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Global Commentary
Tuesday, 15 February 2005
Malaysia invokes Internal Security Act
Topic: Politics
According to the New Straits Times, nine people, including a member of the National Registration Department (NRD), have been arrested under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for alleged involvement in the unlawful issuance of the government smart card or MyKad and identity card receipts.

The newspaper report said that seven of those arrested were Malaysians, one was an Indonesian and another a Hong Kong citizen. A detention order was issued against the Indonesian, who had permanent residence status, while the Hong Kong citizen had been deported.

Another story in the newspaper, which reported on the NRD and the MyKad system and how illegal immigrants were getting counterfeit cards, also mentioned that the ISA was being invoked in the detention of NRD staff because the case "involved people overseas and it was necessary to sever links as well as protect them from possible danger". The "people overseas" may be referring to the Indonesian and Hong Kong citizen arrested. But I think the real concern is with the Indonesian government, with whom the issue of illegal workers is politically sensitive for Malaysia.

However, as has been said many times by various commentators, this tendency to invoke the ISA risks becoming an expedient that allows the government to circumvent the due process of the law and its inherent safeguards on individual rights.

Posted by lim_cs at 2:17 PM WST | post your comment (0) | link to this post

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