RPK’s rearrest under ISA – Cabinet/Parliament must overrule Hamid

Home Minister, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar’s announcement in Kota Kinabalu last night that the Home Ministry will appeal against the Shah Alam High Court decision on Friday to free Malaysia Today website editor Raja Petra Kamaruddin from detention under the Internal Security Act (ISA) is most deplorable and reprehensible.

It shows Hamid’s utter contempt for the fundamental concept of the rule of law and the most rudimentary commitment to human rights in the country.

In ordering Raja Petra’s release after a 56-day ISA detention, Shah Alam High Court judge Justice Syed Ahmad Helmy Syed Ahmad ruled in the blogger’s habeas corpus application that the Home Minister acted outside his powers in detaining Raja Petra under the ISA, as the grounds given for Raja Petra’s detention were insufficient rendering the ISA detention unlawful.

Syed Ahmad Helmy held that although Section 8 of the ISA on the detention order by the minister barred judicial review, there was a procedural non-compliance by the Minister resulting in an “ultra vires” order.

As illustration, the judge gave the example that the minister cannot act in bad faith to detain a person who decided to colour his hair red.

In actual fact, Hamid acted mala fide in a very substantive manner in issuing a detention order under Section 8 of the ISA late in the night of September 22 not because Raja Petra constituted a threat to national security but to frustrate the administration of justice and the rule of law by “killing off” Raja Petra’s earlier habeas corpus application.

Raja Petra’s first habeas corpus application to challenge the legality of his ISA detention on Sept. 12 under Section 73 of the ISA was slated for hearing at the Kuala Lumpur High Court on Sept. 23.

When Raja Petra’s lawyers, his wife Marina Lee Abdullah and family members and supporters turned up in court on the morning of Sept. 23 for the harbeas corpus hearing, they were shocked to learn from the Senior Federal Counsel, Abdul Wahab Mohamad that the issue had become academic and the application should be struck out as Raja Petra was no longer detained under Section 73 (which permits judicial review) but under Section 8 (which bars judicial review except for procedural defects).

Raja Petra had also been summarily packed off to the Kamunting Detention Centre to start his two-year formal detention.

I had on Sept. 24 condemned Hamid’s ministerial detention order of Raja Petra, “hours before his habeas corpus application hearing at the Kuala Lumpur High Court” on Sept. 23 as “a gross violation of human rights, a blatant abuse of power and downright contempt of court by the Home Minister and a travesty of the rule of law in Malaysia”.

I had said: “One would have expected that being a lawyer by training, the Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar would have greater regard, respect and understanding of the principles of a just of rule and would not do anything to frustrate the legal process as in RPK’s habeas corpus application hearing yesterday. But Hamid has proved everyone wrong.

”The Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail should explain whether he was privy to the Home Minister’s decision on Monday (Sept. 22) night to frustrate the legal process over RPK’s habeas corpus application hearing yesterday (Sept. 23) challenging the police detention under Section 73 of the Internal Security Act (ISA) by the simple but most cynical and irresponsible expedient of the Minister signing a formal detention order under Section 8 of the ISA.

”Was the Attorney-General consulted and his agreement sought to this irresponsible ploy to frustrate RPK’s habeas corpus application and did he advise the Home Minister against such flagrant contempt of court and to trust in the impartiality and integrity of the judicial system to pronounce on the legality of the police detention of RPK under the ISA under Section 73?

”Whose idea was it that the Home Minister should abuse his powers to expedite the formal detention of RPK under Section 8 of the ISA in order to frustrate RPK’s habeas corpus application, when RPK had been detained for only 10 days under Section 73 which provides for a 60-day police custodial detention?”

There had been thundering silence from Hamid, Gani Patail as well as the MCA/Gerakan Ministers and leaders who had been staging a “song and dance” about their new-found opposition to the ISA, demanding a review if not repeal of the draconian detention-without-trial law.

The Shah Alam High Court decision to free Raja Petra, which is a positive reflection in the last five months of the Abdullah premiership, should be the occasion for the Cabinet to undertake a full review of the draconian laws in the country as well as to uphold the doctrine of the separation of powers by repealing all legislation which institutionalizes the executive usurpation of judicial powers and independence by excluding judicial review of abuses of executive power, like Section 8 of the ISA.

However, Hamid seems to be unrepentant in refusing to understand the changes demanded by Malaysians after the March 8 “political tsunami” for a full restoration of the just rule of law, a truly independent judiciary and a total end to all forms of abuses of executive power.

