The growing anti-ISA rebellion

DEWAN DISPATCHES: As rebellion grows, the Internal Security Act’s tryst with destiny

By Azmi Anshar New Straits Times

DEWAN RAKYAT Nov 10, 2008:

Three discrete incidents yoked to the Internal Security Act interplayed with Lim Kit Siang’s urgent House motion filed today demanding the Speaker allow its deliberation tomorrow in the Dewan Rakyat. Kit could not have chosen a more opportune time to shove this motion that entangles Raja Petra Kamaruddin’s unexpected release from ISA detention and the Home Ministry’s push to have him re-arrested, with Umno’s show cause letter to its rebel ex-Minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim for collaborating with the Opposition to repeal the ISA and the Bersih’s anti-ISA vigil that concluded chaotically with police arrest of demonstrators.

It has always the DAP MP for Ipoh Timor’s pitbullish mission to dismantle the Internal Security Act, in particular its most galling provision of detention without trial that had been inflicted on the DAP supremo, his son and their many comrades over the past 40 years. If there is a an agenda of the highest order in his series of campaigns to neutralise what he perceives as underhanded Government tactics, the ISA’s dismantling would be his crowning glory, perhaps more profound than the slimmest idea of becoming Deputy Prime Minister.

For now, Kit is seeking that the Cabinet overrule the decision of Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar to appeal against the Shah Alam High Court’s decision to free Raja Petra, he of the Malaysia Today infamy, and force the gadfly of sordid web tales to return to Kamunting. Invoking Standing Order 18, Kit injected his motion with an appeal on the “positive reflection” in the last five months of the Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s premiership, hoping, in his own words, that the PM would “direct the Cabinet to fully review draconian laws and uphold the doctrine of separation of powers by repealing laws institutionalising executive usurpation of judicial powers and independence.”

Generally, and under the police recommendation, the Home Minister acts independently of the Cabinet in signing away detention warrants so Kit’s motion is, while not exactly an exercise in futility, a long shot that the Cabinet may weigh favourably. In any case, Kit has to surmount that formidable martinet of a Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia, who by any level of expectation, would likely to summarily dismiss the motion in the time he thumps his gavel.

Kit’s true mission, it can be discern, is to dismantle the ISA as an institution that needs to be trashed to the gutters of history, but is there any affection for Raja Petra himself, the gadfly of the hour? Not everyone have that kind of affinity for the blogger whose notoriety surpasses his reputation. RPK, as he is better known, has less to do with trust for his writings than with the infectious fantasist tales of murder, political connivance and general mayhem that he routinely publishes.

If you troll the people who react to RPK’s grisly tales, you would not fail to notice that he commands a humongous horde of zombies (or a few zombies firing off thousands of missives under a slew of nom de guerres), who flames anyone who criticises or even questions RPK’s facts, fancies and fantasies, even if the critique was contributed in good faith and laid out constructively. Like snarling Rottweilers, the zombies will claw away, first at the commentator’s manhood, than lineage and then organisation, in despicable language and menacing tone without ever addressing the substance of the critique. RPK, it seems, can do no wrong, even when his accusations are wild, brazen and unproven.

RPK also does not play according to the rules. If the whole political shebang was a game of football, RPK is the player who would nonchalantly score using illegal Hand of God and an ill-will tackler of such ferocious intensity that he’ll break your legs with a two-footed tackle rather than let you advance into his goalmouth. RPK thinks nothing of committing fouls, accepting condescendingly a first yellow card and then inviting a second from the referee for another indecent foul that leads to the consequential send-off.

But no, he is so disdainful of any fouls that he feels he is impervious to any form of red-card offence, so he defiantly stays on the field continuing as if the game cannot resume without him. The exasperated referee would have no choice but to instruct the security handlers to bundle away RPK out of the field while he shouts and screams that he is the victim of a mass conspiracy. That’s the way RPK enacts his brand of journalism: devise, imagine or concoct stories of murder, mayhem and debauchery that forces the target of his attacks to retaliate by filing a libel lawsuit, which RPK would ignore as if it was an inconvenience by refusing to appear in court to defend himself. When the plaintiffs win a judgment by default, RPK sneers at it contemptuously and declares that he won’t pay a single sen in damages.

