Saturday, August 1, 2009

Why Malaysia needs the ISA

Hantu Laut

Is the ISA a necessary evil? It is not evil by itself but made evil if leaders abused it to silent their critics and political opponents.

The oppositions wanted the ISA removed for different reason, not so much to protect our civil liberty, but more to serve its own political agenda. Using the ISA to go to the streets was only an excuse. The real reason behind it is to paint a picture of solidarity of the group and to constantly remind the people that Pakatan is united when it is not.If you are so popular why the need to go to the streets every now and then.

So, don't be fooled that they actually wanted the ISA repelled to protect you and I. They wanted it because they want to turn this nation to be in a state of upheaval and topple a duly elected government.

Interesting article from the Nutgraph below.

Why Malaysia needs the ISA

10 Dec 08 : 8.00AM

By Wong Chin Huat

NO, your eyes do not fool you. Nor have I been visited by Special Branch officers and “turned over”.

I was at the Petaling Jaya Civic Centre car park Sunday night, 7 Dec 2008, attending the weekly anti-Internal Security Act (ISA) gathering. A passionate speaker lamented that there were so few Malaysians there because they were afraid of the ISA. He was also disappointed that corrupt governments can be overthrown once and again by demonstrating crowds in Bangkok, but not in Kuala Lumpur.

The gentleman could not be more wrong if he thought the causality works only in one direction — that the ISA causes people to shun demonstrations. It actually works both ways — the ISA also exists because of some people's fear of demonstrations and all other forms of political expression.

Also, one could not be more wrong to think that the ISA is merely an evil tool of the Barisan Nasional (BN) to control citizens. It is not a complete falsehood when BN politicians claim that the people want the ISA since they support a ruling coalition that desires the ISA.

The ISA is here because it has served a purpose to a sizeable segment, probably the majority, of Malaysians. What purpose is that? Having a strong government.

(Corrected) Without the ISA and all other draconian laws, a government cannot be strong in an autonomous sense — it can only persuade and not coerce people to support it.

But why would people want a strong government? Because we are fundamentally a Hobbesian nation.

Thomas Hobbes
Thomas Hobbes (source:

Hobbesian nation

Thomas Hobbes, the 17th century conservative British philosopher, believed that human beings living in the state of nature were living in a state of war, their lives short and brutish. Incidentally, it was Hobbes who invented the concept of the social contract.

Driven by our selfish desire to compete for resources, we would pose threats to each other in the absence of government. Therefore, it is justifiable for a government to be absolute and disregard consent because the people cannot be trusted.

Push the Hobbesian logic to the extreme, and you will believe that even a bad government is better than no government. If only Hobbes was Asian, he would assure us that the government is always benevolent.

Most of us are Hobbesian because we do not believe that a multi-ethnic society can remain peaceful if the citizens are free. We are insecure with our differences.

Some of us wish for the differences to be eliminated through assimilation, with everyone professing one faith, speaking one language, observing one custom, or inter-marrying for common posterity.

And there are bound to be some among us who feel hurt when a “sensitive issue” is raised. The issue could be the constitutional “special position of Malays and natives of any of the states of Sabah and Sarawak”. Or it could be the extra-constitutional issues of bumiputeraism, Islam, the Malay language, the Malay rulers, or Chinese and Tamil schools.

And feeling hurt gives us a strong reason to ask others to shut up. So, we wave the keris, stage demonstrations, point fingers at other's noses, tear people's pictures up or even threaten to burn down buildings. The message is simple — stop this or you will incite ethnic riots.

Preventing ethnic riots 101

How do you prevent an ethnic riot? The government's answer is simple — crack down with the ISA.

In other words, the ISA and the authoritarian state that it protects is the lesser evil compared to looting and irrational mass killings. And since the ISA is here, everyone expects the state to use it against others who hurt their feelings. For many, the ISA is actually legitimate insofar as it is impartially used.

That is the reason why a government defending the ISA has been supported by more than half of the Malaysian electorate. It's like an insurance premium paid to hedge the risk of a disaster.Read more..


Anonymous said...

"So, don't be fooled that they actually wanted the ISA repelled to protect you and I. They wanted it because they want to turn this nation to be in a state of upheaval and topple a duly elected government."

Sounds deep. Can you please interpret the paragraph above in simpler english? Giving examples of a current typical Msian issue to support your statement will surely help to convince ppl. Otherwise, i think you're only reflecting a left side to right side... left ball, right ball... still balls.

Anonymous said...

It is the abuse of ISA that must be stopped. The previous Home Minister (of is it the Police?) acted as their own safety is at stake. Arresting a reporter for her own safety!? Why This is abuse of power. It is perceived the politicians and police are protecting their own position and self interest.

This must stop. The ISA must go and be replaced by a law that is answerable to parliament.


Hantu Laut said...


It is just too bad if you can't understand simple English and have nothing intelligent to say.

Hantu Laut said...

I don't care what others say.The ISA has served some good to this country.I would rather have the ISA than another May 13.

The recent demonstration in KL is the handiwork of Anwar Ibrahim.The NGOs were just fools and tools used by him.

If you think those on the streets are majority who want the ISA abolish, there is bigger silent majority that want it to stay.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, you said it brother! Fuck human rights. The only way to contain Neanderthalish Malaysians is draconian dictatorship to preserve the wealth of the few and suppress the good of the many. Onwards to unicellular organisms!!

Anonymous said...

I doubt there is a bigger silent majority that wants the ISA to remain as it is. It is simply too open to abuse by the presiding powers that want status quo for its own self interest.

I am equally doubtful that an ISA will stop May 13, a racial riot. The marchers against the ISA were mostly Malays/Muslims. How can this be another May 13? It seems that it is Malays vs Malays now, while the Chinese and Indians are too busy fighting amongst themselves, eg PKFZ, MCA Ong Chua fiasco, Hindraf v MIC, MIC Maika fiasco.

Repressive laws can only serve a self serving regime.


Anonymous said...

hmm, i should have expected this typical emo-defensive response when i asked u to elaborate your statement; just another one of those ppl who cannot differ between a personal attack from a civic minded discussion. i'm not here to insult anyone's intelligence like u just did, so no need the 'i'm too fucking smart for anyone' tone.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, I dont think the Majority of citizen in Malaysia will care either the ISA will be remove or remain. If they really care, do you think Police can stop the GMI?

What are in the Malaysian citizen mind now? "Mind your own business". To be honest (No offence to anyone), Malaysian is not united, especially the Chinese. I am a Chinese, I know it and I believe most of the chinese admit it. We only care about what we have and what we will lost.

When the authorities use power to arrest one of them in the group, the rest will fall back, or even escape. So what for?

Most of chinese will think as long as I earned enough money, life good and every family members are healthy, then we dont care the rest. Let them "Ghost hit Ghost".

We all know we have corrupted, evil, idiot, and useless government or even PM, but what we can do? Nothing, today u say 50 years of ISA and I believe 60 Years of ISA will come in the next 10 years.

The authorities will only do little action to make the citizen pull back.

It's only my two cents, Happy 1 Malaysia and Malaysia Always Boleh. Apa-apa pun boleh.

ANN ismail said...

Strongly agreed with Hantu Laut's opinion. Malaysia need ISA. We need laws to control the society! As a lawyer, we need a safeguard to give a limitation to human rights, as stated in our Constitution.