Speech by Lim Kit Siang at the Head-Shaving Protest by 18 Malaysian defenders of human rights over the unjust and undemocratic ISA detention of Raja Petra Kamaruddin, Hindraf 5 and other ISA detainees organized by Selangor DAP at KL-Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall on Sunday, 21st September 2008 at 11am: 

"No repeal or review of ISA" – will all MCA, Gerakan, Umno and BN Ministers/leaders "blindly accept" Hamid's decision?

Home Minister, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar has shown utter disrespect and contempt for Barisan Nasional Ministers and leaders who had been calling for repeal or review of the draconian and nefarious detention-without-trial law, the Internal Security Act (ISA), when he summarily and categproca;;u declared in Johor Baru yesterday that the ISA will not be reviewed or repealed.

Only yesterday, MCA President Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting announced that the MCA had enough of Umno political hegemony and "will not blindly accept every decision made by BN without being consulted".

He said:

"It is only proper to have a discussion with the parties in the coalition before a decision or policy is made. That is what you call sharing of power and it is in line with the BN spirit…

"However, at times we were not kept in the loop when certain decisions were made. If a decision was made without the knowledge of the MCA, then it is not fair to use BN's motto of 'Friendship and Unity' (Kesetiakawanan)."

Hamid's contemptuous dismissal of calls for repeal or review of the ISA is an open slap in the face for Barisan Nasional Ministers and leaders who had been making such proposals, including the MCA Central Committee which had expressed disagreement with the recent spate of ISA arrests and demanded the release of Raja Petra Kamaruddin.

Are the four MCA Ministers united in their condemnation of the use of ISA against RPK, DAP MP for Seputeh Teresa Kok and Sin Chew Daily reporter Tan Hoon Cheng?

If so, the four MCA Ministers, together with other Umno and BN Ministers who had spoken out against the ISA like the Foreign Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Rais Yatim, should censure Hamid at the next Cabinet meeting for two reasons:

1. for allowing the police to misuse their powers in invoking the ISA against the trio, RPK, Teresa Kok and Tan Hoon Cheng, on completely unjustifiable grounds totally unrelated to national security, subversion or organised violence, especially wnen there are adequate laws in the land to deal with whatever offences the police could level against the trio; and

2. For showing utter disrespect and contempt for other BN Ministers and leaders (particularly from the MCA but also including from Umno) who had called for repeal or review of the ISA by pre-empting any such possibility without any prior consultation with his announcement that there will be neither repeal nor review of ISA!

Will there be any Minister left in the Cabinet who is prepared to put his political future on the line like Datuk Zaid Ibrahim by demanding that he or she would resign from the Cabinet unless it decides on Wednesday to repeal or review the ISA?

In his interview with New Sunday Times, Hamid quoted the former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, who had said when he was Prime Minister "that if any of the cabinet members did not support a collective decision, then the best thing to do was to resign from the government."

Is Hamid suggesting that the MCA Ministers and MCA whose central committee had called for the release of RPK and the review of ISA; Parti Gerakan whose leaders have voiced objection to ISA and the arrests; and Umno Foreign Minister Rais Yatim who yesterday called for a review of ISA, should resign from the Cabinet and even leave the Barisan Nasional for their divergence from the "official line" on ISA?

Any response from the Ministers and leaders of MCA, Gerakan, Umno and BN to Hamid's contemptuous dismissal of their calls for repeal or review of ISA?

* Lim Kit Siang,  DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor