Syed Hamid Clarifies Suaram Official’s Arrest

PUTRAJAYA, Oct 21 (Bernama) — Johor Baharu Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) secretary Cheng Lee Whee was held for questioning under Section 28 of the Internal Security Act (ISA) and not detained under the act, Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar clarified today.

“Please read (the provisions of) the act. The act is not only for detention (of people),” he told reporters after attending the monthly gathering of the ministry, here.

Therefore, she was not an ISA detainee, he said of Cheng, 26, who was arrested on Friday under Section 28 of the act and released 19 hours later after questioning.

Cheng had allegedly posted on the Johor police web portal a statement accusing the police of abuse of power.

Section 28 of the act provides for imprisonment of up to three years and a fine of up to RM5,000, or both, upon conviction.

Sourced from BERNAMA – 21st October ’08

[Bold emphasis is mine}

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Magistrate turns down request to detain activist

JOHOR BARU: A Suaram activist who was detained for allegedly spreading false information against the police concerning the demolition of a squatter colony has been released on police bail.

A magistrate ordered the release of the 26-year-old woman, who was arrested under Section 28 of the Internal Security Act, yesterday.

She is to be present in court to be formally charged on Nov 1.

Johor acting CID chief Asst Comm Che Yusoff Che Ngah said the woman had been held for allegedly spreading false information that the police had abused its powers by using water cannon and vehicles from the Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) to force the residents out of Kampung Baru Plentong Tengah.

She was detained overnight in Pasir Gudang police station before she was brought to the Central police station about 9am on Saturday.

ACP Che Yusoff said police had earlier tried to get a three-day remand order.

We took the action under ISA as we believe that the false information was irresponsible,” he said.

Sourced from the Star – 19th October ’08.

[Yup. Bold stuff mine again]

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Gawd! What’s the difference between holding someone for questioning and detaining the same person for similar purposes.

In both cases, that person would invariably be restrained against his/her free will in order to provide information to the police with regard to the veracity of an incident.

And because that person is ‘detained’ for this very purpose, how will the police determine the honesty and accuracy of any statement obtained in this manner?

Sooo.. How would you describe that period between getting arrested and subsequently released? The twilight zone of non-existence?

The fact that arbitrary interpretations of the ISA are used to explain a person’s detention defeats the original intention of any police investigation i.e. to ascertain the truth of the matter.

Therefore, whenever there are antipodal positions on an issue, why does the RMP  perpetually invoke the ISA, or parts thereof, as their only instrument of choice to unravel the truth?

That’s like saying “We’ll sort of ISA you till we hear words that conform with our line of thinking. Yer savvy?”.

We abhor suffering fools but we’ll make an exception in your case, SHA.