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Monday, September 30, 2013

'Pledge not to arrest politicians made on ISA too'

The promise not to use preventive detention against politicians and members of the civil society was made when the Internal Security Act (ISA) was enacted in 1960 as well, says DAP national chairperson Karpal Singh.

NONE"When they legislated the ISA in 1960, Abdul Razak Hussein (then deputy prime minister) said it (the Act) won't be used against politicians. He said it on the Parliament floor," Karpal pointed out.

"It was intended for politicians too. You can see that," Karpal (left) told reporters in the lobby of Parliament House.

Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has said the controversial amendments to the Prevention of Crime Act (PCA) will not be used against opposition politicians and civil society, but Karpal is of the view that the amendments are intended for politicians as well.

Despite Abdul Razak's promise, the DAP leader added, the government used the ISA widely to detain political opponents until it was abolished in 2012. Karpal himself is a former ISA detainee.

Karpal said that the original PCA was already meant for dealing with gangsters and as such, amending the law had turned the legislation into something "it was not intended for".

"Now they have changed the pre-amble, this is what it was (PCA) intended for," he said.

However, Karpal seemed resigned to the fact that the PCA amendments will be "bulldozed" through Parliament this week.

"They are going to pass it anyway, that's what they do all the time," he said.

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