Law Minister Walks the Talk

Malaysiakini earlier reported that de facto law minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim has threatened to quit over the continued detention of DAP MP Teresa Kok and blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin. He is highly critical of the old-style politics of creating fear.

In the dialogue that was held on June 1, 2008 between Zaid and journalists, Datuk Zaid had asked the media this: Dare you take on issues that are unpopular with the media owners. On the detention of Sin Chew Daily reporter Tan Hoon Cheng, Ziad is perplexed as how she would constitute a threat to national security. His stand on the matter of the continued detention of Teresa Kok and RPK speaks volumes about his commitment on law reform.

A few weeks ago Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi stated that the media should write the truth and there should be no fear in writing the truth. The arrest of Ms Tan will lead many to believe the Prime Minister truly cannot be trusted on his words.

Detention without trial is not an issue that can ever be taken lightly. It takes away the liberty of a human being. Indeed there may be circumstances under which the use of the ISA may be justified, as when it is a matter of dire national security, like terrorism. But to invoke this Act against a journalist who is merely reporting what she had witnessed is without doubt a cynical act of intimidation that deserves absolute derision. What is more maddening is that the man who had made the incendiary remarks in the first place remains scot free!

The arrest of Ms Tan is a new low in the administration of justice in Malaysia and a severe blow to the quest for media freedom.

The quick release of Ms Tan shows that the government came to realize it had miscalculated badly and people will not accept what has been done to Ms Tan. Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar’s explanation that Ms Tan was arrested to “ensure her safety” is bereft of any logic and not for the first time.

There has been outrage from various quarters but not much from the mainstream media itself. They must decry this blatant act of intimidation on journalists. This is not acceptable. Enough is enough.

Sign petition for Media Freedom at http://benar.org .

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24 Responses to Law Minister Walks the Talk

  1. thepplway says:

    Abdullah should tell the world the truth who sign the ISA detention warrant?
    Or under what or who pressure he did it ?

  2. Siew Eng says:

    Unfortunate choice of words by Mkini. He didn’t threaten to quit. A threat would be like this: “I will quit if you don’t accept my views”, or “if you don’t follow as I say, I will quit”.

    Whereas he said:

    “I don’t want to make it difficult for him (Abdullah). If my views are inconsistent or unsuitable (to that of the cabinet’s), I can leave the government.

    “It (the crackdown) is a setback (on my work). The government wanted to change certain things, otherwise they don’t need me (to be in the cabinet),” he said.

  3. Shit says:

    Datuk Zaid,……you have my respects. You are a rarity in the BN cabinet. Lets hope you can survive long enough to serve the rakyat.

  4. SKC says:

    A lot is happening nowadays, history is in the making, stand up and be counted, this is where it matters. BE PART OF MALAYSIA HISTORY.

  5. mut says:

    So what does “leaving the government” mean if not quitting as cabinet minister?

  6. k.tan says:

    If he is sincere then he should tell the PM that the 2 detained under ISA should be released unconditionally and immediately.Also ask him to tell botak Akhbar to apologise to the Sin Chew reporter for wrongful detention.If Badahwi disregards his advice,then do the honorable thing- RESIGN.

  7. Robert Teh says:

    I just read from Anileto’s Blog, that Zaid Ibrahim has tendered his resignation from the Govt. today.

    Bravo! Zaid.

  8. Co-incidenter says:

    Sekiranya Datuk Zaid meletak jawatan disebabkan perkara ini, saya anggap ini adalah tindakan yang mulia, melawan kezaliman. Moga-moga Allah terus mendorong beliau ke jalan yang diredaiNya.
    Memisahkan makhluk Allah dari ahli-ahli keluarga masing-masing menggunakan tangkapan tanpa bicara dan belum disahkan kesalahan mereka bukanlah cara yang diredai Allah, tambahan pula dilakukan dalam bulan Ramadan. Lagi amat menyedihkan RPK ditahan dalam pukul 1.10 tengahari hari Jumaat ketika umat Islam termasuk pegawai-pegawai polis berkenaan sepatutnya berada di masjid menunaikan solat Jumaat. MasyaAllah…….apa dah jadi. Ya Allah bimbinglah pengikut-pengikut Islam Hadari ke jalan yang Kau redai. Amin.

  9. Jin Hou says:

    He just tendered his resignation. Wow… truly a gem. I admire his integrity.

