Street protests: Use ISA to nail 'mastermind'

Dec 12, 07 4:39pm

The government has been urged to invoke the Internal Security Act (ISA) against the person who is masterminding street protests in the country.

This call was made by Barisan Nasional (BN) Kelantan in the wake of a series of protests held to highlight issues ranging from electoral reforms to the marginalisation of Indian Malaysians.
According to Bernama, BN Kelantan chairperson Annuar Musa said the government must take stern measures to ensure that the people do not fear for their safety.
“People are living in fear because of the actions of these groups; investigate who is behind all of this,” he said.
He added that such a scenario cannot be allowed to continue as it will instill fear in the people and in foreign investors.
Anuar was asked to comment on the Nov 10 and Nov 25 rallies organised by the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections (Bersih) and the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) respectively.
Both rallies saw tens of thousands taking to the streets in Kuala Lumpur incurring the wrath of government leaders.
On both occasions, the police were forced to use tear gas and water cannons to disperse the crowd while scores were arrested.
Government leaders have also accused the opposition, namely PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim, of being the hidden hand behind the protests.
Yesterday, Anwar was held for about 30 minutes at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport upon his return from Istanbul where he had attended a conference.
The former deputy premier was told by immigration authorities that he is on the government’s ‘suspects list’ but no reason was given for this.
Parliament not a refuge
In another development, Deputy Internal Security Minister Mohd Johari Baharum said the Parliament building cannot be used as a place of refuge or hiding by those who break the law.
He told the Dewan Rakyat that those who flout the law cannot use the Parliament building to evade action, including being arrested.
“Anyone who breaks the law cannot use this building as a place of refuge, it doesn’t matter whose guest they are, they cannot use this building to hide,” he was quoted as saying by Bernama.
Johari was responding to Kamarudin Jaffar (PAS-Tumpat) who asked about the arrest of PAS election director Mustafa Ali yesterday.
The opposition MP said Mustafa was given a pass to enter Parliament as the guest of PAS Kubang Kerian MP Salahuddin Ayub.
“The police investigated and may be what Mustafa did, we do not know (his motive), the police knew what they were doing. The police called him and I understand he was released last night, so there is nothing to this issue any more,” said Johari.
Mustafa was among the 26 people arrested within and outside the Parliament compound. Those detained were members of, which submitted a protest memorandum to opposition MPs.