Regardless of the scorched earth assault he launches on his victims, RPK is roundly hailed as hero, saint and martyr. Very much infallible, indefatigable and indestructible, his shocked release from ISA detention was willed as evidence to his invincibility. So what’s a RPK victim to do? Two of his perennial targets – Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Umno Youth pretender Khairy Jamaludin – have restrained themselves from launching lawsuits against RPK despite their strong case, realising that no matter what action is constructed against RPK, it would be like firing Teflon bullets that simply glosses over a halo-like forcefield. Is this why RPK had to be restrained under the ISA?

Zaid Ibrahim, on the other hand, does play by the rules, the populist ones at least. When he was fortuitously appointed as a Cabinet Minister as de facto Law Minister, he set forth a couple of axes to grind, the sharpest abrasion leaned heavily on the sins of a certain ex-Prime Minister strongly accused of being instrumental in the sacking of Tun Salleh Abas and four other senior judges for, among others, misusing their bench and insulting the then King in 1988.

Zaid plays the politician so powered by principles that, after persuading the Cabinet to pay a massive RM10.5 million compensation to the five tribunally-expelled judges, resigns in a hissy fit over the ISA detentions of Teresa Kok (DAP-Seputeh) and a journalist, and then sets himself up for imminent punishment from Umno when he openly allied himself with the Opposition’s anti-ISA bandwagon.

The question is, what was Zaid doing in Umno all these years enjoying all those lucrative perks bequeathed to him while he was suckling in the bosom of his Umno patronage? Knowing full well that Umno had been the bulwark behind the ISA’s continuity, why remain in the party, contest in the general election under its ticket and yet spit on your party’s policies while playing to the populist dogmas of the Opposition? A sudden dawning of conscience? Or something else that could explain his impending defection?

In the media conference today, Zaid, who received the show cause letter a fortnight ago over his show-cause letter by Umno over his strident opposition to the ISA, bellowed that the Government failed the people in repeatedly reneging on Tunku Abdul Rahman’s promise that the ISA would “never be used to stifle legitimate opposition and silence lawful dissent.”

Many pundits are gleefully speculating that Zaid is already flirting with the idea of leaving Umno and joining PKR, on the startling supposition that he would hold an extremely senior post should Anwar Ibrahim make good his promise after promise to hijack Federal Government rule by his threats of deducting the BN simple majority into becoming a deficit in Parliament.

As for the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) candlelight vigil at the PJ New Town that collapsed in a fiasco of arrests, Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar was steadfast in his defence of the police detention of 23 activists. “If those who are unhappy with the way police had dispersed the rally, you should lodge police reports.”

Syed Hamid saw nothing sinful about the detention. “Police work is police work. They are responsible for maintaining law and order. This is routine police work,” he asseverated to reporters at the parliament lobby after fielding stinging rebukes from Kit and his son, Lim Guan Eng (DAP-Bagan) even as he professes to being unaware of details of the incident.

Guan Eng was unrepentant in his attacks against Syed Hamid, expressing shock over the way the police had acted brutishly in rounding up the 23 and breaking up what had been seen as a peaceful rally. “I cannot understand why peaceful citizens and elected representatives were attacked,” Guan Eng said as he shook his head over the arrests that included Tony Pua (DAP- PJ Utara) and Selangor Exco Ronnie Liu, a DAP assemblyman and Lau Weng San, the Kampung Tunku assemblyman.

How’s this for some theatrics in victimology and saintliness? Pua showed reporters the shirt he wore during his scuffle with the security types, pointing fervently to the buttons that had been ripped out due to manhandling by certain policemen despite his willingness to cooperate and walk to the police truck after he was arrested. On a more serious charge, he accused one policeman of kneeing him in the gut while another tried to kick his shin. Lau insisted that police charged the crowd while they were singing “Negaraku” to end the night’s proceedings, a charge vehemently disputed by Selangor police chief Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar. Lau alleged that he was punched twice by a police officer, pointing to bruises on his cheek.

