PETALING JAYA, May 3 – The DAP said a reluctant Barisan Nasional can avoid “unnecessary by-elections” by freeing all ISA detainees, including M. Manoharan who has threatened to resign his Kota Alam Shah seat because he still being held without trial.
Saying it is an election that DAP does not wish to have, party information chief Tony Pua today urged Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein to immediately release Manoharan, who has openly said he will quit due to his current circumstances.
“However, if there is any by-election which is ‘unnecessary’ which causes ‘too much time, energy and ringgit’ to be spent and distracts the country from facing the current economic challenges, then this will be absolutely it, for the Barisan Nasional government itself has forced the resignation by exercising the ISA which allows for detention without trial,” Pua said in a statement.
“The DAP cannot but commiserate with the helplessness and dilemma felt by our fellow elected colleague. We also salute his selfless nature for his willingness to give up his position in the interest of his constituents,” he added.
Pua noted Manoharan’s release will help cool down the political temperature, agreeing with prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who had said there was too much “politicking in our country when right now we should focus on recovering our economy and taking care of the people’s interests and to move forward for the sake of our country and take Malaysia to a higher level of success”.
“Hence, it is of utmost urgency that Datuk Seri Hishammuddin releases Manoharan, the remaining Hindraf detainees as well as all other detainees from the Kamunting Detention Centre immediately to avoid having this ‘unnecessary’ by-election.
“Moreover, Datuk Seri Najib in his inaugural speech has already admitted the irrelevance of the ISA as it stands today as well as the need for the law to be reformed. Therefore, it would make no sense for the Home Affairs Minister to continue detaining Malaysians under a law which all parties have agreed is in need of an overhaul,” Pua said.
He said such a move will allow all parties to concentrate on reviving the flagging economy hit by the global financial crisis.
DAP: To avoid ‘unnecessary’ by-election, free Manoharan