ISA: The democratically enacted tool for the defense of the realm

Most probably the majority of us Malaysians took the blanket of security that had been provided for most of us to sleep better at night, for granted. While we live peacefully enduring our daily lives, we never stopped to ponder how this nation of multi-pluralism enigma of various ethnic, culture, faith and political belief co-exist in harmony and more importantly, uneventful.

Malaysia is inherently volatile in many counts. The variables of the diversity in multi ethnic, culture, faith, historical and socio-economic background is an ingredient to prolong trouble. And yet, despite the birth of this nation was actually during a bloody insurgency war, Malaysia is stable and harmonious enough to promote growth, progress and expansion that enables the country which was one time dependent on primary industries transformed into one of the progressive economic tiger in Asia.

The threat of security comes from various front. Despite winning against the armed rebellion of communist terrorists officially declared on 16 September 1948 and ended on 1960, the insurgency war did not end till 2 December 1989 where the Malayan Peoples’ Liberation Army signed a truce treaty known as the ‘Hadyaii Accord’.

The insurgency was continued beyond 1960 via the ‘Communist United Front’ where communist supporters and advocates wiggle themselves in various workers movement, especially the trade unions. They also fortified their political fronts via legitimate political parties such as the Socialist Front, Socialist Party and Workers Party. Then they are believed to organise themselves via Peoples’ Action Party. The use the universal socialist voice to instigate the workers via these organisations.

Of course they changed their strategy by deploying new tactics of ‘engaging (to a point, manipulating) the sentiments of the masses’ as oppose waging an unwinable war via guerrilla warfare. Getting the lower and  lower middle class to rise against the ruling class via ‘universally and liberally correct’ arguments that could actually be used to instigate the working class to rise against the establishment. Case in point: the 13 May 1969 racial riots where DAP in tandemwith Gerakan and Social Party instigated the minority Chinese to insult the majority Malays after the neck-to-neck general elections win.

Then the Iranian Revolution of 1978 brought new dimension into militant Islamist movements previously never seen of, which Malaysian was not spared. More and more imported militant politics were sowed into the hearts and imaginations of the more ‘innocent’ Malays to ‘revolt’ against the ruling government for “Not upholding Islamic law and Malaysia is not an Islamic state”. At the same time, the war against Soviet Union invasion of Afghanistan brewed more Malaysians into para-military and guerrilla warfare.

The militancy amongst the Malay Muslim majority reached its alarming point when the ‘Memali Incident’ happened in November 1985. Much later, the Islamist cult movement Al Arqam also weaved its way into the hearts of the Malay Muslims and the leader now aspire be the ‘Prime Minister’.

Militant Islamist Movements reached its peak when Kumpulan Mujahiddin Malaysia (MM) and Jemaah Islamiah (JI) activities were discovered by chance when a group of professionals staged an armed robbery at the Southern Bank Bhd branch in Petaling Jaya, sometime in 2000. Then there was the ‘Bukit Jenalik’ armed heist incident where the Al Maunah group snatched automatic weapons, to wage a  war against HM Seri Paduka Baginda Yang DiPertuan Agong.

In the same breadth, attempts were made to strike against the Hindu Complex of Batu Caves and the Anchor-Guinness factory.

All of these were contained and did not escalate into something ugly. It was because of one simple tool enacted by the process of democracy to preserve democracy, although the modus operandi is deeemd to be ‘undemocratic’: Internal Security Act (ISA).

ISA is a tool introduced by the British during the ‘Emergency’ which was known as the ‘Emergency Ordinance’. On 15 August 1960, the Dewan Rakyat passed the ISA for the notion that the defense of the realm needed to be protected by persons of ill intent and the process of law simply too messy and lengthy, which could provide the space and opportunity of the perpetrators to escape prosecution, especially due to ‘techinicalities’ and thus do more harm against Malaysians.

In the wake of world wide terrorism, the stable and harmonious Malaysia is not spared.Little that is was known, six bombs were planted all along Jalan Telawi 3 in Bangsar at the ‘Millenium New Year’ celebrations, beginning 31 December 1999. The party-goers were lucky the bombs did not explode. Then, two of the 19 ‘September 11’ bombers where seen with one of the region most wanted man Yazid Sufaat here in Malaysia. The linkage of the much dreaded Al Qaedah has now have it networks alive and active here. The more recent was the last Thaupusam where bombs were planted to kill and cause a lot of pain on innocent non Muslims at the Batu Caves Complex, considered by these militants as ‘Jihad’. The other designated target is the Kwang Yin Temple in Penang.

