(Petaling Jaya, Thursday): Although former Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has been released under the Internal Security Act, he is still in remand at the Sungei Buloh prison pending his trial.
I call on the Government to agree that Anwar Ibrahim be allowed out on bail pending the outcome of his trial in keeping with the principle that a person is innocent until proven guilty.
Anwar Ibrahim should never have been detained under the ISA, for two reasons:
Firstly, the police had announced on the night of his arrest on Sept. 20 that Anwar would be produced in court on various charges the next day - but police changed its mind and subsequently announced that Anwar had been detained under the ISA. This is most improper and constitute a clear abuse of the ISA.
Secondly, the release of Anwar Ibrahim 24 days after detention under ISA - and Malaysians are still waiting for a police explanation why the ISA had been used against 19 persons in the past 25 days.
The "black eye" which Anwar suffered on the first night of police detention which has caused a double national and international outrage - the "black eye" itself as well as the refusal of the police to allow independent investigations into the allegation of police brutality by Anwar - should place the onus on the government to demonstrate that it would be scrupulously fair henceforth in all dealings connected with the former Deputy Prime Minister.
At present, four others are still being held under the ISA: former Parti Islam executive secretary Abdul Malek Hussein, former Negri Sembilan Umno Youth chief Ruslan Kassim, lawyer Zulkifli Nordin, and Shaari Sungip, president of Jemaah Islah Malaysia.
How could the Police justify the continued detention of the remaining four persons even by one day when it had released 15 others who had been detained under the ISA - including the former Deputy Prime Minister and former UMNO Youth leader?
There have been enough abuses of the ISA in the past month - and let all these ISA abuses end with the immediate and unconditional release of the remaining four ISA detainees!