Sinatra_Z - Where are the vigils for Mat Selamat?

An article in the Malaysian Insider that probably even bro Rocky won't agree too, hahaha. Oh well do read on.

MARCH 24 — Many people were unhappy about the time when a few years back Teresa Kok, Raja Petra Kamaruddin and that female reporter (I fail to remember her name!) were detained under the Internal Security Act.

Rallies were organized, and people congregated in front of police stations demanding their release.

Even though the reporter was released 24 hours after being detained (which baffled even me) and the sassy MP was released a few days later, people nonetheless weren’t happy about it.

Perception was that the government was using this law to enforce their will upon people and for this the Internal Security Act must be abolished.

Politicians and activists argued that no human being should be held in jail in absence of a trial.

How can there be a law in which the government can simply put people in jail without a valid reason? Candlelight vigils were held in the streets and parks, while some shouted slogans.

Others read poetry; a few sang songs about justice, equality and human rights. For a moment people felt like Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King and perhaps Bob Dylan. They were there for a good cause, a noble cause which was to abolish the law that is so unjust, inhumane and wrong. So the whole campaign went on full force, with politicians donning the “Mansuhkan ISA” badge on their shirts, party vests and caps.

However long after the release of the people mentioned above, another soul was detained under the ISA and his name was Mat Selamat.

Unlike the last time around there were no candlelight vigils for him, no rallies nor was there any poetry or songs serenaded in the name of injustice that had fallen upon this man.

So what if he was not a politician or an activist, so what if he was a suspected terrorist, note the word “suspected” meaning he should be given a right to defend himself just like any other human being. But what was most peculiar, this time around the vehement call to abolish the ISA was suddenly silent.

Gone were the activists, the poets, singers and politicians. I don’t see vigils for Mat Selamat.

A general feeling

I think generally, Malaysians, the silent majority at least agrees with the ISA when used in a certain aspect. Take the example of Mat Selamat, apart from pointing out the hypocrisy in certain politicians and groups; the reason that question was raised (in regards to the absence of vigils) is to point out the lack of public anger or outcry.

The thing is not many would want to light candles for him because the public feels that indeed he should be in there, for the sake of security.

I think that Malaysians generally do understand that security is an issue and there is a need for pre-emptive measures. Nonetheless if it is misused or perceived to have an ulterior motive, only then the public disagrees.

I think the majority of Malaysians don’t really want to abolish the ISA. I think they prefer a change in the act.

Anti-terrorism law versus ISA

Some quarters are calling for an anti-terrorism law to replace the ISA. Before we go on further perhaps it is wise to first understand the definition of terrorism.

Terrorism is a form of tactic; it is to describe the use of fear and intimidation onto civilians as a way to send a certain message; blackmailing or pressuring a government into conceding.

People argue that since there is a need for pre-emptive action the ISA should be replaced with an anti-terrorism act, instead of detaining anyone who the police feel is a threat; this new law would only detain terrorists.

Suicide bombings or ramming an airplane into a building, though an act of terrorism, is not the definitive definition of terrorism. Rather, as mentioned before, it is actually one of the tactics used to instill fear and those who commit it is a terrorist.

However do consider this: say a politician or a religious figure who preaches to his followers hateful and insidious things that in turn inspire them to commit acts of terror, isn’t he too is a security threat, is he too not a terrorist?

Which is why Abu Bakar Bashir, the spiritual leader of Jemaah Islamiyyah, though not convicted of any crime or act of terrorism, was detained. This is because to the Indonesian government, Abu Bakar Bashir though old and does not hold the knowledge of bomb making, is even more dangerous than Dulmatin or our very own Dr Azhari.

Dr Azhari may have been a bomber, but he was a lone warrior, while on the other hand this cleric has the ability to inspire ten other young men to follow the footsteps of Dr Azhari.

So to simply narrow down the definition of terrorist as the people who bomb or commit acts of terror is not sufficient.