  10. lim geok kuan says:

    sad for i really had said and say it again, i respect this man.
    there coucld be a few more like him but time will tell when they will pop up and be counted as walking the talk. So friends, please do nit generalise all of the minister are bad or apple polish. Also all Malays thinks and act like umno people. There are alot of those more than umno members who are very good and loving people not taking the bait from umno stupidity.
    Salam hormat

  11. George says:

    I salute you! Zaid!

    u are more braver than MCA, Gerakan leaders who only disagree with ISA but no ball to resign!

    UMNO, MCA, Gerakan and other cabinet members are so selffish! They do not realise that one of these day they or their immediate family will become the next victim of ISA!

  12. wawa says:

    Sad day for Malaysia and Malaysian. Stop abusing the use of ISA. All people with right frame of mind knows that this is not right. Charge them under available laws if you think they are wrong. Unwillingness implicitly means what are written are facts, all from the mouth of those concern parties with authority.The excuse given by the si botak is simply rubbish. He is insulting general public intelligent. Maybe he think is a genius whilst all of us are moroon.

    The way those in authority behave will results in more votes lost in future.

  13. Brian says:

    Dear Dato Zaid,

    You have given us faith in humanity, at least what few there is left in the BN. Nevertheless now that you have started the ball rolling let the other zaid’s come out of the woodwork. Please chaps you owe it to Malaysia to halt the rot setting in. Lets see Shirils, Rais,the Gerakan (en block)Jui Mengs, Nijars do the right thing.

    See you all in PR for a better Malaysia

  14. Yili says:

    I salute Zaid. “Ambo tabik mu sengoti !”

  15. kristian Ham says:

    Zaid Matey, I Salute YOU ! You are a true Gentleman, may Allah be with and your

    family. Take care Datuk.

    From: Auckland, New Zealand

  16. saya sanjung banar engkau ZAID. UMNO sekarang ini macam macam buat, terlalu mengganas, tak fekir BN hampir hampir kalah dalam PR 12. INGAT rakyat makin ganas nanti diPR Ke 13. Mengganas lah kamu……..&????. MELATOOOOOP Nanti.

  17. Ben says:

    Is Zaid Ibrahim really a good UMNO member? It seems he has walked his talk and is now willing to resign. Perhaps there are good UMNO members who are for the rakyat’s feelings. Feelings of social injustice, getting rid of endemic corruption, meritocracy, NEP for all races. Perhaps these good UMNO members are afraid to voice their opinions because to do so would be taken as acts against the UMNO’s Supreme Council consensus agreement. And now we have Hishammudin uttering the same disagreement of using the ISA on civilians.

    Hmmmm…..I don’t know if these latest developments are populist acts?

  18. slim8 says:

    Zaid’s caliber is highly respected. One who has the guts to uphold justice

  19. Percy says:

    By using the ISA on innocent people who are just carrying out their duty, sincerely serving the people and telling the truth, clearly shows that the present government has lost its sense of direction. The internal strife that is going on in UMNO has reduced its leaders to feel jittery, deseperate and confused. They are unable to think clearly any more, nor are they able to differentiate between right and wrong, resulting in innocent people being targeted as enemies of the nation while the trouble makers go scott free. Their actions do not match their words.

  20. reasonablyforeseeable says:

    In a era when lawyers are more ambulance chasers than agents of justice, this is something beautiful.

  21. Yili says:

    “A few weeks ago Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi stated that the media should write the truth and there should be no fear in writing the truth.”

    Pak Lah is sleep talking again.

  22. Hebat Shafie Afdal… ISA memang tidak perlu dikaji semula

    SEPATUTNYA, kabinet Malaysia mempunyai semua menteri yang berpendirian setanding dengan Menteri Perpaduan Kebudayaan Kesenian dan Warisan, Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Afdal yang mempertahankan Akta

    Keselamatan Dalam Negeri (ISA) supaya tidak perlu dikaji semula kerana ia masih diperlukan di negara berbilang kaum dan agama seperti Malaysia.

    Menurut Shafie yang juga Ahli MT Umno, ISA mempunyai peranannya tersendiri dalam menangani pelbagai isu yang timbul daripada struktur masyarakat Malaysia yangberbilang kaumdan agama bagi memastikan kententeraman kaum dan kesejahteraan negara sentiasa terjamin.

    “Tak perlu di nilai semula. Apa yang penting ialah kita kena melihat kebaikan ISA,” katanya kepada pemberita selepas majlis berbuka puasa bersama masyarakat setempat di Semporna baru-baru ini.

