Friday, August 21, 2009

A Website Poll is not the way to get public feedback - what we need is a referendum so people can say whether the ISA be repealed or not?

Getting the views of the public - how do you do that.

1- You have to allow space in all forms of media for persons to express their full views, i.e. those who have been calling for the repeal, and also those who are calling for its preservation. Also good to listen to those who have been detained - Anwar Ibrahim, Lim Kit Siang, Karpal Singh, ..., and their family members. Allow also public forums, talks, etc

Without listening to the different views, and analyzing them, the Malaysian people cannot make an informed decision.

2 - Referendum is the way to the public's view. Look at Venezuela who have examples of referendums. A internet poll is definitely not the way because not all Malaysians are familiar with and/or have access to the internet, and the possibility of 'doctoring' the results is always there. [The Ministry poll, in the begining showed an overwhelming majority calling for the repeal of ISA, and then mysteriously and suddenly, it swung the other way around...]. To get the people's views, you need a public referendum.

The Home Ministry plans to use its website to seek public feedback on the ISA and Police Act.

Minister Datuk Seri Hisham­muddin Tun Hussein said this was prompted by the huge number of hits the website had received on the country’s crime situation.

“After meeting with all the experts, before we engage the other stakeholders, I suppose it might be probable that we are going to get their (the public) views,’’ he told reporters after a briefing with Johor police at the Johor police contingent headquarters here.

Hishammuddin also said that input from the joint ministerial meeting held on Wednesday would be drafted and distributed to all three ministries involved in the review within a week.

The ministries involved were the Prime Minister’s Department Infor­mation, Communications, Culture and Arts Ministry and Home Ministry.

He said the ministries would study the input before making presentations to stakeholders such as the Bar Council and Suhakam. - Star, 21/8/2009, Ministry may use website for ISA feedback

STAKEHOLDERS - Hishamuddin must really understand the meaning of words before using them. When it comes to laws in a country, every person is a stakeholder. All must be consulted including civil society groups, NGOs, Trade Unions, Consumer bodies, political parties, churches, etc. Look at who have been detained/restricted under the ISA and DWT laws, and certainly their groups are stakeholders as well.

Best way, is a public referendum. Put down the questions - and allow people to express their decision. It will be like an election...

The ISA and all laws that allow for Detention Without Trial must be repealed. Review is but a waste of time.

If the State believes that a person has done a wrong, then charge the person and allow the person to defend himself/herself in an open and fair trial before an independent Judge. Remember that attempts, assistance and preparation for the doing of a crime is also a crime.

Under the ISA and the laws that allow for Detention Without Trial, who decides? First, it is the police, and then it is the Minister when he signs the Detention Order (Restriction Order) - and that is why it is wrong for it should be the courts that decide whether one is guilty or not.

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