By this definition the logic is that anyone who is perceived to be a threat or perceived to be able to commit, inspire, sponsor or support in any activity that may lead an act of terrorism can still be held under custody.

In which, it is the exact same thing as ISA but under a different name, so to me it doesn’t really make sense.

Amendment not abolishment

It is interesting to note that Raja Petra Kamaruddin was released from the ISA after a court order was obtained, Habeas Corpus. Now for the argument that the ISA is an archaic law that detains people without trial, or a law in which the enforcement can use at their own whim, is not entirely true.

There is a legal route in which a detainee can be released from ISA. Whether it goes far enough that is to be debated.

The thing is, though I support the Internal Security Act, even I agree that the detention of those mentioned earlier on don’t make much sense.

Indeed it is a law that has its purposes and had served us in terms of ensuring security in this nation; alas it is not a perfect one.

It was after all designed to combat communism, times have changed and though we still do face the threat of terrorism, this nation is no longer in an emergency.

Thus instead of taking a drastic and unwise move of abolishing it (or replacing it with another name) it would be much wiser for us to re-examine some of the angles in the ISA.

Perhaps there should be a cap or a maximum amount of years in which a person can be detained. If the government can’t seem to build a case to persecute the person after so many years, he/she should be released.

Or perhaps rather than a two year review of detention it should be done annually so that more chances are given for the detainee to fight for his/her case. Maybe we should re-examine the process of habeas corpus, that one can take the fight to the courts of appeal, to me it is these sorts of things that needs to be amended or reviewed, I am for the amendment to be tabled in parliament and debated.


The fact is that the security and stability that we have today was not achieved by burning candles by the street or renditions of poetry highlighting universal love. It took dedication, vigilance and hard work in preventive measures and enforcements to achieve it.

The same vigilance we had in which forced Dr Azhari and Noordin Mat Top to flee as their network and support group were dismantled before they could commit their terror acts in this nation.

Sure some may point out that it is easy for me to say so when it is not my family who is being detained under the ISA. Indeed the emotional grief and challenges a family face when a loved one is detained is daunting.

However, judgement must not be made based on emotions, but rather based on what

is best for the nation. Indeed it may sound cold and heartless but the fact is reality is harsh and like it or not we have to take actions and measures.

I am not for the abolishment of ISA; I think there are valid reasons for it to be there and a purpose for it to serve. I however am supportive of amendments to the act to ensure it is not to be misused, for it to be fairer and more effective.


Haha, siap lu Lipas! Ramai yang nak pijak2 lepas ni ...


Biasalah, itulah nasib lipas.

Namun kehidupan harus diteruskan. hahaha


Bagus, bagus, wa suka cerita lu.

Itu olang semua mau buat luit dan kaya raya tujuh keturunan.

Memang mau kepada keselamatan peribadi, harta benda, negara aman sentosa, stabil utk semua org cali makanlah. Jangan cakap PR atau liberalis tak mau ler.

Sebab depa mau takderlah vigil utk Mas Selamat. Spot on bro lu taruk Mas Selamat sbg hook.

Itu lebih balanced. Ini duk cakap gomen tak buat itu dan ini utk tarik pelabur sedang kita duk perbusuk nama negara buat apa. Pelabur pun pikiaq banayk kali dengaq cerita busuk2 ni.

Syekali syekala cermin diri sama oii!!!


I agree with your POV re how the ISA is still relevant. There is a valid reason why the USA swallowed their bile after 9/11 and instituted the unconstitutional Patriot Act.

But like many weapons, detention without trial is a two-edged blade and can be used for the greater good but also abused.

Hence, if reviewing and amendments toward improving the transparency is in place, I think all would be supportive of it.


Well, either charge the fella or set him free, that's my humble opinion. He might be a innocent peace-loving guy for all we know.




"Well, either charge the fella or set him free, that's my humble opinion. He might be a innocent peace-loving guy for all we know."