Terrorism is war against the innocent people. Unlike a declared war where the target is the combatants, victims of acts of terrorism are innocent men, women, children and common old folks on the street. ISA is the perfect ‘preventive tool’ against these seriously sick people, who religiously believed that ‘suicide bombing’ is their ultimate ‘ticket of redemption from this world of infidelity and passage to heavens’. Many of most developed societies are envious of the ISA and a ‘preventive tool’ against the war of terrorism.

In the 1990s, ISA has been deployed against cessation advocate Sabahans. The most notable personality is Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, who was then the younger brother of Kadazan-Dusun Chief Minister Dato’ Panglima Joseph Pairin Kitingan. ISA was also the defense mechanism against the attempts to exploit the influx of illegal immigrant workers into Sabah from Indonesia and the Phillipines.

One of the most notable personality detained under ISA for ‘threat to national security’ is Bukhary Syed Tahir, who was the business partner of Scomi Precision Engineering Sdn. Bhd. In 2006, he was detained for activities of ‘sale of centrifuge’, which was believed to be parts in making nuclear devices for the Libyans.

The more recent personality arrested under the ISA is the regional most wanted terrorist, Mas Selamat Kastari. He was arrested in Johor after managing to escape from Singaporean detention and is the mastermind behind the Bali bombing.  The arrest of Mas Selamat held under ISA is the perfect demonstration of the Police’s ability in tracking down most wanted international criminal and the co-operation that they can generate with international intelligence agencies.

The arrest of 10 personalities linked to JI and Al Qaedah in mid July include Ayman Al Bakak, which is a most wanted man in Syria and Pakistan for terrorism-linked activities.

The Star report on the arrest:

Sunday July 18, 2010

Terrorist recruiting students held under ISA

KUALA LUMPUR: One of the country’s most wanted terror suspects who is allegedly involved in recruiting university students for Jemaah Islamiah (JI) has been detained under the Internal Security Act.

Mohamad Fadzullah Abbul Razak, who graduated from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) in Skudai, Johor, in 2005, was arrested by police officers from the Special Task Force (Operations and Counter Terrorism) Department on Thursday.

It is learnt that the 28-year-old engineer, whom the task force had been hunting since 2007, had just returned from Thailand when he was arrested by the officers at a house in Keramat here.

Sources said the man had allegedly been recruiting undergraduates from UTM as well as other institutions of higher learning into JI and had even sent several of them to participate in “holy wars.”

According to them, intelligence reports showed one of his recruits was a 17-year-old student.

The Task Force’s director, Commissioner Datuk Mohamed Fuzi Harun, confirmed the arrest but declined to elaborate.

Last January, his department arrested 10 students for alleged involvement in terrorism activities.

Investigations revealed that certain people had infiltrated institutions of higher learning and universities to recruit students to participate in “holy wars” in the region.

The students, most of them foreigners, have since been deported as investigations showed they were planning to blow up some non-Muslim places of worship in Selangor and in Penang.

Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan had said then police would continue to monitor the activities of certain individuals suspected of being involved in such activities.

He had also instructed his officers to meet with universities and institutions of higher learning to brief them on the latest incident where undergraduates had been targeted by certain terror groups.


A similar device designed to explode along Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar on 'Millenium New Year'

The arrest of Fadlullah confirms the story about the preparation of the planned-but-failed Bangsar Bombing on 31December 1999. Six bombs were planted all along Jalan Telawi 3 the ‘Millenium New Year’ celebrations. The stroke of luck, the bombs did not explode. Otherwise the ‘Bangsar Bombing’ would have been far more devastating as compared to the ‘Bali Bombings’.

The arrest also proven that Malaysian terrorists committed armed robberies (in the most recent cases in Puchong and Klang) to fund their operations in places like Southern Thailand. This uncovered web of active terrorist operations internationally, which is a very worrying factor for the national security.

The present terrorist situation is history repeating itself. However, the difference is that as compared as during the war against communism 50-60 years ago, the modern and sophisticated communications enable the movement of information is to be very efficient and the physical movement and networking of the militants in the region and as far away as Afghanistan is very seamless.

The fact is that there is no law for someone to withdraw instructions to build a bomb from the internet or anything along the lines. For a group of people to meet up and plan to build a bomb is also not lawful. And yet the terrorism and the new age ‘war’ is all about ordinary people taking guerilla type war against civillians and the innocent.

ISA is the tool that made Malaysia able to preserve democracy. It was one of the most effective tool against the communism threat for forty years. It is still relevant in the new age of terrorism, which Malaysians are not spared from. 163 detention for terrorism linked activities is a proof that it is a very important preventive tool against crime of humanities.

