Pertubuhan Jamaah Islah Malaysia
14 September 2008
JIM CONDEMNS THE DETENTION OF POLITICIAN, JOURNALIST AND BLOGGER UNDER THE INTERNAL SECURITY ACT (ISA)
Pertubuhan Jamaah Islah Malaysia (JIM) condemns the detention without trial of Supeteh MP and also Selangor Exco Member Teresa Kok, Sin Chew Daily journalist Tan Hoon Cheng and blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin under the Internal Security Act (ISA).
JIM wishes to stress that ISA is against the principle of justice as it denies the accused of their constitutional rights to defend themselves. Without representation, they can be unjustly and indefinitely detained without any access to the judiciary. The “innocence until proven guilty” principle has long been embodied in the Islamic traditions, where jurists opined that detention should not be prescribed on the basis of suspicion alone.
Preventive detention is built on the flawed premise that the perceived sense of urgency in maintaining the security of the country justifies the need to bypass the normal investigative procedures and technicalities in finding the grounds needed to convict anyone of being prejudicial to the security of the country.
In fact, the overriding principle is that the suspected individual is guaranteed personal freedom and the right of free movement: He it is Who hath made the earth subservient unto you, so Walk in the paths thereof and eat of His providence (Quran 67:15). Thus, a person cannot be detained or deprived from his freedom of movement without a provable reason.
JIM questions the absurdity of the reasoning that the released journalist Tan Hoon Cheng had to be previously detained under ISA due to her personal safety concerns. Is not the ISA provision supposedly meant for those who are considered a threat to national security? Should Hoon Cheng thank the government or should she take the government to court for taking away her citizenry rights for reason that is illogical?
Accusation without proof runs contrary with God’s commandment for the accused to be considered innocent until proven guilty without any slightest reasonable doubt. The government should pay heed to the Prophetic saying that those whose verdicts have been made out of untruthful sources will enter the Fire, and start prioritizing the universal principles of Islamic justice above shallow racial sentiments in protecting the rights of all Malaysians.
The ISA itself is responsible for inciting instability in this country, as haste punishment inflicted on any group of people based on unverified intelligence from those whose integrity is questionable will lead the nation into subsequent series of judicial injustice and will force the prosecutors to regret their actions only after the damage has been done unto all affected parties (Quran 49:6).
JIM recommends any parties affected by public expressions that are deemed slanderous to Islam to be proactive in providing astute explanations towards the issues that are being debated. Islam stands firm on clear-cut evidences found in the Quran and the Prophetic Traditions, and it demands its followers to substantiate their standpoints in a very wise and respectful manner.
JIM views the Sin Chew Daily journalist’s detention as if she is responsible for the uproar over Ahmad Ismail’s racist statements as unreasonable because it was Ahmad Ismail and his followers themselves who consciously aggravated the controversy by lashing physical and verbal provacations without any emotional restraints in front of the broadcasters of the mainstream media.
The detention of Seputeh MP Teresa Kok is an injustice considering the absurdity of Selangor Ex-Menteri Besar’s accusations which she profusely denied. Instead, the mosque in Damansara which was purportedly forced to tone down their call for prayers already gave their explanation that their amplifier faced technical difficulties.
The non-muslim residents around the mosque in Puchong were reported to plea for the mosque to reduce the speakers volume during religious speeches and Quranic recitations, not the call for prayers.
JIM stands clear that any excuse given by the government in this latest detention episode, whether it is a threat to national security, peace or order, should be able to be handled through other current provisions of law.
The high-handed action in scare-mongering and arresting bloggers, journalists and other citizens critical of the policies of the present administration without any concrete reasoning will only invite doubts among the people towards the motive and sincerity of the government to reform in view of the current post-GE-12 political landscape.
JIM highly regrets the actions of the governing politicians who have the guts to stir up racial and religious prejudices in covering up their various leadership flaws. Instead, it is better for the government to work hard to solve current national problems without gambling with the peaceful atmosphere all Malaysians are currently enjoying. The Muslim leaders must stop racial politics, untruthful vilifications and deceitful slanderings at once, and return back to the Islamic way of life.
JIM urges the government either to free Teresa Kok, Raja Petra and other ISA detainees immediately or to charge them in court. The rights of others who have been detained as long as 7 years also need to be taken care of.
As an active Abolish ISA Movement (GMI) coalition member, JIM pleas every concerned member of the public to join our forefront efforts in condemning ISA and its applications through various GMI activities. Boundaries of race, culture and religion do not exist in our collective demand for truth and justice.
Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh