan dalaman seseorang memainkan peranan - bukannya
kekuatan fizikal. Polis bertopeng hanya mahukan pengakuan sahaja
kerana itu sudah cukup untuk mendakwa. Tanpa itu mereka akan terus
mendera mangsa samada dengan memukul atau mengancam diri anda
dengan sesuatu yang bukan-bukan. Sesiapa yang 'lulus' ISA akan
menjadi manusia yang sebenar-benar bebas tetapi sesiapa yang gagal
akan menjadi hamba suruhan polis Mahathir untuk satu tujuan yang
penting - menjadi alat untuk mengaibkan orang atau lawan. Inilah cara
ISA 'bekerja' untuk Mahathir. Ia adalah sekolah untuk pengaiban.
Lihatlah apa yang terjadi kepada Zahid Hamidi dan Abu Ya (Ashaari Md)
yang sudah diterbalikkan selepas beberapa hari diperam atau Sukma
dan Dr Anees yang terpaksa akur sahaja segala arahan kerana sudah
Mahathir tidak perduli atau langsung merasa kasihan. Inilah sekolah
yang cukup berjasa buat beliau mengaibkan Anwar dengan menggunakan
orang ketiga yang dipaksa membuat pengakuan. Kini dia menggunakan
kembali senjata ini - tetapi apakah ia nanti cukup berkesan atau
akan semakin memusnahkan populariti dirinya sendiri yang sudah
hampir terpadam? Jawapannya terletak kepada kekuatan dalaman semua
yang ditahan. Kita doakan mereka semua tabah menghadapi dugaan dan
PAS khususnya sepatutnya mengadakan solat hajat dan membaca yasin
BESAR-BESARAN untuk mendesak mereka dibebaskan. Jangan kita membising
lebih tetapi beramal kurang.
Malaysia's Security Act - a view from the cells.
KUALA LUMPUR, April 26 (Reuters) - What can you expect if the Malaysian police
interrupt your breakfast to arrest you under the dreaded Internal Security Act?
Humiliation and pain and/or mind games, according to former detainees.
Badaruddin Ismail, a human rights activist, on Thursday became the tenth person
arrested under the ISA since April 10.
Most of the others belong to an opposition party campaigning to free Prime
Minister Mahathir Mohamad's jailed rival, former finance minister Anwar
The ISA allows the police to hold people they suspect of posing a threat to
state security without trial for 60 days, and for a further two years if the
government gives its approval.
The police say the nine arrested men planned riots and sought explosives and
help from sympathisers in Indonesia to topple the government - an allegation
the opposition says is rubbish.
Apart from sworn testimonies of some ex-detainees, little has been officially
said on what goes on behind walls of ISA camps or where they are located. The
police normally do not comment.
The early days are the worst, according to former detainees.
"I was deprived of sleep for the first 72 hours and subsequently for long hours
at a stretch over a period of about a month," said Chee Heng Leng, a woman
activist who spent 10 months under the ISA, two of them in solitary
confinement. "One particularly frightening episode was when they acted as though they were
going to inject me with dangerous material. What it was was left to my own
fertile imagination," she said.
"One particularly frightening episode was when they acted as though they were going to inject me with dangerous material. What it was was left to my own fertile imagination," she said.
Chee was among several women who were jailed under the ISA during a 1987
crackdown against journalists and civil activists.
On Thursday, some of them held a reunion to protest against the latest
detentions, sharing their memories at a news conference.
Irene Xavier, another woman locked up for two years under the ISA, recounted
humiliation and physical pain from her detention.
"I had to show a police woman a soiled sanitary pad before I could get sanitary
pads," Xavier said.
During an interrogation session, an officer beat her with a piece of wood. "He
beat me on the legs and particularly hard on the soles of my feet," she said.
Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi said he had told the police not to lay
hands on the present detainees.
"I do not want to see another black eye," said Abdullah, who signs ISA
detention orders as Home Minister. "I have had enough of one black eye," he
said, alluding to an assault by Malaysia's ex-police chief on Anwar, after his
arrest under the ISA in 1998.
Photographs of Anwar sporting a black eye as he emerged from court were
splashed across newspapers and magazines around the world, resulting in
international condemnation for Malaysia.
The then police chief Rahim Noor said Anwar insulted him. More than a year
after the assault, Rahim was handed a two-month jail sentence. He has yet to
serve it as he is appealing.
Anwar's former speechwriter, Munawar Anees, who was arrested under the security
law in September 1998, weeks after Mahathir sacked Anwar as finance minister
and deputy premier, alleged he was tortured in custody to say Anwar s###mised
According to Lim Kit Siang, head of the opposition Democratic Action Party,
interrogators play mind games with their prisoners.
"In my case and cases of political nature, they try to break you by
psychological pressure," Lim, who has been held twice under the ISA, told
Lim, arrested under the ISA amid racial riots in 1969, and along with his son
in 1987, said he was never physically harmed.
"Because you're cut off from the world, you don't know what's happening to your
family, they try to put fear into you, worry into you that everything is going
to be very drastic," Lim said.