I call on the Cabinet to overrule Hamid’s decision to appeal against the Shah Alam High Court decision to free Raja Petra from ISA detention, which can only mean that Hamid wants Raja Petra to be re-arrested and sent back to Kamunting Detention Centre.

The Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi should restrain Hamid from proceeding with the appeal against the Shah Alam High Court decision to free Raja Petra until there is a full review of the matter by both the Cabinet as well as Parliament.

Will the MCA and Gerakan Ministers and leaders stand up now to oppose Hamid’s decision to appeal against the Shah Alam High Court decision?

The Parliamentary Caucus on Repeal of ISA and release of all ISA detainees will hold an emergency meeting in Parliament tomorrow to discuss the issue.

There will be two candle-light “No to ISA” vigils tonight – one at Taman DR Seenivasagam in Ipoh at 8 pm and another at Padang Timur Petaling Jaya (near Amcorp Mall), which have now multiple objectives, viz:

· No to ISA;

· Release all ISA detainees;

· First Anniversary BERSIH rally for a clean, fair and democratic electoral system.

· No to any appeal against Shah Alam High Court decision to re-arrest Raja Petra and send him back to Kamunting Detention Centre;

· Restore doctrine of separation of powers among the Executive, Parliament and Judiciary; and

· Repeal all laws with “no judicial review” clauses to subject all forms of executive abuses of power to legal challenge and judicial review.

I will be at the Candlelight Vigil for freedom, justice and democracy in Ipoh tonight. Other DAP leaders will be at the PJ Candlelight vigil.

  1. #1 by drago2008 on Sunday, 9 November 2008 - 2:11 pm

    As PM, Abdullah should have the authority to restrain the Home Minister from acting out this crass behaviour of a sore loser. No, he is a sicko. Can a home minister be sacked?

  2. #2 by undergrad2 on Sunday, 9 November 2008 - 2:11 pm

    “….as the grounds given for Raja Petra’s detention were insufficient rendering the ISA detention unlawful.” KIT

    Insufficient grounds?? I thought the use of the Minister’s powers under the Act in this particular case was mala fide (in bad faith)? Insufficient grounds and therefore mala fide??

  3. #3 by mendela on Sunday, 9 November 2008 - 2:12 pm

    I suspect there is a fierce war out there between gangs of ABB and Najis. ABB camp (lead by KJ) would want RPK out so that RPK can continue to expose all the Najis’ wrongdoings. Najis of course would want RPK to be jailed at least till he becomes PM.

  4. #4 by undergrad2 on Sunday, 9 November 2008 - 2:20 pm

    Sadly he can be re-arrested. The doctrine of res judicata does not apply in RPK’s case since he has never been tried. If grounds were deemed insufficient, he could be re-arrested and tried if there’s new evidence.

  5. #5 by chiakchua on Sunday, 9 November 2008 - 2:25 pm

    ISA should be scrapped!

    Even if it exist, it should be for ‘terrorist’. Is RPK anything near to those who protest during the Bar Council dialogue? It is a blatant outright dual standard!

    ‘We have a hope. Let’s make it happens in the next GE’.

    Shame to the Botak-head! He is nut, not worthy to be a minister. He is there through arroganism of UMNO bully politic under the pretext to protect the Bumiputras!

  6. #6 by adoionline on Sunday, 9 November 2008 - 2:41 pm

    Hamid Albar deserves to be given 24 hours notice to pack his stuff and leave his office as home minister, since he’s too obtuse to know when his dirty game is up and it’s time to resign gracefully.

  7. #7 by js on Sunday, 9 November 2008 - 2:57 pm

    There is a possibility that RPK will be re-arrested. Wish him good luck or he should leave Malaysia at this moment.

  8. #8 by NAR2645 on Sunday, 9 November 2008 - 3:03 pm

    It is obvious that the home minister is using religion as an excuse to victimize RPK, who has condemned the former in Malaysia Today. It has turned personal, rather than for the sake of the country.

  9. #9 by riversandlakes on Sunday, 9 November 2008 - 3:06 pm

    Look, can lame-duck AAB even speak against mini-Napoleon Hamid, let alone restrain him? And won’t it make an even bigger mockery of the Cabinet to shoot itself in the foot? Isn’t Hamid “one of them”?

    Let the Shah Alam High Court reject his appeal.

