(Petaling Jaya, Friday): Five persons detained under the Internal Security Act were released in the last two days, namely UMNO Youth Chief Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, ABIM president Ahmad Azam Abdul Rahman and three of his executive council members - deputy president Mokhtar Ridzwan, vice president Abdul Halim Ismail and secretary-general Shaharuddin Badaruddin, Bandar Tun Razak UMNO division chief Tamunif Mokhtar and Malaysian National Muslim Studentsí Association secretary-general Ahmad Sabrini Mohd Sidek.
DAP calls for the immediate release of former Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and nine others still detained under the Internal Security Act so that Malaysia does not become an international pariah like the Myanmese military junta - as the latest country where basic democratic rights of personal liberty and freedoms of speech and assembly are trampled upon by an obnoxious detention-without trial law.
During the first day of the special meeting of Parliament on Tuesday, I had specifically asked the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad why Anwar was still being detained under the Internal Security Act after his being charged in court for various offences.
Mahathir said that Anwar had to be detained under the ISA as he was inciting the people to go on riots.
This is unacceptable, for if the police have evidence that Anwar was
inciting the people to go on riots, Anwar should be charged in court for
this offence and not under a detention-without-trial law like the ISA.
Two days after his release from nine-day detention, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has today announced his resignation as UMNO Youth leader. This is an UMNO internal problem except the the public have a right to ask whether the ISA has now been extended even to resolve internal UMNO problems.
In the first place, what was the reason for the detention of Zahid Hamidi under the Internal Security Act as he was in Kota Kinabalu and not in Kuala Lumpur at the time of his arrest.
Was the sole intention of the ISA detention of Zahid Hamidi to force him to resign as UMNO Youth leader, and if so, is this what the ISA is all about now?