Efforts against ISA by groupings such as GMI and Suaram would just weaken the defense of the realm, for the narrow politics of the minority. In essence, ISA is very much a necessary tool of the majority to preserve democracy.

*Updated Friday 20 September 2010 1430hrs

Published in: on August 18, 2010 at 18:44  Comments (34)  

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34 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Quite surprising that our PM and KDN Minister seems not to be vocal, or rather, seem keeping themselves quiet.

    Of late there are many demands from certain quarters, latest being from MCA’s Chua Soi Lek, which really capable of stirring the harmony.

    No decisive words from PM & KDN Minister to ease off the tension that seem to build up?


  2. Betul ka 911 sebab militan ? atau hanya propaganda Amerika & CIA ?
    baca sini :

    • I sat all night to watch the carnage on CNN. Never in a single moment it cross my mind the arabs from Saudi did it.

      I understand, none of the pilots who being accused to have taken part, came from Iraq. I cant figure it out the connection between invading Iraq and 911. Can any body shed a light?


      • First question came to my mind when watching the plane hit the tower was that – how on earth someone could take such a clean video shot:-

        1. He must be at the right location and precisely at the right moment

        2. He must have a video camera ready

        3. He must have known when the plane was coming (counting seconds are very crucial in this case)

        4. He must have known the flight path, from where and heading where

        5. He must be a very steady professional video shooter (imaging if you were him trying to take a video shot of a very sudden event taking place – Has your video been switch on? At the right mode? Are you not struggling to point your video in what direction? Do you know what exactly you are going to capture? etc and all these within split seconds decisions)

        In another words, I truly believe the video shot was done by a man who knew what was going to happen long before it happened. Thus a clean video shot from precisely at the right place and the right moment with all equipment ready to capture and he knew very well what was going to be captured.

  3. ISA sentiasa relevan hanya nama nya yang berlainan kalau tidak masa kan USA,UK, Australia, Singapura adakan akta seperti di negara mereka. Hanya kepada yang jahil dan tidak merasa seksanya sesatu negara itu membangun semula setelah musnah di sebabkan ketidakadanye makenisme mencegah kemusnahan itu . Jesteru itu ISA itu perlu hanya penguatkuasaan perlu pengawasan.

  4. Pengawasan oleh siapa? ISA di Malaysia biasa digunakan bukan untuk militan pelampau tetapi pada ahli politik pembangkang sebagai alat mengekalkan kuasa atau menakutkan orang yang menentang kerajaan.

    • Sila bagi contoh seorang pemimpin Pembangkang yang TIDAK MELAKUKAN HASUTAN TETAPI DI TAHAN BAWAH ISA sebagai semata “tindakan politik untuk mengekalkan kuasa”?

      • Hasutan itu bergantung kepada siapa yang memberi definasi. Pada kebanyakan masa jika pihak kerajaan terutamanya UMNO yang berasa terdesak, pihak pembangkang pula yang akan diugut dengan ISA demi untuk mendiamkan mereka.

        Satu contoh yang terbaik adalah Teresa Kok. Beliau telah ditahan kerana dikatakan telah menghantar memorandum kerana masalah azan yang terlalu kuat melalui pembesar suara. Walaupun perkara ini telah terbukti tidak melibatkan Teresa Kok dan diapi-api serta difitnah oleh akhbar Utusan Melayu, pihak kerajaan telah menahan Teresa Kok di bawah ISA demi ‘melindungi’ beliau. Demi untuk mendapat sokongan Melayu, UMNO / Kerajaan sanggup menggunakan ISA atas apa jua alasan.

        Saya masih boleh terima jika ISA diguna atas pelampau militan seperti yang dinyatakan dalam rencana awak tetapi jika digunakan atas ahli politik, ini sama sekali tidak boleh diterima. Mengapa tidak saja membawa pembangkang ke makamah seperti Anwar?

      • Yes you would agree if the ISA is used to protect the chingkies arse while they insult, humilate and plunder this country as if it belongs to their fathers alone.

        ingatlah bangsa kau British pun tak mahu..Did you see the history channel and see how the British dealt with the chinese communist and their sypathisers. How the chinese kill their own kind for reward money?


    • “perkara ini telah terbukti tidak melibatkan Teresa Kok” – apa buktinya? Anda lebih tahu dari apa yang Polis tahu? Anda ada angkatan untuk menyiasat menyelidek keaadaan dimasa itu? Anda ada disitu pada masa itu?