Three discrete incidents, all hounding on the iron-fisted appliance of the ISA’s governance. The growing anti-ISA rebellion has begun to grow exponentially, more so after Zaid is steadily burning his bridges with Umno on his scorn for the ISA and support from Parti Rakyat Sarawak’s Billy Abit Joo (BN-Hulu Rajang) for an Opposition petition for a parliamentary debate to review the ISA.

It’s still premature to question whether the ISA can survive this mass rebellion but Kit is now riding on a Harley-Davidson rather than a trishaw in his quest to fulfill his real destiny – the end of the ISA.

  1. #1 by undergrad2 on Tuesday, 11 November 2008 - 7:05 am

    “It’s still premature to question whether the ISA can survive this mass rebellion but Kit is now riding on a Harley-Davidson rather than a trishaw in his quest to fulfill his real destiny – the end of the ISA.”

    Never knew Kit to be a biker!!! This is a first! If Kit is in a hurry and on a Harley, you guys put him there! Before he was riding only a ‘lancha’.

  2. #2 by vsp on Tuesday, 11 November 2008 - 7:12 am

    The police are wearing many hats nowadays.
    Foremost, they are the obedient running dogs and official goons of the evil UMNOputras empire. They don’t dare to offend the UMNOputras by sniffing around unnecessary because with one bark from one of these rabid creatures, the police will turn tail and chabut fast. And sure they are the best goons who willingly prostitute themselves for position and money and will wag their tails and do any dirty jobs for their political masters.
    They are a social escort agency. They spend most of their resources and time to escort VIPs everyday. But when it comes to the service of the general public they will be chasing their own tails endlessly. The public will be kicked like a football from one department to another or from one station to another station.
    They are the agents of big-time criminals. That why they do not disturb the real criminals because they might be stepping on their Tan Sri or Datuk mafia’s toes who are partners of these criminals. They are also the informer for criminals by giving advance warning of impending raids.
    They have turned into jellyfish and have no backbone. The police force has been castrated by UMNO to the extent that they are so afraid of the Chow Kit Road’s pondans and seem brave only when they appeared in their red water cannon trucks and spread acid on helpless people.
    Why don’t you see the police in your neighbourhood anymore? Because in every nook and crannies they are afraid of shadows – their own shadows. That’s why they prefer to remain in a safe environment.
    Lately they have become overly paranoid. Even with a teddy bear they are so afraid that they have to ban the Hindraf for committing a new “crime” of exposing a harmless toy! Even candles can also cause a type of madness in them and they will go amok and bash up innocent people.
    They are no crime fighters but only pen pushers, by taking all kinds of report but never act on them.
    They are Ah-long-friendly. With all the advertisement and telephone numbers displayed boldly on every telephone poles and pasted willy-nilly on every available spaces, not a single ah-long was arrested. What happen to the big hoopla regarding the compulsory registration of prepaid mobile numbers? It was bandied about as a surefire way of eliminating the ah-long menace but the police is so incompetent that this so-called effective tool was not being taken advantage of.
    Beware people, is this a conspiracy to legitimatize the establishment of private armies so that only approved rich and powerful individuals can afford this service? Always remember in Bolehland problems are not meant to be solved but as an opportunity for the UMNOputras to cash in for something bigger and sinister.

  3. #3 by Godfather on Tuesday, 11 November 2008 - 7:47 am

    Dismantle the ISA ? It would be akin to dismantling UMNO ! It is the ultimate protection for the den of thieves.

  4. #4 by kerishamuddinitis on Tuesday, 11 November 2008 - 7:58 am

    The Sel police chief Khalid Abu Bakar is a LIAR. Just like the Home Monster, Syed Hamid Al-Rubbish, who has been a LIAR for the longest time. The crowd was signing the Negara Ku when the Light Strike Force (nice fancy name for Riot Squad) police waded into the crowd, banging on their shields as intimidation before attacking. I know because I was singing the Negara Ku there. To get the draconian I SIMPLY ARREST law abolished, we need leaders like Ronnie, Tony, Kit Siang, RPK, Teresa Kok, WS Lau and PR to pave the way. We also need to be there to support them.
    I hope one day all Malaysians will take the step to activley support the abolisgment of ISA and the release of detainees currently held without trial or charge.