  10. #10 by pulau_sibu on Sunday, 9 November 2008 - 3:20 pm

    >On his release from ISA detention, Raja Petra, also known as RPK, said he believed that the judge had acted independently without any outside influence.

    >“I think Pak Lah (Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) did not interfere and he left it to the court.

    Abdullah can release RPK without the court, unless he is now totally powerless as this Syed Hamid is controlling the cabinet. He is now the worst minister in the cabinet.

    I wonder why Abdullah does not want to prolong his political life as prime minister, instead of allowing a future prime minster who is worse then him and deputy pm who looks so hungry. Putting the killing of Mongolian woman to a fair trial will tell everything about the truth.

  11. #11 by gofortruth on Sunday, 9 November 2008 - 3:38 pm

    Typical Syed Hamid Albar’s \I do it my way\ or \I do it as I like\ BULLDOZER mentality – Go watch his interview by BBC’s Hard talk. How will this arrogance ever going to win votes from the common folks???? BN has not changed!!!!!!

  12. #12 by pulau_sibu on Sunday, 9 November 2008 - 3:49 pm

    umno candidates accusing each other of (and also denying themselves involving in) money politics. So whos are right? Perhaps all of them are equally corrupted.

  13. #13 by yhsiew on Sunday, 9 November 2008 - 4:02 pm

    Abdullah must not let this “mad-dog” ruin his reputation before stepping down in March 2009.

    Act now to save your reputation, Pak Lah!

  14. #14 by Godfather on Sunday, 9 November 2008 - 4:03 pm

    Did they appeal the decision to release Razak Baginda without his defence being called ?

  15. #15 by luking on Sunday, 9 November 2008 - 4:44 pm

    i foolishly gave my vote to bn,solely for the full support of aab,thinking raayats would be freed from so much evils and changes he would do but disappointed.
    now he is leaving in 5 mths time and hope he will do at least one good deed for raayat,by sacking that bald.that vote of mine is worth it,aab.

  16. #16 by AhPek on Sunday, 9 November 2008 - 7:26 pm

    “Did they appeal the decision to release Razak Baginda without his defence being called?”.Godfather.

    Looks like the prosecution happily concurs!

  17. #17 by mauriyaII on Sunday, 9 November 2008 - 7:52 pm

    Discretionary powers should not be vested in imbeciles and morons. It is like giving a monkey a lovely bouquet of flowers.

    It just can’t appreciate because it hasn’t the discretionary power to judge what is beautiful and what is not. Just like the botak scumbag who thinks such powers give him the right to play God.

    In fact vesting discrtionary powers on the shoulders of ONE person is morally wrong, whether he is the Home Minister or the AG.

    Many an incident has shown the abuse of power. It has proven beyond any doubt human fallibility. The mala fide approach to detain innocent civilians under the guise of being a threat to public peace, law and order and national security shows it takes very little grey matter to abuse power.

    The power vested in the AG to sue or not to against people accused of crimes is also fraught with the abuse of the legal system.

    It is better to decide on such grave matters by a tribunal of prominent judges and members of the laity of impeccable moral standing.

    Pearls should not be thrown to swines. They just don’t have the inherent capacity to evaluate before embarking on any action.

  18. #18 by sj on Sunday, 9 November 2008 - 8:05 pm

    Uncle Lim,

    This Syed Hamid must be stopped on this. Deny them 2/3 of Parliamentary power to even consider on this. I think RPK should press charges on Syed Hamid for abuse of power. No matter what they must never succeed in doing this to RPK. Najib’s camp must be very desperate to pull this kind of move.

  19. #19 by rider on Sunday, 9 November 2008 - 8:08 pm

    The judge at the Shah Alam High court WILL realise that Syed Hamid Albar is possessed by an evil spirit!

  20. #20 by bennylohstocks on Sunday, 9 November 2008 - 9:01 pm

  21. #21 by Rose Fashion on Sunday, 9 November 2008 - 9:21 pm

    It is obvious that some one has instructed Syed Hamid to do so. This fella would want PKR to be jailed if not it will be a nightmare to him as PKR is still a pain in the neck for him when he becomes PM. To challenge Syed Hamid is a waste of time. We should challenge Najib. It is very clear that the action of PKR does not resulted in any threat to national security. Instead, it resulted in a threat to BN’s security. That’s all.

  22. #22 by Rose Fashion on Sunday, 9 November 2008 - 9:24 pm

    Correctioon : “PKR” should be “RPK”.

