Anwar’s release under ISA 24 days after his detention, though welcome, is another frightening example of the abuse of the draconian law which should be repealed

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang  

(Petaling Jaya, Wednesday): Bernama has reported that former Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has been  released under the  Internal Security Act (ISA), but remains in prison due to the charges against

Bernama news agency reported that Anwar has been  taken from the Bukit Aman police headquarters and transferred in a police vehicle to the Sungei Buloh prison north of Kuala Lumpur.  Anwar was produced at the Kuala Lumpur High Court on Oct. 5 on ten charges and Justice Augustine Paul had  rejected his application for bail.  Anwar’s lawyers are now appealing against the decision to deny him bail although a date has not been reached.

Anwar was arrested on Sept. 20 and although the police had announced at the time that the former Deputy Prime Minister would be charged in court the next morning, the police subsequently detained him under the Internal Security Act.

Anwar’s release under ISA 24 days after his detention, though welcome, is another frightening example of the abuse of the draconian law which should be repealed

The release of Anwar well before the expiry of the first 60-day interrogative custody under the ISA shows the rightness of both national and international demands for Anwar’s release as there can be no justification for his detention under the ISA, especially as the government has annoiunced that he would be charged in court for various offences.

When Anwar was first produced in public ten days after his arrest  when he was charged in the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court on Sept. 29, Anwar had a black eye and bruises on his arm - alleging that he had been beaten up by the police on the first night of his detention until he lost consciousness.

The Police had announced investigations and it is most shocking that the police had not been able to make public the outcome of such police investigations after more than two weeks, when it is not a complicated investigation as Anwar was completely in police custody during the alleged beating in question.

The  highest authorities have suggested that Anwar’s "black eye" could have been self-inflicted, and if this is the case, why are the authorities  unable to produce evidence to substantiate such a shocking assertion after more than two weeks of investigation?

In any event, the Police should immediately hand over investigations into the allegations of the police brutality against Anwar Ibrahim to an independent panel so that the findings of such investigations can command credibility and confidence, both inside and outside the country.

DAP also calls on the Police to immediately release the other four still detained under the Internal Security Act, including the JIM President Shaari Sungip, who was detained under the ISA two days ago and to give a public  assurance that there would be no resort to the ISA until the Police had released a full report to justify its use of the ISA against 19 persons in the past month.


*Lim Kit Siang - Malaysian Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Democratic Action Party Secretary-General & Member of Parliament for Tanjong