    Sebelum ini, terdapat beberapa suara dari pembangkang dan penyokong kerajaan (termasuk menteri dan pemimpin-pemimpin parti komponen BN) yang mengesyorkan supaya ISA dikaji semula.. Malahan, ada juga yang secara terang-terang tidak bersetuju ISA digunakan untuk menahan wartawan.

    Sepatutnya, 23 juta rakyat dan penduduk Malaysia (tidak termasuk orang asing) tidak perlu gusar dengan ISA kerana ISA bukan dikenakan terhadap penunggang motosikal yang tidak memakai topi keledar atau, pemandu kereta yang tidak memakain tali pinggang keselamatan, tetapi ia digunakan sebagai pencegahan kepada ‘rusuhan’ dan keadaan yang tidak menjamin keselamatan masyarakat.

    ISA juga tidak digunakan setiap bulan, sebaliknya pihak polis mengambil langkah berhati-hati dna cukup teliti untuk menguatkuasakan undang-undang ini. Malangnya, ada menteri (bukan Menteri Dalam Negeri) yang membuat komen ketidakwajaran penggunaan ISA ini.

    Sepatutnya Teresa Kok, wartawan Tan Chee Hong dan Raja Petra Kamaruddin ‘berbangga’ kerana ditahan di bawah ISA dan jika benar dihidangkan dengan ‘makanan anjing’ kerana mereka ‘memilih jalan ini’ kerana tingkah laku mereka sendiri. Apakah Teresa Kok tidak merasakan dia ‘menyinggung’ perasaan kaum lain (selain dari Cina) ketika dia menurunkan ‘tanda jalan bertulisan jawi’ untuk digantikan dengan papan tanda yang tiada tulisan jawi?

    Polis juga cukup berpengalaman ketika menjalankan risikan dan mustahil, tanpa apa-apa sebab yang boleh dipercayai ‘untuk menahan’ seseorang. Saya sendiri, jika tulisan-tulisan saya dilihat menghasut dan ada sebab mempercayai, saya menghasut, saya reda untuk memilih ditahan di bawah ISA, jika difikirkan itu sahaja yang boleh menyelamatkan perpaduan dan keharmonian kaum di negara ini.

    Ketika Tuan Guru Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat tidak mahu Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim ditahan di bawah ISA kerana dikatakan mengancam ekonomi dan keselamatan negara, tidak pula Nik Aziz menasihatkan Anwar supaya menghentikan ‘lakonan tidak perlu’ yang dilakukan selama ini, hingga menyebabkan situasi politik negara menjadi tidak menentu.

    Lim Kit Siang yang kelihatan berhempas pulas membidas tindakan kerajaan menahan Teresa Kok di bawah ISA juga tidak dilihat merosakkan ekonomi dan keselamatan negara, sebagai mana yang dilakukan Anwar, tidak sepatutnya ‘risau’ dengan ISA.

    Amatlah baik, sebagai orang yang pernah di tahan di bawah ISA, Kit Siang menasihatkan Teresa supaya tidak melakukan perbuatan-perbuatan yang boleh menyebabkan ISA ‘menjemputnya’ ke dalam. Bukankah Teresa bekas Setiausaha Politik kepada Kit Siang?

    Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi sepatutnya mempunyai anggota kabinet seperti Shafie. Mungkin dalam banyak hal lain, Shafie tidak terpakai, tetapi dalam isu ISA, Shafie adalah ‘menteri terbaik’ yang Pak Lah ada, pada fikiran saya.

    Ketika Menteri Dalam Negeri dan Pak Lah diserang hebat ketika isu ISA timbul baru-baru ini, saya memang tertunggu-tunggu kalau-kalau ada menteri yang ’sanggup bangkit’ mempertahankan ISA dan kerajaan. Ada suara datangnya dari Menteri Luar, Datuk Seri Dr. Rais Yatim yang juga dikatakan amat pakar dalam undang-undang, tetapi dia juga meminta ISA dikaji semula, ketika isu ini sedang hangat.

    Bercakap kenalah ikut adat. Ada masa yang sesuai kita bercakap, ada masanya, tidak. Tempat juga kena tengok sebelum bercakap. Masalahnya, ada menteri-menteri ikut suka hati bila hendak bercakap, tidak ikut adat, tidak tengok tempat dan kesesuaian masa.

    Isunya, Pak Lah seorang yang lembut dan berhemah. Tidak terlalu mengongkong. Tetapi ‘anak-anak buahnya’ silap faham. Mereka ambil kesempatan. Apa yang mereka cakap, akhirnya menjadi senjata digunakan pembangkang menikam BN. Contoh paling ketara, tindakan Zaid Ibrahim yang gagal untuk kembali menjadi Ketua Umno Bahagian Kota Bharu, membidas ISA – tanpa tahu bahawa undang-undang inilah sebenarnya yang telah terbukti berjaya menyelamatkan negara ini, sejak peristiwa hitam 13 Mei 1969.