      Teresa Kok dengan penglibatanya seperti didakwa bukan sahaja mencabul sensitiviti agama, mengapikan perasaan kaum Islam akibat menyuarakan bantahan terhadap azan dinegara yang agama resmiya Islam, tindakanya juga merbahaya kapada ketenteraman negara. Ia boleh menyebabkan pergaduhan kaum yang boleh merebak. Tindakannya boleh dianggap subversif dan ISA boleh digunakan keatas anasir-ansir subversif, seperti kominis dan penjahat terrorist yang mahu memporak perandakan keadaan.

      Suasana tegang ditempat dan dimasa itu mungkin menyebabkan Polis membawanya ketempat lain untuk menjaga keselamatannya. Tetapi pembangkang memang sentiasa memulas dan membengkokkan hal itu mengatakan bermacam macam.

    • hey 2nd class, are we talking about the same teresa kok who caused a diplomatic rift with china over the ‘CHINESE’ woman in the lock-up??

      the same ‘pompuan’ who got the sleepy PM to apologise for nothing??

      the same female who QUESTIONED the Jawi letterings on signboards??

      the same homo sapien who was photograped with 5 roasting piglets after winning 5 states??

      the same ‘chabo’ who labelled prison food as “makanan anjing”??

      See, in all these instances she portrayed herself as truly CHINESE not Malaysian at all.

      So how can the rakyat relate to her as “ONE of us”. ISA was used as a warning against her not to stir any more racially sensitive issues.

      She was released RIGHT, so what’s the fuss?? Many others are still under detention eating ‘dog food’ quietly and many are MALAYS.

      You see, terea kok is perceived as overly pro-chinese, anti-jawi, anti-azan and associated with pig-roasting as well as dog-food.

      And she BLINDLY resorted to involve a foreign country in her “justice for the chinese”??. Her loyalties to Malaysia is being QUESTIONED.

      2nd class, you and your ‘persekutuan’ should look for another hero to fight for your interests.

      P.S. I thought you were banned!!

      • “eating ‘dog food’ quietly and many are MALAYS.”

        Some of the Malays were put in there so as to stop them from making the chingkies a little uncomfortable and aprehensive.

        The amaran guy is quick to take action against the malays


  5. Ho, ho Big Dog

    You are really funny!

    • What’s so funny?

      You heard the expression “Little amuses the nuisance, what more the fool”?

      • Dear Nono

        Low quality propaganda amuses me greatly.
        And harcore pro-regime people who actually come to believe the propaganda their propagandists propagate amuse me even more.

        You all going to spend millions more to get APCO to teach you more effective methods??

        “You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time”.

        Phua Kai Lit

  6. bigdog,
    2nd class ni buka je buta hati tp buta segala2nye. penat je kau buat karangan berjela tp dia tetap jugak nak pegang kata2 pembangkang. kan elok kalau manusia mcm ni ada dpn aku boleh kita lempang ramai2.

  7. Di Malaysia mereka berani cakap. Tapi kalau di selatan sana mereka membisu seribu bahasa.

  8. No other way. Keep ISA. Don’t amend, don’t modify.

    It’s a tool for governance. It’s for protection of the people against subversive, communist and terroristic activities by anti-national elements. It’s for preservation of law and order from those who want to disturb it, to make it topsy turvy.

    Damn it, man, even bloody USA has ISA-like detention without trial. Right now there are over 200 detainees without trial in Guatanamo Bay.

    • ISA is very different from Patriot Act.

      One can be detained under ISA conduct that is deemed “threat to national security”, which incl ‘incite and instigate’.

      When the Police detain anyone under ISA, their families or embassy will be informed on why they are detained and their exact where abouts. The process is documented and has been acknowledged. After the full interview is completed, the detainees are allowed to meet family members and even their lawyers.

      In detention, most detainees are free to do what ever they want. More often than not, they under go a series of counselling and rehabilitation program and whenever the Police are convinced that they are no longer a ‘menace to society’, they are freed.

      Detainees of Guantanamo Bay under the Patriot Act are tortured (physically, emotional and psychologically) and shackled. No rehabilitation at all. I personally heard this from Sami El Hajj and Moazzam Begg when I moderated the ‘War and Media’ forum, during last November’s KL War Crimes Conference in PWTC.

      Under Patriot Act, the Americans cam simply nabbed a visitor arriving from Asia, Africa, Europe etc just by sight. They can even invoke an incursion mission and extract anyone, illegally under the Patriot Act.

      Most of the Guantanamo Bay detainees are people US Forces forcefully extracted in other lands (outside USA) such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan etc. Since when US Forces can impose their laws to Non Americans in other sovereign lands?

      • You are right, BD. The US Patriot Act is even worse, isn’t it? More “draconian” in terms of respecting the rights of others.