Malaysians were shocked in 1994 when a Muslim preacher, accused of deviationist
teachings and who had predicted he would be more popular than Mahathir someday,
came on television after two months under the ISA, to apologise to the
"I repent of my own free will," said Ashaari Muhammad, who looked nervous and
out of character in simple clothes and with a shaven head compared to his
trademark turban and long, flowing robe.
Introduced in 1960 to curb the terrorist activities of communist
revolutionaries, the ISA has been amended to act against anyone deemed a threat
to national security.
These days, the security law is aimed mostly at political dissidents, prompting
the opposition to label it as a tool for Mahathir's government to muzzle
Detainees cannot challenge the police motive for arresting them, and can only
see lawyers if police give consent.
(C) Reuters Limited 2001.
KUALA LUMPUR, April 25 (Reuters) - A Malaysian judge on Wednesday ruled that
the police had acted within their rights in arresting and detaining five
opposition activists under a security law which allows detention without trial.
Lawyers, acting on behalf of clients they have not been allowed to see,
challenged the right of police to hold the men, all supporters of jailed former
finance minister Anwar Ibrahim.
"It is inappropriate for a person or a body of persons to call for the release
of persons under the ISA (Internal Security Act) to ask for them to be tried in
a court," High Court Judge Augustine Paul said in dismissing arguments by
lawyers for the five.
"It is no part of my function to deal with an action done outside of my court,"
said Paul. "Preventive detention is not new or peculiar to Malaysia."
Paul was the judge who first handed down a conviction to Anwar for corruption,
in a controversial trial two years ago.
Four other supporters of Anwar - the number one political rival of Prime
Minister Mahathir Mohamad - were also arrested under the ISA in a sweep that
began two weeks ago.
Of those four, two have yet to hear their verdict while the other two have yet
to file habeas corpus applications to fight for their release.
Police say the detainees, all supporters of the Parti Keadilan Nasional
(National Justice Party) led by Anwar's wife, were planning violent protests to
overthrow the government and had sought weapons and explosives.
Defence lawyers have accused police of lying and acting in bad faith to crush
Anwar's reform movement against Mahathir.
Once a prime-minister-in-waiting, Anwar is serving a 15-year jail sentence for
graft and sex crimes he says were cooked up to stop his challenge to Mahathir
in 1998. Mahathir describes his former deputy as immoral and unfit to rule.
Defence lawyers in Wednesday's case said they were not surprised by Judge
"It's not unexpected, that's all I can say for the moment," Zainur Zakaria, one
of three lawyers in the case, told Reuters.
"We will argue the decision at the Federal Court," he said, referring to the
country's highest court.
Under the ISA, an appeal against a High Court decision goes to the Federal
Court, bypassing the Court of Appeal, a critical avenue for an accused.
"If the Federal Court adopts the High Court's decision, then there is no more
legal recourse for the detainees," said Sivarasa Rasiah, another defence
lawyer. "They will be in as long as the police want to keep them."
The ISA, introduced in 1960, allows police to lock up anyone deemed a threat to
national security for 60 days and, thereafter, another two years if the
Police chief Norian Mai said last week he expected more arrests under the ISA,
adding that those detained so far were part of a group of 20 militants out to
topple the government.
Opposition parties and rights groups have denounced the arrests and called on
the police to prove the accusations.
"This judgement is meant to set a precedent that there can be no justiciability
as far as habeas corpus applications are concerned," said Lim Kit Siang, a
veteran opposition figure.
"I think this is completely against the whole spirit of the rule of law, as
well as human rights," Lim said, urging for a review of the ISA to bring it
back under the purview of courts.
Originally meant to lock up communist rebels without bringing them to court,
the ISA was amended by Mahathir's government in the 1980s to remove judicial
review. It has since been aimed mostly at political dissidents.
(C) Reuters Limited 2001.
24 Apr 2001
MALAYSIA: UPDATE 1-Malaysia court to decide Saturday on Anwar charges.
KUALA LUMPUR, April 24 (Reuters) - A Malaysian court will decide on Saturday
whether to prosecute jailed former finance minister Anwar Ibrahim on more
s###my and corruption charges, as police continued a crackdown on his
Anwar, who says all the charges were trumped up to stop his challenge to Prime
Minister Mahathir Mohamad, has been serving a combined 15-year jail term since
April 1999 on convictions for four corruption charges and one s###my count.
Since November, he has been in hospital for back pain.
His lawyer said the High Court would decide on Saturday whether to go ahead
with prosecution on another corruption charge and four s###my counts against
the former deputy premier.
"We've got a letter from the High Court saying the five remaining charges will
be mentioned before Judge Augustine Paul on April 28," lawyer Christopher
Fernando told Reuters on Tuesday.
Judge Augustine had sentenced Anwar to six years in prison for corruption in
the ex-minister's first trial since his sacking.
Fernando said it was not known if prosecutors would press ahead to try Anwar on
the remaining charges or drop the cases.
Mahathir, who sacked Anwar in September 1998, denies there was a frame-up and
says Anwar was immoral and unfit to rule.
