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Condemning the Recent Arrest of Two Students Under ISA

Political Education Unit of the Institute for Policy Research UPP-IKD


Following the arrest of ten reformasi activists under the Internal Security Act (ISA) 1960, the recent arrest of Khairul Annuar Ahmad Zainuddin ( Jonah) from Institut Kemahiran Mara on Wednesday and Universiti Malaya Students Representative Council President Mohamad Fuad Mohamad Ikhwan on Friday under the same act is a sign of the Malaysian government's growing desperation.

The recent affidavits of the previous detainees proved that the cause of the arrest was not national security, but rather used as a means to perpetuate the political survival of the present regime. Rather than gaining political leverage by stifling dissention, the government will only succeed in turning more people against them by their recalcitrant actions. The government has lost credibility and Malaysians no longer accept their explanation but are instead now more aware of their rights under the Malaysian constitution.

Politicians, human rights leaders and NGO figures have been arrested under the ISA. Now, two students join the list. This shows that the Malaysian government is not limited to common decency in ensuring their survival and would continue to be criticized by other countries and human rights organizations by using a colonial legacy used to combat the Communist insurgency forty years ago.

We demand the release of the two students and the other six ISA detainees. If they have in any way committed any crime, then all of them should be brought to a fair and open trial. Even the worst rapists and murderers have the right to trial and are innocent until proven guilty. Are those who criticize the government for the love of their country to be treated any different?

Mohd Yusmadi Mohd Yusoff
Head of Information Bureau
Political Education Unit – Institute of Policy Research (UPP-IKD)