  23. #23 by human1 on Sunday, 9 November 2008 - 10:01 pm

    Incarceration is the punishment in the criminal justice system where the prisoners serve time to pay back society the crime they have committed and the pain they have caused. For ISA, there are numerous jokes to lighten up us, the peace-loving Malaysians.

    Hamid: “What? RPK has been released? How can this be? I have the power to send anyone deemed a threat to jail and I say Kamunting should be the new home for RPK in the next two years. My legal power should be indisputable. I will appeal against the court decision. I say RPK has insulted Muslim and he deserves the ISA imprisonment.”

    Tajuddin: “I like your style, bald but bold. As always, you have my full support. Go for it, you bloody b*stard!”

    Awaken Abdullah: “What the big fuss here? Can I get some sleep? My time is running out, I won’t have the luxury to be the sleepy PM come next year March. Home Minister, do what you have to do and have the appeal done. By the way, when will I be crowned “Bapa Reformasi Demokrasi”, as Koh Tsu Koon has promised in the Gerakan annual general meeting? Wake me up if there is good news again.”

    It is amusing but shameful to the people.

  24. #24 by Johnny Cheah on Sunday, 9 November 2008 - 10:19 pm

    If the Home Minister have his way, then don’t be surprised that RPK is taken in by the police and again off to Kamunting. If this should happen what are we as Malaysians going to do. Are we going to have hugh demo with a few hundred thousand participants. I know the Pakatan people will give their support. But what about MCA, Gerakan and MIC. Will they also give their support. Actually, the PM should give the Home Minister the boot. In stead of ensuring that the Malaysian public can go about their life peacefully and in safety, he is the cause of so much problem to the loved ones detained under the ISA. Maybe we should start a signature drive asking the PM to sack him.

  25. #25 by HJ Angus on Sunday, 9 November 2008 - 10:21 pm

    Take the poll on my blog and tell us what you think about the appeal against RPK

  26. #26 by cemerlang on Sunday, 9 November 2008 - 10:22 pm

    Looks like somebody is having personal vendetta against Raja Petra.

  27. #27 by negarawan on Sunday, 9 November 2008 - 11:14 pm

    RPK has grounds to take legal action against Hamid for wrongful detention, and I hope he does

  28. #28 by catharsis on Sunday, 9 November 2008 - 11:22 pm

    This YB claimed that he subscribes to the principles of FAIRNESS and JUSTICE- you can say that again……………..

  29. #29 by catharsis on Sunday, 9 November 2008 - 11:24 pm


  30. #30 by lofuji on Sunday, 9 November 2008 - 11:33 pm

    PM promised the various reforms before he leave office in Mar.That’s a lot of bull.He appeared on TV7 this evening to endorse botak hamid view meaning to allow the ISA to be used on RPK again.Lampa la! what kind of PM do we have.Talk one ting but mean another.I say man PKR dont waste time.Plan the takeover soon before we are back in the dark ages of TDM.DO IT NOW.
    YB LKS pls convey this message to DSAI. Do someting fast.

  31. #31 by ablastine on Monday, 10 November 2008 - 12:16 am

    When Pakatan comes into power next election Raja Petra should be made Home Affair Minister. That much hated botak Hamid Albar will get to taste his own medicine.

  32. #32 by drago2008 on Monday, 10 November 2008 - 3:33 am

    This home minister is a loose cannon. His mentality is beyond comprehension. The PM can vindicate himself by moving this fler out and appoint a saner person with a sound mind.

  33. #33 by undergrad2 on Monday, 10 November 2008 - 3:43 am

    “Let the Shah Alam High Court reject his appeal.” riversandlakes

    Appeals have to be heard before they can be rejected. Before appeals could be heard there must be appeals made. Before appeals could be drafted there must be grounds. No ground, no appeal.

    Looks like the government has a ground or grounds.

  34. #34 by undergrad2 on Monday, 10 November 2008 - 3:51 am

    I’m curious as to why RPK was not immediately re-arrested. That would be simpler than having to go through an appeal. The Courts of Appeal are usually not prosecution oriented as the lower courts.