Humble but true nonetheless. A good reform would be a cap on the number of years a person can be detained under ISA in which after that period if there is no case that can be brought up then by all means he should be freed.

Sounds reasonable.




encik zaidel....
cuba x citer pasal politik baru besh


Sekali sekala kena lah tulis pasal politik


What a stupid posting that tries to draw a connection between the detention of Terasa Kok and Mas Selamat. RPK fine - there is a case, but to my recollection Terasa was arrested due to an article by Utusan that accused her of requesting a local mosque to turn down the call to Azan, and until today there is still not a shred of proof to back up the claim.

Mas Selamat escaped from detention in Singapore and found himself here. The Singapore government had accused him of plotting terrorist attacks against the island state.

So is there a similarity when an Opposition female law maker gets incarcerated on the whims and fancies of the editorial board of an openly far right paper, who floated an accusation without any shred of proof, and who also for the good measure had came out with article fantasizing the murder of a certain YB J; with the incarceration of someone accused of being a terrorist by a foreign state who managed to escape detention and slip into the country?

You tell me.


Encik Wenger,
It's not a comparison between a suspected terrorist and a politician.

It's a discussion regarding a law, the point is to show that people are not really against the law but more of how it is being implemented which is why you don't see vigils for Mat Selamat.

If you really read the article, I actually call for a reform, adjustment or amendment so that cases like Teresa won't happen again.

Lain Kali baca lah dulu,
janganlah sebab rocky taruk link terus siap siap ko dah prejudis. Ko ni dok kutuk kutuk parpu ko tu pun dua kali lima gak.


*Salutes Sinatra_Z*


The right to a fair trial is explicitly proclaimed in Article Ten of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Article 10
Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

ISA all all other similar laws worldwide in its present form allows for Detention WITHOUT Trial.

As the General Assembly of the United Nations (of which Malaysia is part of) adopted the Universal Declaration in 1948, we must therefore respect it.


I quote:
....So what if he was not a politician or an activist, so what if he was a suspected terrorist, note the word “suspected” meaning he should be given a right to defend himself just like any other human being. But what was most peculiar, this time around the vehement call to abolish the ISA was suddenly silent.

Gone were the activists, the poets, singers and politicians. I don’t see vigils for Mat Selamat.

This is what I,Wenger J Khairy says.

Q:Why stress the difference in the reactions between the detention of Mas Selamat and Theresa Kok?

You wanted to point out that People are being hypocritical, they are ok with ISA being used on "terrorists" but not ok when it is not used on the archetypal "terrorist".

confirmed when you used the following phrase
I think generally, Malaysians, the silent majority at least agrees with the ISA when used in a certain aspect. Take the example of Mat Selamat,

Ok lets just hold on a second. Hypocrisy is cursing some one for doing something whilst you do the same thing, like making a big fuss if a bankrupt motorcyle company gets sold for a loss of RM 500 million, but keeping quiet when a steel project bombs for RM 10 billion or when you buy the shares of the airlines and immediately force the Government (i.e the people) to take an RM 1.2 billion loss.

So we have to commit like to like. For one, Mas Selamat was a foreign fugitive who entered the country illegally, on the red list of Interpol, could have been extradited back to Singapore but instead is incarcerated in Malaysia for some strange reason. Furthermore he is not a Malaysian problem. We actually dont need to deal with him, its a Singaporean problem, let them deal with him.

Why no fuss? You can take the Parpus for a fool,but dont take me for one. we all know why. Answer is not about race.

Now compare this with theresa kok's case. where was the case for endangering national security? is it down to one editors opinion, which until today is unsubstantiated by any evidence whatsoever.

The 2 cases are unalike. Its like chalk and cheese. Its this precise mentality of followers of this man who have 0 moral compass, who will take 2 separate points, inject the usual political (and since all politics is race based) by induction the racial paradigm, dropping words like "hypocrisy" and others to justify their point.

