Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you, wisdom from our incoming prime minister.
“There is a very strong raison d’etre for the Internal Security Act. Just look at Mumbai and you realise that we cannot take security lightly.
“The main reason why there have been no serious acts of terrorism in this country is because we have in place the ISA.”
(speaking when on the Riz Khan Show on Al-Jazeera as reported by the New Straits Times- Dec 1 2008)
Najib Abdul Razak, the Blue Ocean Strategy driven Pekan MP and now finance minister – to top his deputy prime ministership, feels that the scourge threatening peace worldwide evades Malaysia, because we have the ISA.
The perverse nervous nature of the inane
For years – and I have repeated endlessly – BN leaders have unashamedly twisted unfortunate events in other nations and point out two things to us, a) We don’t have those in our country, and b) and it is our laws/institutions/policies/riot police which are keeping things that way.
So for Najib ISA keeps terrorism off our shores. Our ability to arrest people without evidence apparently enables us to stop people with the clear intention to harm people.
Let’s follow this logic.
There are those who are distressed by things, and they are intending an act of terrorism. Blowing up a government building perhaps.
The presence of the ISA, helps us resolves the situation how?
That whenever someone shows dissatisfaction with the government – say Hindraf leaders – are arrested, we have preventing acts of terrorism by them? This is not far-fetched, as the government played up the flimsiest connections between the Hindraf leadership and one year later, there is no evidence of any connection.
Have we prevented widespread terrorism this way?
There is a tricky and sinister think and defence of measures like this – and they probably were popular during the Spanish inquisition. That is, if you strap a person to a seat, that person will be incapacitated from doing anything, therefore by extension that person would not be able to commit any crime or act that you fear that person would commit. By these means, you can boast that you stopped the person from committing the feared act – ignoring that that person was punished on suspicion only.
I mean, the Spanish inquisitors are right, none of the thousands of women they killed ever practised witchcraft and other dark trade after their execution.
So pointing to no real terrorist acts in Malaysia, and pointing to the Malaysians in your Kamunting centre as justified – seriously rich boy, is not real great way of differentiating yourself from all your predecessors in Umno.
The false security
Malaysia is relatively safe from terrorism because of (in no particular order) our relative wealth coupled with a smaller population compared to our neighbours, our incessant position of championing Islam in the OIC but not taking any position in conflicts between Islamic factions (read: hamas-fatah, Saddam-Sunnis-Syiahs-Kurds, Taliban-Pashtu-Uzbeks etc) and not internal territorial, tribal or religious conflict.
We are an oasis.
You can say, the British biting a smaller bit of the archipelago in comparison to the 13000 islands the Dutch tried to gnaw up in their haphazard administration – and resulted in Indonesia.
But pretending that our laws – our archaic and draconian laws – protect us from terrorism results in, a) us dropping our guard in the vigilance against terror and b) not deal with some of the endemic problems in our countries which may, I say may cause situations that may, I say may fester into a hotbed of terrorism.
The ISA breeds contempt
It was the divisive politics of Franco that until today keeps parts of Spain clamouring for separation. The clear preference for Sunnis under Saddam’s Iraq now makes the possibility of real unity fraught by righteous violence of all those who did suffer under the former dictator.
And this trend are universal not limited to just a few areas.
What will happen when the Umno days end, and they will. A whole sixty years of monopoly where people have been arrested based on suspicion, nay, just on whims – eh Syed Hamid?
The longer we oppress people in order to give them peace, the more defined and absolute their rejection will be. The rejection in this country of Umno is coming to a head.
The horrible thing is, when we are free of this party, they will say all the accompanying instability in the country – laid solid by their rule – is due to them not in power anymore.
Mark my words on that.
Meanwhile, I need to sit in a corner and look into my crystal bowl to figure out what next they (Umno) will do.