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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Opinion Poll: Do the majority of Malaysians really want the ISA to remain?

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For the first time in a long while, Walski’s on a roll with his blogging duties.

Poll is located at the sidebar. Alternatively, click on image to take the poll at - image hosting by Photobucket He’s got another poll up to gauge what the feeling in the bloggerhood’s like about a claim made by a senior politician, published in, among other places, Friday’s Berita Harian.

It was also reported by The Star, The Malaysian Mirror, and Malaysiakini, but without the same exuberance and gung-ho feel that the Berita Harian report seemed to have (download a PDF copy of the BH report here), basing on how they headlined the story: Everybody Agrees ISA to Remain (Semua Setuju ISA Kekal).

Essentially, our Home Minister held 6 meetings with focus groups, as reported by all the media bodies publishing the story.

The following is the version as published by The Star, dated yesterday, December 25th (emphasis by myAsylum):

Hishammuddin said that following the public meetings and discussions with the target groups, the ministry’s law review technical committee was in the final stages of studying all the views and suggestions before the amendments are tabled in Parliament.

He said he wanted the review to take into account the five main issues that had been identified as the basis of public dissatisfaction over the Act.

They are: the powers of the minister; duration of detention; the rights of and treatment given to the detainees; public perception that the enforcement of the Act was purely for political purposes; and detention without trial.

Hishammuddin said the Home Ministry had held six meetings with representatives of the various groups to discuss the proposed amendments.

“There is a general agreement on the need to retain the Act as an early prevention measure against acts of terror or other actions that can jeopardise national security,” he said.

He said the six meetings involved enforcement agencies, non-governmental organisations, academicians, law practitioners, politicians, members of Parliament, media practitioners and the general public.

(source: The Star)

The question is this: exactly which “various groups” was the minister referring to? Yes, Walski is a born skeptic, and being less than upfront about exactly whom Hisham met doesn’t sit well with his skepticism one tiny bit.
(a chance to give your two-bits worth, and more, in the full post)

Walski does admit that while he was a little unnerved by the Berita Harian headline, reading the English language version of the report did calm his nerves somewhat.

Let’s put it this way – does Walski think that it’s important to maintain national security? Hell, yeah. That’s a real no-brainer. But we live in a time when the public doesn’t buy any authority’s say-so merely on their say-so. If there’s evidence, formally charge them. It’s as simple as that.

Detention without trial is against the morality of just about any faith. Even against the morality of those without any specific faith, for that matter.

So you know where Walski stands on this issue.

But he still would like to know what all of you people think – and as far as the poll is concerned, he’s been fair.

There are 3 choices for you to pick from, based on what your opinion may be: abolish the ISA altogether, keep it, or keep it with the necessary amendments to prevent abuse of power.

As with earlier polls, if you have a Blogger-based blog, you can easily include it there by clicking the Add To Blogger button at the bottom of the poll. If you don’t have a Blogger-based blog, you can still add it by going to the Polldaddy poll page, and using the embed code provided.

Walski feels that this is a very important opinion poll, if there ever was one – what is the real feel of common everyday Malaysians. So spread the word, as far and wide as you can.

The poll will remain open until Midnight, December 31st, 2009. Walski’s counting on you…

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