A is for Anwar Ibrahim! On September 2nd 1998, then deputy prime minister and finance minister Anwar Ibraham was sacked from his posts on and expelled from UMNO. He was he was acused of sexual indecency, hindering police investigations and sedition and arrested on September 20 and held for nine days under the country’s Internal Security Act (ISA) before being taken charged with three counts of corruption and four of homosexual acts. Anwar had visible bruising to the face and neck, having been beaten unconscious during his detention under the ISA.
Anwar is now Prime Minister and once again Finance Minister. His party PKR, fights under the logo of an eye which alluses to his abuse while under ISA detention. Surely, Anwar and PKR will live up to their many promises to review SOSMA and do justice to their logo, which thrusts upon the conscience and consciousness of the electiorate, the ethos of reform! Surely He, his party and his PH coalition will make it their higest priority to review and revise, if nor repeal, this draconian act.
Nirmala, mother of two SOSMA detainees reminds the Prime Minister, “Prime Minister kita Datuk Sri Anwar Ibrahim, kita perchaya dan kita undi sebab kita nak dapatkan KEADILAN untuk semua orang dekat sini. We need justice for SOSMA and we dont want all our detainees anak-anak kita dekat dalam merana without any bukti.“
While SOSMA may be less onerous than the Internal Security Act 1960 (ISA), the Malaysian Human Rights body, Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi Manusia (SUHAKAM) has identified four provisions in Security Offences (Special Measure) Act 2012 (SOSMA) that violate human rights:
Section 4 does not provide for judicial oversight when the detention period is extended up to 28 days.
Section 5 allows the police to deny immediate access to legal representation for a period up to 48 hours.
Section 6 permits the interception of communication which may infringe personal liberty and right to privacy.
Section 30 compels the court, upon application by the Prosecutor to commit an acquitted person pending exhaustion of all appeals.
The alleged manifesto commitment to repeal SOSMA was dernied by Mahathir Mohamad’s PH government of GE14. Lets hope Anwar Ibrahim’s Unity Government of GE15 will be able to fulfill this goal in the cause of natural justice and human rights..
During the height of the financial and political crises of 1998, artist and curator Wong Hoy Cheong organized a show of protest and criticism titled “Siapa? Apa? Kenapa?”, Artis Pro Activ. I sent in a long faxed scroll piece with the above text. This speculative communication art work indexed the major bones of contention, the conspiracy theories and the possible linkages between the local and global political imperatives and instruments of the day.
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