TAIPING (June 8) : By Humayun Kabir
The Perak state government wants the federal government to move the Kamunting detention centre out of Perak because it is a shame and embarrassment to the Pakatan Rakyat government.
"If the fderal gvernment thinks it is a pride, that it can be a showpiece to the world, they can shift (it) to Putrajaya," senior state executive council member Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham said June 7.
"We hope this matter can be resolved soon,” Ngeh told reporters during a candlelight protest by about 500 supporters of the Abolish ISA Movement (AIM).
The protestors, comprising members of 83 organisations, had gathered at a mosque about 2km from the detention centre at 7.30pm before lighting up their candles and marching past three police roadblocks to the centre. They arrived at the centre at about 8.40pm.
Outside the centre, Ngeh spoke to Larut Matang OCPD ACP Raja Musa Raja Razak, who agreed to give the movement 15 minutes to make their speeches and disperse.
Two AIM members called for the abolishment of the ISA and the freeing of all the detainees at the centre.
“We feel that everybody (should be given) a chance to defend himself. The present laws under the ISA (operates on the) subjective discretion of the home minister (who can decide) whether a person is a threat to the national security or not. This is totally unacceptable ” said Ngeh, who is Beruas MP and Sitiawan state assemblyman.
“Under the laws before the amendment, a judge can question whether the grounds in which you suspect a person is a threat to the national security or not. The option then was not too bad.”
"But with the amendment, it is dictatorial and unsuitable for modern-day democracy.
"We call on the federal government to once again review the law (ISA) as more freedom should be given to the rakyat (to express themselves) so long as it is peaceful. We do not support rioting but the right to express should be given in a democratic society.”
The protesters dispersed peacefully at the end of the speeches.