We condemn the Police ‘s mass arrests of people who had participated at peaceful candlelight vigils in various parts of the country last night to protest the 50th anniversary of the ISA.
The Police should respect the people’s right to peaceful assembly and not to disperse such gatherings and make arrests. Such highhanded actions are totally unnecessary and unacceptable.
We also wish to reiterate the DAP’s stand that the draconian ISA must be abolished.
Firstly, the ISA’s detention without trial goes against the very fundamental principle of the Rule of Law.
Secondly, the history of ISA is a record of abuses by the previous Alliance and the present BN government. ISA has been abused to detain political dissidents, unionists and activists.
Cabinet Minister Dato Shabery Chik had told the truth two years ago when he said that during Tun Dr Mahathir's leadership, many were detained under the ISA supposedly because they were a threat to national security when in actual fact they were a threat to his leadership.
If the government is not convinced that the majority of Malaysians want ISA repealed, then I challenge the government to carry out a national referendum and let the people decide whether ISA should be abolished.