Govt Confident ISA Will Not Be Used To Deal With Street Demos

November 16, 2007
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 16 (Bernama) — The government is confident that Saturday’s street protest will not deterioriate into a situation that will require the government to enforce the Internal Security Act (ISA), Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.

“Hopefully not. For as long as the people observe the laws of the nation, we will be able to manage the situation,” he told reporters after launching the CIMB Foundation here.
Najib who was responding to a question whether the government would resort to using the ISA to curtail street rallies if the situation worsens in the near future, again appealed to Malaysians to observe the law and avoid participating in illegal gatherings.
He also stressed that the government would continue to act in accordance with the law in dealing with such situations, regardless of the criticism that the government was preventing people from voicing their views.
“As far as the government is concerned, we and the police will apply the law,” he said.
“We have to manage things in a way that people will have continued confidence in the government.”
Najib said what was important was for the government to protect the interest of the masses and to provide them a sense of security and that everything was under control.
“We’ll not let people exploit things, because we do not want anything to deteriorate into becoming uncontrollable or racial tension.”
Asked about the general election, Najib said he was clueless as to when it would be held.
“I also would like to know,” he added when commenting on today’s report which quoted Election Commission chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman as saying that he knew the date of the upcoming general election but could not divulge.
Najib, however, said the statement did not imply it would be imminent.
“It can be any day; it doesn’t mean that it’s imminent.”
The CIMB Foundation, with a pledge of RM100 million as an initial fund from the CIMB Group, will focus on three-capacity building areas, namely community development, sports development and education.
Its first project is to train and fund deserving Indonesian students at educational institutions in Malaysia under the CIMB Niaga Scholarship Fund.