Yes - people are hypocritical. But we must identify it correctly. If we fail to identify the correct hypocritical attitude then we might as well have 0 moral compass. For example, by your same induction, lets consider this. Government gives RM 100 to welfare homes and people like it. Govt gives RM 10 billion to PKFZ and people get upset.

Hypocritical right?

This is the society you are proposing. A society ruled by a dictator (actually we had it) where the dictator determines the right and wrong application as he is the only wise man who can see the correctness of both throwing a lady MP in jail as well as a person on the red list of Interpol using the same act.

That dictator by the way, censors my comments. He cant face WJK

You tell me.

Parpu bashing is a psy war tactic that has achieved its intended aim to discredit. humiliate and associate Parpu's ethnicity with his "hypocrisy". It was never meant to be subtle but instead meant to be direct and blunt. Phase II was launched with a meeting between some folks and the Perak connection

Q: How can y


good article. saya amat setuju.
Politician will always be politician...
amend ISA you will.. not abolish it.


First and foremost wenger, if you want to debate regarding my article than stay debating my article.

Stop throwing red herrings with your obsession with Parpukari and certain people who you dislike by introducing other issues. Because unlike you I don't really like to go on long winded debates to satisfy a rabid fan boy who cherishes on winning an argument over the internet.

Now back to the Hypocrisy in ISA and how by comparing Mat Selamat with Theresa Kok proves my point.

You see,
it doesn't matter who Mat Selamat or Theresa Kok is, in fact that line I wrote regarding Mat Selamat being a suspected terrorist points it out. You see in those vigils and rallies they were calling for the ABOLISHMENT OF ISA AS A HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUE THAT NO ONE I REPEAT NO ONE SHOULD BE HELD WITHOUT TRIAL. Itu yang orang pelik bila tang ni, ada orang kena tahan tak pulak dok bakar lilin!

The issue of hypocrisy is not in trying to equate Mas Selamat with Theresa KOK, the issue of hypocrisy is when only wanting ISA to be dissolved when Theresa is detained but seemed to be okay with ISA when Mas Selamat is detained.

If you are to abolish ISA, completely, Especially when your reasoning is based on universal human rights, then abolish it regardless of who is being detained.

And No need for ranting about theresa kok's detention, the thing is in that ARTICLE I DID NOT TRY TO JUSTIFY AT ALL THE DETENTION OF THERESA KOK! FAHAM TAK? In fact I actually call for an amendment. So no need to argue with me about Theresa Kok's detention as lack of evidence..

Read this part..

"The thing is, though I support the Internal Security Act, even I agree that the detention of those mentioned earlier on don’t make much sense."

Kalau dah dalam otak siap-siap nak hentam sebab tak suka aku ni kawan rocky ka apa ka susah la bang.


Tiger Woods cheated on his wife.

So did my uncle, PakCik Najip.

CNN, CNBC, BBC, The Star, Utusan Malaysia covered the Tiger Woods story.

But no one came to see my PakCik Najip.

That's basically the crux of your argument, isn't it?


to Anon

Well if you insist on that then by all means no point in me arguing.

Do refer to the previous comments above, or read the whole article.

Thank you.


Sinatra Z says let's make ISA "less draconian" and he ends up kena lanyak by Art Harun with a brilliant counter-argument.


Make it less draconian, but it STILL remains draconian! And illegal to top it off!

Sinatra Z, how did you become a Malaysian Insider columnist la?

You sound like a pre-university kid!


Abang lipas: samalah macam bila kerajaan nak buat GST- menteri kata sebab negara2 maju lain dah buat. Punyalah pakatn rakyat perlekehkan alasan ni.

tapi bila pakatn rakyat nak buat local council election, diorang cakap sebab negara2 maju lain pun buat.

aiyoh, ini hipokrasi jugak kan? hehe

btw, saya suka tulisan lu brader. If only ramai blogger BN begini kan bagus.