Anwar's ouster and conviction has sparked unprecedented protests against
Mahathir's 20-year rule and police have cracked down on his supporters over the
last two weeks, accusing them of planning violence to try to topple the
On Tuesday, police arrested another supporter of Anwar, bringing the total
detained since April 10 to nine.
Lokman Noor Adam, an activist with the youth wing of Parti Keadilan Nasional
(National Justice Party) led by Anwar's wife, was picked up just after midnight
following a party meeting in Shah Alam on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur,
Keadilan secretary-general Anuar Tahir told Reuters.
Police said the detainees were part of a militant group that had sought arms
and explosives to hold protests in the capital.
They are being held under the Internal Security Act (ISA), which allows
detention without charge or access to a lawyer.
The detentions provoked widespread criticism from other parties in the
opposition front and human rights groups, who asked the police to back their
accusations with proof.
Police said last week that more arrests were likely.
Under the ISA police can hold anyone they believe poses a security risk for 60
days, and for a further two years if the government gives its approval.
On Monday a Malaysian court postponed to April 25 its decision whether or not
to release seven activists arrested earlier.
(C) Reuters Limited 2001.
MALAYSIA: Malaysia court to hear if Anwar faces further charges.
Sankaran Nair said he received a letter from the court's criminal division
summoning him to appear April 28 for a preliminary hearing on Anwar's four
charges of corruption and one of s###my.
On Saturday, the prosecution could go ahead with the charges and fix a trial
date, drop them or merely request another date for a similar hearing.
"We would only know this Saturday whether (Anwar) will have to face another
charge...I am in the dark as you are," Nair told Kyodo News, adding he was
quite taken aback to receive the court letter.
"After the last trial, we thought (the government) would just let it lie low,"
Anwar is already serving a 15-year jail term for s###my and corruption. He is
serving it in a government hospital after suffering a slipped disk. Nair said
his client wants to attend the Saturday hearing, although his presence is not
In his first trial, Anwar was sentenced to six years in jail in April 1999 on
four corruption charges. He was convicted for abusing his position as deputy
premier to get police to intimidate witnesses who claimed he had an affair with
another man's wife and that he was homosexual.
Last August, after a marathon trial that lasted 117 hearing days stretching
over 14 months, he was sentenced to nine years in jail for s###mizing his
former driver. Both verdicts were greeted with massive street protests by Anwar
He has denied all charges, claiming they were trumped up to prevent him from
challenging Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's 19-year rule.
Mahathir booted Anwar from his cabinet in September 1998 over alleged
immorality. Anwar retaliated by galvanizing the fragmented opposition parties
and launching unprecedented street demonstrations calling for reform.
(c) 2001 KYODO NEWS.
23 Apr 2001
MALAYSIA: Malaysia's Mahathir democracy debaucher.
WATCHING grass grow and cement set are exciting activities compared with
reading a Malaysian newspaper. They could rival the old Pravda in their
rigorous pursuit of truth and reporting the clash of dissent.
This was my first indication of the gradual march of Malaysia from freedom
along what we might call the Burma road. This has now reached new depths with
the imprisonment of more dissidents under the so-called Internal Security Act.
The only consolation is that Australia has at last joined those openly
protesting against the way the Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, is
The European Commissioner for External Affairs - and former senior British
minister and last governor of Hong Kong, Chris Patten, described the situation
in Malaysia as profoundly sad. That is precisely the way those of us who know
and used to delight in Malaysia have come to feel.
Way back in 1969, tensions between the Malay and Chinese communities erupted.
Hundreds of people were killed in four days of rioting. A state of emergency
had to be imposed and the country's constitution was suspended. There was then
a need for internal security just as there had been in the days when the
country faced a real threat of communist insurgency.
Throughout the 1980s and into the '90s, it seemed that Malaysia had worked out
a policy which, for all its imperfections in the way it deliberately favoured
the Malay population, could be justified. Besides, the economy was booming, so
the uneasiness was muted, more so as a result of what we came to know as Dr
Mahathir's notorious sensitivity.
Again it was easy to find excuses for the authoritarian streak as the communist
threat of recent history was replaced by the growing influence of Islamic
But then came the bizarre trial and imprisonment for alleged - a word to be
most heavily emphasised - corruption and s###my of the former deputy PM, Anwar
Since then, matters have simply got worse. Dr Mahathir seems to equate any form
of freedom with treason. As in most countries, the majority put up with it,
shrug and, unless directly affected, get on with their lives.
But there are brave people prepared to speak out and protest.
It seems that as long as Dr Mahathir is in charge, and he shows absolutely no
sign of relinquishing power or even softening his position, I fear their
struggle will be arduous and painful. Malaysia is one of those nations with
which, for a spread of reasons, Australians feel a special affinity and not
only through trade, investment, tourism and federal political structure. The
other links will be apparent in the Wednesday Anzac marches across Australia.
This is why Chris Patten's "profoundly sad" words were such a simple but
There is endless debate about the influence individuals may have on history
and/or the extent they are only creatures of external forces and pressures.
Unfortunately, Dr Mahathir seems to be one of those who can make an unpleasant
difference to a democracy.
(C) 2001 Advertiser Newspapers Limited.