    Cuba bertanya kepada Anwar Ibrahim, kenapa dia ditahan di bawah ISA suatu ketika dahulu? Adakah kerana dia sedang menunggang motosikal tanpa memakai topi keledar? Begitu juga dengan Datuk Ibrahim Ali, Datuk Tajuddin Abdul Rahman, Fahmi Ibrahim dan beberapa orang lagi… apakah kesalahan yang mereka lakukan hingga menyebabkan mereka di tahan di bawah ISA?

    Oleh Zainal Yusof

  23. ruyom says:

    A tragic yet hilarious court proceeding took place in the Ipoh high court on September 8 when the judge blatantly contradicts himself in dismissing a suit brought by Perak PR speaker against the state BN speaker.

    Judge Azahar rejected Sivakumar suit to seek damages from Ganesan for assault and false imprisonment during the chaotic and violent state assembly sitting on May 7. He said the court had no jurisdiction to hear the case due to Federal Constitution Article 72 stipulating that – the validity of any proceeding in any state assembly cannot be questioned in any court.

    And yet in the same breath he declared that – the decision of the legislative assembly to remove the plaintiff as speaker and to appoint the defendant was conclusive and had been fairly determined by the state assembly on May 7, 2009.

    Now, the crux of the entire contention between the two speakers is: who is on the right side of law in the violent tussle for the speaker chair on May 7?

    By declaring Ganesan as the rightful speaker, Judge Azahar is in fact making a legal judgment. Is that not a breach of Article 72? How come he has no jurisdiction to hear Sivakumar grievances but has jurisdiction to judge Ganesan as legal speaker? Is that not a contradiction of the highest order?

    Apart from this atrocious double standard applied by the judge, the main flaw of the judgment is the inability to differentiate between assembly proceeding and criminal behaviour. What Sivakumar is seeking is redress for the unlawful physical violence inflicted on him. And Article 72 covers only businesses conducted in the assembly – not unlawful and criminal act.

    Judge Azahar has therefore wrongly used Article 72 to come to his judgment. To make it very clear that this is the case, I will quote in full the relevant clauses in Article 72 (Clauses 1 & 2) and explain the reasons why.

    Clause 1: The validity of any proceedings in the Legislative Assembly of any State shall not be questioned in any court.

    Clause 2: No body shall be liable to any proceedings in any court in respect of anything said or vote given by him when taking part in proceedings of the Legislative Assembly of any State or of any committee thereof.

    Note the operative words “proceedings” in Clause 1 and “anything said or any vote given” in Clause 2.

    It is abundantly clear what Article 72 refers to are the speeches and resolutions made in the assembly, not any criminal or unlawful act.

    But what happened on May 7 was complete pandemonium and chaos in the assembly hall. There was no chance to conduct any business at all, least of all any resolution passed. In fact the only business done on that day was the address by the Perak Regent Raja Nazrin Shah.

    And how was Sivakumar replaced by Ganesan during that pandemonium?

    While Sivakumar was sitting in the speaker chair, hordes of police personnel entered the assembly hall, allegedly on Ganesan order, and physically lifted, carried, dragged and moved speaker Sivakumar into a room where he was forcibly detained until the assembly sitting was over.

    And as soon as Sivakumar was removed from the hall, police personnel escorted Ganesan into the hall and ushered him to the speaker chair, with police personnel making a line to stand guard in front of Ganesan to prevent any assemblymen from reaching the speaker chair.

    The entire tragedy-comedy was stage managed by the police, and it is therefore more appropriate to say that while Sivakumar was elected by the assembly through a reolution, Ganesan was physically planted into the speaker chair by the police. And that about sums up what happened on that tragic hilarious day.

    And since Judge Azahar appears to be so respectful of the constitutional principle of separation of power as demonstrated by his professed adherence to Article 72, is it not puzzling that he should have chosen to ignore completely the heinous violation of the doctrine of separation of power when hordes of police personnel invaded the assembly to physically replace one speaker with another?

    Is it not another shining example of double standard in the Malaysia Boleh tradition?

    After the series of judicial decisions that appear to wantonly trample the constitution and the law following the shameful power grab in Perak, the latest low represented by Azahar decision makes us wonder how much lower our judiciary can sink into, as many more judicial decisions in the same series are still pending.

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