Archive for September 16th, 2011

For now, a healthy dose of scepticism

By Ong Kian Ming | Sep 16, 11

Many who read this commentary would accuse me of being unnecessary cynical, that I am not giving credit where it is due. Those who know me better would know that I am an optimist at heart. Which is why I want to caution everyone who is ecstatic over Prime Minister Najib Razak’s announcements tonight to take what he says with a large bucket of salt.

On paper, Najib’s announcement to repeal the Internal Security Act 1960 (better known as the ISA) and the less well-known Banishment Act 1959 as well as to review certain sections of the Restricted Residents Act 1933, the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 and the Police Act 1967, should be applauded and welcomed by all who advocate for a freer and more democratic country.

But instead of reacting with glee and overwhelming optimism, I have instead chosen to take a more sceptical, and in my humble opinion, more realistic view of these announcements for three related reasons. These are:

(i) The experience of having too high hopes in the promises made by Najib’s predecessor, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (Pak Lah), prior to the 2004 general election.
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