        If the US, so-called the most liberal country in the world, can have “draconian” detention without trial in Guantanamo Bay and the almost willy-nally nabbing of visitors under their Patriot Act, why can’t we retain ISA intact?

  9. The Utusan Malaysia’s front-page headline today “Nama Guan Eng ganti Agong – Disebut dalam doa khutbah Jumaat: Umno Pulau Pinang bantah” is again another fitnah. The UMNO paper is trying to provoke racial clash. If ISA and Seditious Act are ever to be used, they should be used against the Utusan. Utusan is again proven a propaganda paper to fool the Malay in order to induce hatred again the non Malay. This may enable UMNO to have excuse of using ISA in the name of ‘national security’ if there is any harsh reaction from the Pakatan. Sorry won’t work anymore unless the Malay is stupid enough to believe the Utusan lies.

    • You wanna call for a Commission of Enquiry?

      Have you asked yourself whether any one dared to lodge Police Reports? No harm to Police report it if you have the fact or are sure that it did not happen. Ada berani ka?

      Talk about “the Malay is stupid enough to believe the Utusan lies.” You are a stupid fool for saying those, man.

  10. Malangnya diorang tak mahu hijrah kesana. Dia tahu teruk hisup disana tak boleh bersuara. Big Brother is on the wall everywhere. Tu fasal diorang naik tocang disini.

    2nd Class kepala hotak dia. Dia tak hormatkan Perlembagaan negara. Tak akui Kedudukan Istimewa Melayu. Tapi sudah gunakan kerakyatan Malaysia. Kalau tak mahu hormatkan Kedudukan Istimewa Melayu, serah baliklah kerakyatan dia. Sebab itu quid pro quo atau balasan kpd yang satu lagi.

    Mengarut punya 2nd Class.

  11. Aku LETIH la.. ini lahanat 2ndClass layan banyak pun tak guna perkataan yang elok baginya ialah ANAK HARAMJADAH!Emak dia kenan songket dengan BABI maka lahirlah dia, setengah orang setengah BABI!

    • Kalau bukan Melayu ini adalah setengah orang stengah BABI, apakah kategori Melayu yang memerlukan tongkat untuk segala aspek kehidupan jika dibandingkan dengan setengah orang setengah BABI? Aku tak tau tapi aku tahu mesti lebih rendah dari setengah orang setengah BABI. Malah golongan setengah orang setengah BABI ni yang memberikan cukai yang terbanyak untuk membela orang and kuncu UMNO.

      • ish ish ish

        Cukai tak seberapa, jika dibandingkan dengan bayaran sewa yang harus dikenakan pada semua pekerja asing yang telah menggunakan TANAH MELAYU utk kaup harta kekayaan.

        Jika kaum pendatang ni tidak hormat pada perlembagaan, maka wajib menarik balik kerakyatan Malaysia – dgn serta merta mereka ini menjadi pekerja asing yg menetap tanpa kebenaran.

        Jika dikira wang sewa yg bermakan zaman, aisehman, Melayu akan kaya serta merta.

        Dan yg menguntungkan lagi – terhapuslah pendatang yg lupa daratan ni.

  12. […] that anyone knew, another group planted pipe bombs in Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar for the ‘New Millenium’ party on 31 December […]

  13. […] Musa’s leadership, the fight against terrorism in Malaysia was contained. The arrest of Mas Selamat (being the most wanted man in Singapore and […]

  14. […] The Police Force is a professional body and should be treated as such. It is the oldest Federal Government agency.  If the public expect integrity, then the Police Force must be allowed independence in their work. They already have enough laws under the Federal Constitution to carry out their duties, which include the dreaded but democratically enacted and time again proven to be very important tool for the defense of the realm, the Internal Security Act. […]

  15. […] (ISA) yang dikira sebagai ‘lapuk’ dan ‘tidak demokratik’ hari ini merupakan alat yang diujudkan oleh proses demokrasi. Ianya berjaya mengekang banyak perbuatan jahat keatas masyarakat dan negara, tanpa memerlukan […]

  16. […] dreaded ISA is being used for the arrest of the ‘Terrible Thirteen’. ‘Democractically-enacted-law-deemed-undemocractic’  the human rights activists dubbed as “draconian” in past has been proven to be a very effective tool for the war […]

  17. […] the past and even at the moment, the Royal Malaysian Police have used the ISA very well as a very effective anti terrorism preventive tool. Many planned acts of terrorism were managed to be foiled because of the good research and […]

  18. […] Extremists and militant religious deviants recruits students for their horrific crimes against humanity. […]

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