  5. #5 by HJ Angus on Tuesday, 11 November 2008 - 8:07 am

    That’s a good one for ISA:
    Looking at the recent incidents, that is how the law has been applied by the police and the Home Minister.
    So far most readers on my blog feel the HM should be sacked for the abuse of the law.

  6. #6 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 11 November 2008 - 8:46 am

    T’is writing representing an improvement in subtle pro-establishment propaganda!

    First, he targets his audience : Opposition supporters. He seizes theirs and Opposition Leader’s attention by picturesque imageries. He likens YB Kit to be “riding on a Harley-Davidson” on a “pitbullish mission to dismantle the ISA”. On another occasion [2008/11/10] the writer (NST’s chief Dewan dispatcher) intrigued Kit by describing him as “Parliament’s great white shark”.

    Whilst giving focus to Kit’s “pitbullish mission to dismantle the ISA” in this peice, he is not exactly arguing for it’s dismantling based on it being, in principle, draconian and inimical to civil liberties.

    He makes Kit’s mission sound “personal” by alluding to the ISA being “inflicted on the DAP supremo, his son and their many comrades over the past 40 years” without mention of others perhaps equally not deserving of being incarcerated without trial for eg HINDRAF.

    Then he zeroes in on two personalities – RPK and Zaid Ibrahim – whose recent happenings around them gives Kit a “Harley-Davidson rather than a trishaw” in his quest to end the ISA.

    If Azmi Anshar were sympathetic to rakyat’s cause to end the ISA he would say nicer things than what he did on these two characters that give Kit a “Harley-Davidson instead of a trishaw in the race to end the ISA.

    He describes RPK’s writings as “infectious fantasist or grisly tales of murder, political connivance and general mayhem” and his visitors/commentators as a “humongous horde of zombies” and “snarling Rottweilers”! He says RPK follows and flouts all rules as if to insinuate that’s why ISA should be used on him (“Is this why RPK had to be restrained under the ISA?, he asked).

    Zaid is also opposed to ISA. He sets about undermining Zaid’s credibility by questioning why he contested in GE under BN’s ticket, “all these years enjoying all those lucrative perks bequeathed to him while he was suckling in the bosom of his Umno patronage?”

    Then he turned his guns on those in (Bersih) candlelight vigil arrested or manhandled: he asked whether Tony Pua’s torn shirt is “some theatrics in victimology and saintliness?”

    He even describes in caption the campaign for ISA’s repeal as “Anti-ISA Rebellion”.

    The use of the word “rebellion” carries connotations. It means an open defiance of lawful government, authority or ruler by unlawful force, revolt or insurrection.

    Yes I think today’s MSM journalism of propagating the govt’s position is couched in more high flown language (to impress), and to convince by more subtle and indirect means of giving focus to government’s detractors and yet discrediting them at same time by choice of words.

    The skewing of public perception is certainly more sophisticated in this ICT Age than the efforts of yester years…a marked improvement in form and style though no change in intent.

  7. #7 by taiking on Tuesday, 11 November 2008 - 8:52 am

    The end of ISA will just about bring umno to an end for umno now really has nothing left but fear for the ISA to call upon in preservation of its power and position. Umno is now in complete shambles. Striking the ISA now is perhaps not too bad a move.

  8. #8 by yhsiew on Tuesday, 11 November 2008 - 9:01 am

    The recent spate of ISA arrests has angered a large section of the public. If the Opposition is smart enough to capitalize on the issue, the next general election will probably spell the end of the ISA and UMNO/BN will become history!

