Only one BN lawmaker supports ISA review
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 23 — A Barisan Nasional MP and two independents are among 77 mostly opposition legislators who have so far signed a petition to the Prime Minister calling for a debate in Parliament to review or repeal the Internal Security Act.
The anti-ISA parliamentary caucus did not, however, reveal the name of the BN MP, but chairman Lim Kit Siang of the DAP said he hopes to get more MPs from the BN to sign the petition and make it a bipartisan effort.
Lim told reporters in the Parliament lobby today that 77 MPs had signed a petition calling for Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to prioritise a motion to debate the review and repeal of the Internal Security Act when the House reconvenes next Wednesday.
“This includes one BN MP, two independents and 74 Pakatan Rakyat MPs,” the Ipoh Timur MP said, explaining later that other PR legislators were out of town and unable to sign the petition.
He also revealed that the two independents were Datuk Dr Chua Soon Bui and Eric Enchin Majimbun, the MPs from SAPP, which recently exited the BN coalition.
“If more than a third of MPs show their desire to debate this issue, then the Prime Minister must make it a top priority if parliamentary democracy has any meaning here. If he says no, he is completely irresponsible.
“I regret that only one BN MP has supported the motion,” the DAP parliamentary leader said, adding that it was not even a motion to abolish the ISA but merely to debate it.
Caucus secretary Fong Po Kuan also stated that 23 BN MPs had been approached so far to sign the petition but only one agreed.
PKR Sungai Petani MP Johari Abdul said that “some personally agreed but did not dare to sign as they needed to see what those above had to say. Maybe in three or four days they will change their mind.”
“At their national delegates conferences, both Gerakan and MCA called for a repeal of the ISA. By not supporting this petition their ministers and MPs have betrayed the trust of their delegates,” Lim added.
He also said that a second batch of signatures would be sent after the Deepavali break.
Strange bunch of lawmakers (aka MPs) we have in parliament.
Makes me wonder if the entire BN lot, sans one courageous ‘braveheart‘, have any conscience of their own without having to look over their shoulder at big brother ‘I am not a bully‘ UMNO.
And I honestly thought that there’s some sort of parliamentary immunity accorded to these esteemed YBs.
But then again, the obvious answer is that the UMNO-led BN patronage system have usurped the hands of natural justice to prevail in this nation.
‘Evil shall prevail when good men (and women) do nothing‘ as the old saying goes and just like ‘casting pearls to swines‘, why do the electorate keep casting their votes for eunuchs to scurry aimlessly in the corridors of power?
Are we therefore at a critical juncture in Malaysian history when civil society should rise en masse on the streets to somehow get lawmakers to push for democratic reforms in parliament?
Must there be more street demonstrations before holistic human values are resurrected and placed within the inner fabric of our society for this nation to progress?
All the signs were evident since the Penguin Walk of 26th September ’07, through 10-Eleven, Hindraf, Freedom Walk and the Tsunamic GE12.
Our elected representatives i.e. the Executive and the Legislature have the noble duty to put right what is intrinsically wrong and by any definition, the ISA was never meant to exist in perpetuity. By the same token, when the CPM surrendered in 1989, the ISA should have been discarded in recognition of a great achievement which no other nation had the privilege to accomplish.
It is therefore ironic that an archaic piece of ‘preventive law’ such as the ISA may push civil society to confront its own government. Again and again, until true justice is upheld by nobler lawmakers.