Questions on the release of ISA detainees

April 5th, 2009 by poobalan | View blog reactions Leave a reply »
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All this while, I thought its the Home Minister who can sign the detention order and release them. So, its a bit surprising that PM Najib made the announcement and it takes another two days (detainees will exit on Sunday) for the document to be prepared. Not to mention that its very impropable that 13 people can be rehabilitated at the same time. And what happened to the advisory panel/board that’s suppose to meet every 6 month to evaluate a detainees case? Was the board convened in the last two days? Or was its previous report taken into consideration, thus the release of the detainees? Syed Hamid readily admits that it was the new PM’s decision. So is it valid?

More worrying was this statement by him (Syed Hamid):

He (Najib) has put the interest of the nation above self,’’ he said.

This doesn’t seem right to me as it implies that the decision to put those people in detention in the first place may be due to self-interest! Well, at least that’s what I understand.

Something else is also not fully revealed – a number of them who be subjected to a conditional release, says Syed Hamid Albar.

The sudden announcement caught everyone off, so I can safely presume that communication channel between the relevant people is suspect.

Let’s see what Ganapatirao’s wife says:

Ganabatirau’s wife, B. Vuvaneswary, said family members of ISA detainees should be informed when they would be released to facilitate their presence at the Kamunting Detention Centre.

The teacher, who had arrived at the centre at about 7.30am Saturday, told Bernama when contacted at 5.20pm that she was saddened by the statement by InspectorGeneral of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan Saturday that the detainees, including her husband, would only be released Sunday after they had completed the documentation process.

“I am said that until now the authorities had not contacted me on the status of my husband’s release,” she said.

She lamented that the absence of communication from the authorities had put her family in a difficult situation, adding that she had travelled from Shah Alam at 3am today thinking that her husband would be released Saturday. Vuvaneswary, who was putting up at a relative’s house in Sungai Petani, Kedah, said she would be at the detention centre at 8am tomorrow but wondered whether her husband would be released at the centre or at Bukit Aman in Kuala Lumpur.

“I hope the authorities can provide information on the release of the detainees tomorrow,” she said.

She hopes that the others will be released as well. Meanwhile, Ganabatirau’s brother Raidu said the entire family was thankful to Najib for allowing him to return to his family. He also mentioned that the other 3 should be released as well. Same with the people interviewed by Minnal FM news team. All those interviewed in Bukit Selambau expressed happiness and at the same time expressed hope that the other 3 will be release BEFORE the elections.

Meanwhile, Kengadharan’s wife Dr M. Kalaivani said she was caught by surprise by the news because she did not watch Najib’s announcement on television.

When informed that her husband was to be released, Dr Kalaivani said she would be rushing off to the Kamunting Detention Centre first thing in the morning.

“I dont know what to say! I am excited and am floating on cloud nine. I can finally bring him back home,” exclaimed Dr Kalaivani, who thanked Najib for freeing her husband, adding that their three-year-old son Pavan was also excited to be reunited with his father.

The cops are unsure as well? :

When approached by reporters, a camp warden said he had not received any directive to release the 13 people.

Perak CPO Deputy Comm Datuk Zulkifli Abdullah, when contacted, said the matter was being handled by the police headquarters in Bukit Aman.

“I have not received any instructions yet,” he said.

MIC, of course are relieved that the few letters Samy wrote to ex-PM Badawi was useful. They can now claim to have secured the release of 2 of the 5 detainees.

The MIC hopes the Government will release the other three Hindu Rights Action Front members under Internal Security Act detention in addition to the two announced, party president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said.  “We thank the Government and Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak for releasing two ISA detainees associated with the banned Hindraf movement,” he said.  Samy Vellu said the MIC was happy that the Government had agreed with the party’s request to release the Hindraf members. “I hope they will release the rest of them quickly as it will make the Indian community happy,” he said.

PM Najib said the move to release the detainees is proof that the government is not repressive and that the government has the best interest of the people at heart. For him, its not a populist move:

“If we don’t release them, they will say the government is repressive. If we release them, they will say we are populist. “So which is which?” he said to reporters during a press conference at his Sri Satria residence on Saturday.

Unfortunately, it surely looks like one. Take if from the expert himself – Mahathir, who in his own sly way, said this:

“I think it is a good move. I don’t know if you remember, but when I became Prime Minister I released 21 people who were held under ISA.

“So I thought it was good for me, so it must be good for Najib too,” Dr Mahathir said.

Hmm.. besides highlighting the copycat move, it also cements the notion that its a “good” thing to do, i.e. populist.

Bottomline is, if one can free them just like that, how long does it take to put someone in there first? Are these people actually guilty or  merely victims? Scary indeed.



  1. Killer says:

    I don’t necessarily think ISA is bad. But I always supposed that these people should charged in court. In the case of Hindraf, I think these 5 people should be released and charged in court for sedition. I m sure the police have more than enough evidence.

    I had predicted the release of the 4 before. But the 2 more (mano and vasantha) were not due to certain reasons. But i expect it wont be long. Utaya, as long as he keeps making kollywood dramas by claiming the camp people feeding him beef or denying him medicine, won’t be released.

    As for ISA detainees being released, you need to understand that the objective of ISA is prevention. Once this has beena achieved,the detainees are released or charge in court. In case of racial or religious issues, they are usually released when the tension has cooled down. For extremists, they are subjected to caunselling sessions and then assessed if they have changed. Even after release they are monitored and need to report to police.

    As for Hindraf, there was a connection to Tiger. It was denied quickly later mainly to protect the source of the info. There was cases in the past, statements had jeopardized some military and SB operations. One case I remember was the one to free the hostages kidnapped from Sipadan Island by Moro terrorists several years ago.

  2. VJ says:

    any tool or process is able to be misused , especially when it’s regulations are vague . A good example is that it being used to bring down political opponents , news reporter and so on .