Wow hyperventilating fanboys wanking here.

I love getting emo comments.


Lipas. How about we just repeal the ISA but make a new security act that address our current needs. Right now people just want this act to be repealed. The name of ISA itself is the problem here. People are fed up when they hear ISA. They think it's ruling government tool to abuse the opposition.

I think it would be best if the government just repeal it. Can score some political mileage too. Just make a new act with new name. Retain some important aspect of ISA. Make more refinement of what security means, what threat means so that the uses of this new act can be justified.



Rakan rakan semua, kalau nak tahu macamana rapatnya Anwar Ibnrahim dengan regim Zionis Israel sila ikut link di bawah

GEMPAR; Disini ada bukti terbaru Anwar ada rakan dalam kerajaan ZIONIS Israel


Isn't all that just a play on words, where the people who seek "abolishment" would already agree on what you call an "amendment", in that those who think it should be abolished think that there are already laws to deal with the "useful" aspects of the ISA?

I mean, if you have cause for suspicion and detain someone without an immediate trial, as you would think is appropriate for an amended ISA, isn't that already permissable under regular laws? Won't reducing the ISA's unchallengeable detention period simply be like lengthening the permissable detention periods under regular criminal laws?

You say: "However do consider this: say a politician or a religious figure who preaches to his followers hateful and insidious things that in turn inspire them to commit acts of terror, isn’t he too is a security threat, is he too not a terrorist?"

Fair enough, but can't you just criminalise that behaviour specifically? Isn't that why we write laws with specific language, to prevent arbitrary abuse? Why use the ISA, which has no specified boundaries?

Habeas corpus in its modern incarnation is primarily a tool against arbitrary authority, and arbitrary authority is a bane on a nation's health because it causes uncertainty over what can and what cannot land you in jail, precisely because of its arbitrariness.

Mat Selamat was a convicted individual in Singapore, no? Does that not mean that he is a fugitive and therefore already criminal? Does that not mean that there is no such thing as a pre-emptive detention on him, where the crime has already been committed?

And just because there are no vigils for him, does not mean the principle falls apart. Indeed, while he does not arouse the same reactions, it does not mean the sentiments are any more diminished.

You say that the peace and stability we have today were achieved by vigilance. Fair enough. The real question is not what's achieved our peace, but whether that is the ONLY way or the best way forward for our changing nation.

In short, just because the ISA works, doesn't mean there are not other ways to achieve the same goals without the same undesired effects.

And what happens if, after a year, the government fails to build a credible case, and that silently releases the detainee? Is an "oops, sorry for the boo-boo" sufficient? Would there be grounds for a lawsuit and would this cost the state, who pays with our money?

What's best for the individual can also be what's best for the nation. The idea is that while you don't use those freedoms today, you may use them in the future, and thus safeguarding them is important. So one might not feel the anguish now, but the possibility (arbitrary possibility, for the ISA is arbitrary) personal should not be there in the first place.

In short, the ISA is not just problematic because of its detention clauses, but the arbitrary nature of its justification, whereas clearer and more specific (and thus far less arbitrary) laws are at least certain, and are not up to the arbitrary interpretations of cabinet ministers (who are far too powerful in our centralist faux federation).


"However, judgement must not be made based on emotions, but rather based on what is best for the nation. Indeed it may sound cold and heartless"

It must be said that the common support for the ISA has been based on some vague "feeling" that it enhances are safety, where the cold and heartless judgment requires a good number-crunching, something impossible with the secretive nature of our government.

Have we done good statistical analysis or case studies on specific cases, studying length of detention and having credible researchers given access to the files of the detainees to assess the degree of investigation done one the allegations against each detainee?

The fact is, without openness, we are ALL making judgments based on gut feeling, the gut feeeling that makes us either think that the ISA is serving its purpose or not.

It's cold, heartless legal theorists who decry the arbitrary nature of the law.