  35. #35 by kcylim on Monday, 10 November 2008 - 4:44 am

    ISA – a primitive form of control and absolute abuse of power. To put it bluntly it would appear that RPK is such a threat to national security that he has to be put away. Malaysia a nation which profess to be a democratic country in the 21st century is stifling its citizens of a voice. I wonder why is the goverment so fearful of a man who genuinely speaks the truth, reflects on the modd of the nation and at the very least voice allowed to voice his personal opinion without prejudice. Or am I living in a different planet. Until this hideous punitive tool ISA under the pretext of national security is dumped, Malaysians from all walks of life will never be free. I thought I would never see the day when this wonderful and exciting country begin to change and take its rightful place among mankind. Malaysia is for all who righfully lives within its shores. Political parties must embrace all, not just malays, chinese or indians solely. There should be no political parties where membership is strictly restricted to one ethnic group or religious background. I propose this be enshrined in the constitution. Until then such practices are divisive and the nation will not unite. Freedom of worship without fear of being labelled an outcast. Ban all rhetoric which dismisses faiths of any kind. This is scaremongering and a powerful weapon praying on people’s fears. Malaysia has woken. The journey has begun and its momentum must not be impeded.

  36. #36 by PeoplesMan on Monday, 10 November 2008 - 5:22 am

    Any citizen of Malaysia should have thier right to express their opinion and so did RPK…..What is so wrong for that to be rearrested under the circumtances of ISA…

  37. #37 by StevePCH on Monday, 10 November 2008 - 8:54 am

    Aiya, poor YB Tony and Lau had been arrested. Don’t know what to say. Futhermore, I do not see why police need to act when they were singing \NEGARAKU\ !!! Aren’t the police supposed to be standing in attention ?

  38. #38 by Thinking Two on Monday, 10 November 2008 - 8:55 am

    There is nothing perculiar to Abdullah badawi being a PM but his last minutes TOTAL REVAMP will become the history!!

    Keep watching!!!!

  39. #39 by taiking on Monday, 10 November 2008 - 9:10 am

    Good news. As good as obama winning american presidential election. In Parliament we have LKS to hammer the umno government. In the Internet we have RPK to hammer them.

    The judge must be commended for this. A lot of judges would stay far far away from reviewing the decision of the Home Minister. They merely look at technicalities to decided whether the arrest was properly made. Perhaps they fear the boot camp Ian HC Chin went through. Cant blame them. They are only humans.

    So that makes Justice Syed Ahmad Helmy a super-human in the league of LKS, RPK, Anwar, Karpal, Zaid Ibrahim (& several others). In his super-humanly bold decision he condemned the Home Minister for the merry-go-round exercise.

    This is the true and real role of the judiciary – to check the executive i.e. the umno government. We the people can critise the arrest till we are red and then blue and pale, the government would stand unmoved. 308 meant nothing to them. In fact it was seen by them as a reason to retaliate – to punish those people for not giving them the landslide support they used to enjoy.

    And needless to say, we risk being arrested for all sorts of reasons if we make too much noise. Only a judge can criticise and condemn umno’s action with impunity. Judges must continue to do so. That is their duty to the nation and her people.

    And Zaki? How does he fit into this picture. Uncomfortably of course. Perception is important. He being a umno guy would automatically give people a negative perception. Worse. The perception would be seen as confirmed everytime a decision is given in favour of the government even if that was the correct decision.

  40. #40 by madmix on Monday, 10 November 2008 - 11:30 am

    Syed, your political career is coming to an end; Najib is not going to appoint you to his cabinet and be embarrassed by the stupid things that come out of your mouth. So be a good man and release all ISA detainees.

  41. #41 by Dr.Ken on Monday, 10 November 2008 - 6:41 pm

    That is life in the BOLEHLAND , Corruption, abuse of power , Misuse of Law,struggle of power , evil tactics, injustice etc. are ways of life in Malaysia. I wonder what Malaysia good for ? I’m looking forward for the next GE.

  42. #42 by undergrad2 on Monday, 10 November 2008 - 11:08 pm

    “….or two, to give Zaki the opportunity to acquit himself and prove that he is capable of taking full account of the widespread reservations about his appointment to the process to restore public confidence in the independence, impartiality and integrity of the judiciary after two decades of judicial darkness.

    I belong to the latter category.” KIT

    Kit, this is wrong! You have to take a principled stand on the issue. Either he is suitable or he is not. What’s with dispelling doubts??

  43. #43 by ktteokt on Saturday, 15 November 2008 - 10:01 am

    So Syed Hamid wants to appeal against freeing RPK? What about appealing on the decision of the AG to drop his appeal against Razak Baginda? This is what JUSTICE is all about??????

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