Although Badrul has been released from the Kamunting Detention Centre after more than six months of incarceration under the Internal Security Act, he is subject to undemocratic restrictions which are derogatory of his full political and civil rights as a Malaysian citizen, such as the ban on him from holding any political party posts, participation in public gatherings and any form of political activities, and being placed under “restricted residence” confined to the Gombak district, Selangor, where he is required to report himself at the nearest police station every week.
DAP calls on Abdullah to remove all the undemocratic restrictions imposed on Badrul to restore his full citizenship rights after ISA detention, including allowing him to contest in the Keadilan party elections this weekend, and clarify whether these restrictions came from the Advisory Board or whether they were imposed by the police.
It would be most inappropriate tantamount to a gross abuse of power if the undemocratic restrictions on Badrul had come from the Advisory Board on recommending his release under the Internal Security Act, as the constitutional duty of the Advisory Board, set up under Article 151(2) of the Malaysian Constitution is a clear and simple one - whether there is any basis for the Home Minister to exercise his powers under the ISA to detain a person without trial and not on what conditions an ISA detainee should be released.
It is most surprising that Abdullah had declined to comment if Badrul’s release was related to his health condition. If Badrul’s release was because of the recommendation of the Advisory Board, then it could have no connection with his health as this would be completely outside the purview of the Advisory Board whose jurisdiction is to provide a form of quasi-judicial (but hitherto most unsatisfactory) review of the Minister’s grounds for any ISA detention.
In actual fact, Badrul should never have been detained under the ISA. In his affidavit recently filed in the Federal Court in the habeas corpus appeal by him and other reformasi ISA detainees, Badrul recounted how the police breached their promise to release him after he had fully co-operated with them during his interrogative custody, even signing a 130-page document prepared by the police.
The Inspector General of Police, Tan Sri Norian Mai in April gave scarifying reasons to justify the use of ISA against Badrul and other reformasi activists, including Mohd. Ezam Mohd Nor, Chua Tian Chang, Saari Sungib, Lokman Noor Adam and Hishamuddin Rais who are still in detention in Kamunting, namely, that they were involved in a militant conspiracy for the violent overthrow of the elected government and that they had taken steps to obtain explosive material and weapons including bombs and grenade launchers for the purpose.
The fact of Badrul’s release and that to date the police has not been able to produce an iota of evidence to back its allegations or even to produce a White Paper on the ISA detentions of the reformasi activists can only point in one direction - that the ISA detentions were purely political and had nothing to do with any “security” consideration.
In this connection, Abdullah should inform Parliament and the nation of the outcome of the Advisory Board’s review of the ISA detention of the other reformasi activists.
In its review of the detention of Saari Sungib, the Advisory Board under the chairmanship of Ahmad Zaki Husin, former Anti-Corruption Agency director-general, had rejected police allegation that Saari had chaired a secret meeting to plan and organise an illegal assembly deemed to threaten national security and disrupt public order.
Saari’s wife Aliza Jaffar, had told the press that Ahmad Zaki had rejected the allegation because the police’s special branch officers failed to prove that Saari was involved in the meeting, which was alleged to have taken place on Feb 27 at Kelab Darul Ehsan, Ampang Jaya to allegedly strategise ways to confront police physically and mentally during demonstrations.
Saari had met with the three-member Advisory Board in the Kamunting detention camp in Perak on Sept 6 and 11 and presented a 200-page statement to panel members, rebutting the grounds given for his detention.