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Saturday, August 01, 2009

ISA - the stark reality

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Well, as expected the police were in full force to ensure that any peaceful protests aren’t. Just as they promised – stern action. At least the motherfuckers are good for their word.

Tear gas and chemical laced water cannons were deployed today, and as of the time of this posting, 438 people have been reported arrested, including 38 juveniles (via The Malaysian Insider). Of course, without being given access to counsel, another hallmark of our fine police force, the envy of any despotic state.

August 1, 2009 – another day that will go down as the day the police demonstrated that we are, in fact, living in a police state. The Crankster was at the scene today, and you can read about her own eyewitness account of what went on.

Image taken from Crankshafted, hosting by Photobucket Gallons and gallons of stinging acid water was sprayed carelessly onto human beings. People dashed for cover as the searing pain engulfed their skin and eyes.

I guess this must be the Malaysian sense of compassion exhibited by the Malaysian authorities in their eagerness to protect public security.

(source: Crankshafted)

Walski hopes that she made it through the day unscathed. Or at least ungassed and unchemicalized. Apart from the posting mentioned above, there are a further two posts you can read (here and here).

And BN has made it very clear – as long as they’re in power, the ISA is here to stay. 
(national security not making us any safer, and more, in the full post)

Uttered, no less, than our Minister of Nothing Specific, Nazri Aziz.

Police have crushed an anti-ISA rally that turned the capital into a battlezone with tear gas and water cannon while allowing a pro-ISA activist through to the Istana Negara as Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz defiantly said Barisan Nasional will keep the security law as it was “necessary”.

As long as Barisan Nasional is leading the government, the ISA will not be abolished,” Nazri told reporters in Kota Kinabalu, in an immediate reaction to the rally in the capital city.
(source: The Malaysian Insider)

Oh yeah, he’s the defective de facto Law Minister. Laws, of course, which the police are above, and have consistently shown to abhor. The ISA is necessary for whose security, Walski wonders.

But amend the law they do intend to. If what Defence Minister Hamid Zahidi says is correct, though, these changes will be superficial, at best (emphasis by myAsylum).

The government had promised to amend the ISA and any demand should be made through negotiations and not street protests or riots, he added.

“We can discuss it and the opposition can raise their sore points. A proposal to change the ISA acronym as suggested by Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Zahid Hamidi was also deliberated.

(source: The Malaysian Insider)

Hat-tip to @Aisehman via Twitter. Fucking genius our minister, isn’t he? Change the acronym and everything will be swell. Aisehman went a step further and suggested some new names and associated acronyms (color & emphasis by myAsylum):

But lets humour him. How about the Domestic and Urban STabilisation Act, or in short, DUSTA?

Or PEaceKEeping Needs Act or PEKENA?

And my favourite — Malaysian Emergency Rapid Action and Normalisation Act, or MERANA?

(source: Aisehman)

But let’s wait and see what kind of amendments are proposed. Apart from the name change, of course. The Internal Security Act, introduced in the 1960’s was meant to address terrorism. It has been abused over the years as a tool to extinguish political dissent.

Dr. Hatta Ramli and the friendly forces, image from Malaysiakini, hosting by Photobucket The winner in getting a memorandum to the King today, however was Pewaris, whose threatened counter-rally to GMI was called off. Malaysiakini reported a lone representative of the pro-ISA group being allowed to hand their memo to the palace guards, without much fuss from the large contingent of police stationed there. GMI had decided to defer handing over their memo to another day.

Meanwhile, the Twitterverse chirped in to say that MP for Subang, R. Sivarasa is being held with 50 others at the Bukit Jalil Police Station, over the protest and police-induced rioting today. Lawyers are apparently working to obtain his release. Word also has it that most of the 438 have been released.

Earlier in the day, opposition MP Dr. Hatta Ramli, although not arrested, was forcibly prevented from speaking to about 2,000 people gathered at the National Mosque (see picture on the right, and the associated Malaysiakini report). Yes folks, this is how public safety is kept by the police – manhandling opposition personalities.

But that is the stark reality of Malaysia today – the police ever so quick to quell any peaceful assembly, with force. The FRU, or Riot Police as they’re commonly known, ever so quick to ensure that the situation gets riotous. Walski sometimes thinks that their KPI is to ensure riots do happen under their watch.

And yet, our streets are no safer from real crimes, like snatch-theft, robbery, and with alarming increase in frequency these days, murder.

The stark reality about the ISA, or any other acronym that it may one day be known as, the law that provides powers to detain without trial, is that it’s here to stay. As long as BN stays.

GE 13 is expected to be coming our way around in about 4 years or so, in 2013. Assuming that we will still have the right to vote by then.

You never know… for the sake of “national security”, anything’s possible.


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