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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 tidak tahan.

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.

-Man Kubur-

Rencana Sandaran:

26 Apr 2001


Malaysia's Security Act - a view from the cells.

By Baranee Krishnaan

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 Ibrahim.

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.

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 him.


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 Reuters.

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 government.

"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 critics.

Detainees cannot challenge the police motive for arresting them, and can only see lawyers if police give consent.

(C) Reuters Limited 2001.

25 Apr 2001 MALAYSIA: UPDATE 1-Malaysian judge upholds detention of activists.

By Baranee Krishnaan

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 Paul's verdict.

"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 government permits.

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 supporters.

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 government.

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.

24 Apr 2001

MALAYSIA: Malaysia court to hear if Anwar faces further charges.

The Malaysian High Court will hear Saturday whether the five outstanding charges against former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim will be prosecuted, his lawyer said Tuesday.

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," Nair said.

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 compulsory.

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 supporters.

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.

Source: KYODO NEWS 24/04/2001

23 Apr 2001

MALAYSIA: Malaysia's Mahathir democracy debaucher.

By Tony BAKER.

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 debauching democracy.

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 fundamentalism.

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 Ibrahim.

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 resonant phrase.

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.

Source: ADVERTISER (ADELAIDE) 23/04/2001 P18