  9. #9 by yhsiew on Tuesday, 11 November 2008 - 9:41 am

    ISA = UMNO
    End of ISA = End of UMNO

  10. #10 by Mr Smith on Tuesday, 11 November 2008 - 9:49 am

    This writer sees all the evil in RPK, Zaid and the Opposition but he sees no evil in BN and the government. If he has the ‘guts’ to criticise all and sundry in one swipe, I wonder why he has no b*lls to do the same with BN and UMNO politicians.
    There are volumes of filth in UMNO to write about, unless he is blind.
    How easy to semonize from the rooftops just because you have got the pen to write as you please, Azmi.
    Isn’t partisan journalism repulsive? I am not surprised since NST wallows in gutter journalism.
    This same writer will direct the same venom at UMNO when Pakatan forms the next government. Despicable animals!!!

  11. #11 by frankyapp on Tuesday, 11 November 2008 - 1:09 pm

    It’s common knowledge,our police could not perform most of their duties. Tooth,even iron types are given ,but they could perform time and time again. Liked I always said,these police guys are linked to every Umnoputras/warlords,elite taigons,ah long leaders,black marketeers,illegal gaming,prostitutes’s den leaders,illegal migration of labour,etc etc,you name it and they are all linked ,connexted and glued together in the most scandalious corruption you could ever inmagine. Hopefully this will enlighten you VSP and all honest and humble malaysians

  12. #12 by frankyapp on Tuesday, 11 November 2008 - 1:11 pm

    sorry,should read ” could not “

  13. #13 by frankyapp on Tuesday, 11 November 2008 - 1:15 pm

    sorry I must say ” the police could not perform althrough they have been given the best facilities”.

  14. #14 by OrangRojak on Tuesday, 11 November 2008 - 1:50 pm

    Why would anyone buy the NST? I only made it halfway through this article. I thought there must have been some reason why it was copied to this blog. The only thing it did for me is remind me why I don’t read the NST: it is rabble-rousing, sycophantic trash of the lowest order from the front page to the back. Well, maybe excluding the Nicol David section, but not every edition has one.

    I was heartened to read the BBC story this morning of individuals in South Korea sending helium balloons over the DPRK carrying anti-propaganda information leaflets. If only the wind would blow this far!

  15. #15 by dawsheng on Tuesday, 11 November 2008 - 1:50 pm

    I seriously hate dumb people who can write English.

  16. #16 by draken001 on Tuesday, 11 November 2008 - 2:09 pm

    orangrojak: agreed. nst is basically sycophantic trash. just wonder whether it will still be sycophantic trash when the new umno regime takes over, answering to the new political boss.

  17. #17 by Zaitun 68 on Tuesday, 11 November 2008 - 2:10 pm

    This report by Azmi Anshar is a nice piece of light entertainment but still it can’t be disputed that it is a sheer waste of time reading this amateurishly written article of propaganda.

    He is probably a junior reporter who was ordered by the evil Nazi Organization (everyone knows who they are) to write a disparaging attack on its perceived enemies.

  18. #18 by PeoplesMan on Tuesday, 11 November 2008 - 2:42 pm

    Go on Lim, fight for the nation……

  19. #19 by rider on Tuesday, 11 November 2008 - 4:32 pm

    NST just about screwed everyone opposing the BN!

    That is exactly the reason why we stopped buying mainstream newspapers! Even our children get their sports news from the internet! With such serious decline in their readership they still refuse to acknowledge their faults! What a pity!

  20. #20 by rider on Tuesday, 11 November 2008 - 4:40 pm

    Imagine a pittbul riding a harley davidson! Hah hah! Take it as a compliment YB! They hate your guts, that’s why they calling you names!

  21. #21 by waterfrontcoolie on Tuesday, 11 November 2008 - 5:22 pm

    Without BN as the paymaster, this writer will write only on the toilet walls!!

  22. #22 by k1980 on Tuesday, 11 November 2008 - 5:27 pm

    I think the DAP still do not know that the mullah Dollah has issued a fatwa banning anti-isa demos!

  23. #23 by riversandlakes on Tuesday, 11 November 2008 - 6:17 pm

    Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar was steadfast in his defence of the police detention of 23 activists. “If those who are unhappy with the way police had dispersed the rally, you should lodge police reports.”

