Malaysiakini NEWS

National security - avoiding a state within the state

James Wong Wing On
Published:  |  Modified:


Mediocre but cunning schoolchildren usually go home with their poor examination results armed with the defence that either that some of their friends scored even lower, or that there is already an improvement compared to even poorer marks in the past.

Usually, responsible parents would reject these sort of excuses because they want their children to be more positive, self-critical and forward-looking in order to work harder and smarter to score better in the future.

To me, some top police officers, some members of the Malaysian ruling elite and their propagandists are exactly like those naughty, mediocre but cunning school children.

Their argument that the Internal Security Act (ISA) is used less frequently now and therefore, by implication, the government of Dr Mahathir is better than the governments of Tunku Abdul Rahman Tun Razak and Tun Hussein Onn.

In a byline in the New Straits Times on Sept 11, detailed figures and year-to-year breakdown on the number of ISA detainees from 1960 to 2001 were shown to 'prove' that we are now better off because fewer people are being incarcerated without trial under this colonial and imperialist law. The message is clear: be more grateful and accept this security law enacted in 1960.

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