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In the Name of "Internal Security"
By Martin Jalleh
9/5/2001 7:58 pm Wed
[Rencana ini mendedahkan Dollah Badawi bagai menipu tidak tahu menahu
penangkapan ISA sedangkan mereka itu dikatakan merancang gerakan militan
untuk menumbangkan kerajaan. Sebaliknya Chor pula yang terlebih tahu.
Bukankah sikap Dollah ini boleh menggugat keselamatan negara kerana
timbalan lebih tahu dari ketua (dan dari kaum Cina pula yang tentunya
puak-puak Umno tidak menyukainya kerana pemuda Umno memanjat pagar
Dollah mengatakan polis memerlukan izin menteri untuk menangkap di
bawah akta ISA tetapi mengapa beliau berkata tidak tahu sedangkan
semua yang ditangkap itu ala ISA belaka (kerana tiada bukti dan
Polis juga berbohong dengan mengatakan mempunyai bukti kukuh tetapi
sehingga hari ini (sudah 3 minggu) gagal menampilkannya walaupun
mengatakan telah melakukan pengintipan sekian lama. Malah Mahathir sendiri
memperakui polis tidak mempunyai bukti.
Aktivis yang ditangkap tidak perlu menggunakan kekerasan untuk
menumbangkan kerajaan kerana suara sudah cukup berkesan. BN
sudah tumbang di Lunas tanpa sebarang senjata berkeliaran dan
kalah teruk di Kelantan dan Terengganu tanpa sebarang kekerasan.
Tetapi Umno terbukti menggunakan senjata untuk memusnahkan bukan
sahaja lawan di luar tetapi lawan di dalam Umno sendiri. Tragedi
Memali dan pembunuhan ngeri pemimpin Umno sendiri adalah bukti
dan kesan sejarah yang masih tidak padam sehingga hari ini.
Malah wakil Umno mengganas lagi dengan menumbuk wakil DAP di
sidang DUN Selangor tanpa merasa malu diri. Pemilihan perwakilan
baru-baru ini menyaksikan adegan bertumbuk dan membaling kerusi.
Jika sesama sendiri pun bergaduh apakah Umno boleh diharapkan
untuk menjaga negara yang lebih ramai penghuni?
In the Name of "Internal Security"
Dr Mahathir Mohamad -- Prime Minister and the supposed Third World
champion against globalisation and the West -- leads the country into
the new millennium by brandishing his "survival kit" -- a British-made
1960 piece of legislation, redesigned locally to repress and cripple
Behind the PM is of course his deputy, the Cabinet, and a host of
other politicians who have grown severely "insecure" in recent years,
especially in terms of political power and position.
With each passing day, the powers that be, trip over their very own
statements and that of each other. Its tough to be consistent when you
are not telling the truth. You forget your thread, or your line of
twisted thoughts or that which you have to toe.
The events that have transpired, and the Government's response,
following the recent ISA arrests, give credence to the public opinion
that official explanations given thus far, are mere fiction in daily
installments, or "fairy tales" or "fanciful scripts" that would
eventually become fabricated evidence in a form of a confession or
personal declaration of guilt.
The examples are many.
When news of the arrests of several Keadilan leaders reached
reporters in Parliament, Deputy PM Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
told them that he was not aware of the arrests. (Imagine, the Home
Minister not knowing of the arrest of a group who had allegedly
planned a "militant" plot to overthow the government.)
He, however insisted that no way could the seven be arrested under the
ISA -- the police needed his stamp of approval first.
The following day, and very obviously, after having discovered that
he had not been quite "at home" with the law, the Home Minister declared
rather confidently that the ISA laws allow the police to arrest first and
inform him later (Star, 11.4.01).
However, the story changed, when, on the very same day, his deputy
Zainal Mat Zain, told the press -- "...the police will discuss the
matter with the minister first...(and) will make recommendations to
detain those people under the ISA, if he agrees to it" (Malaysiakini,
11.4. 01). In other words his boss knew!
Then on 20 April (The Sun), the Home Minister's other deputy Chor
Chee Heung declared that his boss "did not know of the detention, and
that the police acted within their powers."
It appears that at the Home Ministry, everybody feels at home with
each other -- the right hand (man) does know what the left hand (man) is
doing (saying) -- and of course, the head leads in the ignorance.