    Is this guy for real?!

  24. #24 by nicolee on Tuesday, 11 November 2008 - 6:36 pm

    oh man, this guy has written one huge piece of propaganda crap. btw, reliable sources say this azmi is special projects editor in the nst but do little work and belongs to that mafia group that’s aligned to the Rock man. THere are a few of them hanging out in the nst editorial waiting for the takeover in March. Now you can see how the Rock man got his hand on the nst revamp memo recently. As all can see, their true colours are starting to show in their writing.

  25. #25 by shamshul anuar on Tuesday, 11 November 2008 - 6:38 pm

    Dear Yhsiew,

    Unfortunately the end of ISA( not that any sane man will agree) will not be “beginning of the end” of UMNO. UMNO does not need ISA to survive. If It can keep itself relevant , then it will survive.

    If it is playing to racial gallery like DAP, it would have long time ago put Kit Siang and the Crown Prince into jail for decade, just like Kit Siang’s mentor did in Singapore.

    Mind you, UMNO members had also detained. So, there should not be any special treatment to Hindraf/ Not when Hindraf leaders lied to the world by accusing UMNO of etnic cleansing.

    The result was not that pleasant. Malay voters punished Indian leaders in Kota Raja, Teluk Kemang, Lunas, Hulu selangor the way they booted out MCA in Kuantan, Bandar Tun Razak, Kulim. As I said earlier, the knife cuts both way.

    Vast majority of Malays may tolerate RPK’s antic but when he crossed the line by insulting Prophet Muhammad, he really asking for detention.

    RPK is banckrupt literally and figuratively. However, he serves another very effective purpose. He is very popular as he condemned UMNo leaders to the hilt. Any move to condemn Malay of course is welcome especially in this blog.

    As many Malays who said it very clearly, “Menyesalnya pilih PKR”. My reply is simple. “you deserve it”.

    As for celebrating birthday in Parliament, actually Hindraf is testing the patience. As one UMNO leader said it.”That girl can send one million teddy bear to the PM”.

    Please bear in mind that ISA is used also against Arqam as demanded by Malay community. So, nobody should expect royal treatment here. Hiding behind facade of freedom of speech( actually freedom to “fitnah” ) after “fitnah” will not absolve one from justice.

    And no need to compare with Uncle Sam or Lee Kuan Yew. Their record are worse.

  26. #26 by ryan123 on Tuesday, 11 November 2008 - 7:22 pm

    Just look the loaded terms used to describe Kit, RPK, Zaid Ibrahim, and PR. And neutral terms used in illustrating the master of this running dog.

    Try browsing through more of his columns in There are a lot more articles with skewed facts!

  27. #27 by assamlaksa on Tuesday, 11 November 2008 - 10:00 pm

    ON one hand the Selangor chief police says the crowd sings Negaraku 3 or 4 times, but on the other hand he says he didn’t hear them singing. No wonder the crime rate had increased, looks like not only they closed one eye, the police also closed one ear.

  28. #28 by Richardqed on Tuesday, 11 November 2008 - 11:31 pm

    The DAP should look for means to pay these b@stards back for what they have done.

    Although they are taking orders from the top, from the malice seen in the way they manhandled and assaulted Tony Pua and the rest, they are clearly enjoying it.

    If criminal lawsuits cannot be used, consider suing through civil lawsuits, especially if video evidence is at hand. If you cant have them jailed or sacked, hurt their pockets hard. If you can’t go after them as a group, go after them individually. Even if just one of them is nailed this way, it will show that they cannot get away scot-free.

  29. #29 by bfree on Wednesday, 12 November 2008 - 11:09 am

  30. #30 by AhPek on Wednesday, 12 November 2008 - 6:11 pm

    This piece of trash is yet another reason why we should all stop buying NST!!
    This Azmi ars.. is so obviously an UMNO goon in his attempt to shamelessly try to convince readers that the government can do no wrong just like what Badawi tries to tell us “We are not in the business of cheating.”.

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