It would be wise if the Home Minister were to put his own "Home" in
order before he yarns about internal security of the country.
He should also seek the Prime Minister's advice on the strange and
sudden confidence shown by the top gun in the Police in ordering the
ISA arrests without even consulting him (the Home Minister)?
Chor's late vehement insistence that the Home Minister "did not know
of the detention...", was very obviously an attempt to further
convince the public that the ISA arrests were, as described by Norain
Mai, "purely a police action" (NST, 21.4.01).
Surely Norain Mai must have received much inspiration, if not
direction, from the PM himself who had in early April, quite openly
threatened to "break from so-called international norms" to bring
"the full force of Malaysian laws" against the Opposition, whom he had
wildly accused of inciting racial hatred and colluding with foreigners
to topple the Government.
On 10 April, the Deputy PM declared that the "police had based their
action on concrete evidence (my emphasis) that the detainees had
undermined security in the country" (Star, 11.4.01).
A little more than a week later, Chor proclaimed that "police found
extensive evidence (my emphasis) implicating the seven people who
were held under the Internal Security Act, 1960, in undermining the
country's public order." But to date -- as the first arrests enters into the third week -- not
a shred of evidence is produced by the police -- but only unsubstantiated
allegations -- reports of "tell-tale signs" that sound like nothing but
But to date -- as the first arrests enters into the third week -- not a shred of evidence is produced by the police -- but only unsubstantiated allegations -- reports of "tell-tale signs" that sound like nothing but tall tales.
The situation becomes even more laughable when one considers the fact
that, (in the words of Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Norain
Mai) "...those involved in the plot had been under surveillance for
some time" (NST,12.4.01).
A senior police officer had even revealed that "the Special Branch
had been monitoring since 1998 the activities of the group"
(Star, 13.4.01). That's two-and-a-half years ago!
When one adds this long duration of police intelligence to the
efficiency of the Special Branch -- reputed to be one of the best
in the world -- one would expect the police to be spewing out proof
-- or at least reports more convincing and "intelligent".
But all Norian Mai has produced thus far are "strategic police
information", "police intelligence" reports and even "other secret
reasons" -- which necessitate more investigations -- which are
"still underway" (NST, 12.4.01)!
How insecure the position of the police!
Further, by linking the ISA detainees with other groups (to prop up
their fantastic "facts" and fancies) the police has only created greater
internal security problems.
One can understand the concern of Ex-Services Association president
Datuk Muhammad Abdul Ghani, who wanted the authorities 'to show
solid proof that serving personnel and former soldiers were helping
political activists to create chaos" (The Sun, 14.4.01).
He said that "assumptions or allegations of involvement by these
people will only tarnish the good image of more than 400,000 former
soldiers and tens of thousands more still serving the country."
Evidence that the police has little or no evidence to date is further
buttressed by the PM's statement on 13 April (Star) which inferred
that they are still looking for proof and they have to go beyond the legal
norm to find proof!
It is a layman's understanding that the police would normally collect
all necesary evidence to justify an arrest. But we do things quite
differently here. The police makes an arrest and then starts looking for
The PM, who has always made it known that he belives that one is
innocent until proven guilty, insists that the ISA is still relvant
today, for it gives the police a chance to produce evidence, whereas
"normal laws require certain evidence and procdures and proceses.."
(Star, 13.4.01) !
In other words, under the ISA, "You are guilty, and will be proven
guilty"! An ISA detainee will be provided "evidence" of his/her
guilt after 60 days! That's when the nation gets to hear "confessions"
that would make any spy or political novelist laugh.
Many questions still remain and ironies abound, some of which
include the following:
The Government's credibility continue to crumble. People are
suspicious and skeptical of, and automatically-sedated by, the
Government's strenuous (and at times silly) explanations and
announcements. They no longer take the Government seriously.
By using the ISA, the Government has in fact "launched" the
reformasi movement in a big way. They definitely do not need
rocket launchers. The prisoner in Sungai Buloh sits and bids his time. The prisoner
in Putrajaya grows agiitated and becomes more and more
"imprisoned" by his own "insecurities".
The prisoner in Sungai Buloh sits and bids his time. The prisoner in Putrajaya grows agiitated and becomes more and more "imprisoned" by his own "insecurities".
Martin Jalleh, 2 May 2001