Wednesday, October 15, 2008

ISA: The Sword of Damocles

My second article for The NutGraph, the Sword of Damocles is now up.  It's about the threat of ISA that we opposition leaders faced, practically on a daily basis.  In fact, I remember quite a few times on my blogs, both on Education and here, where I've been "warned" by concerned readers to be careful with my comments because we have a ruthless and unjust government.

Was I concerned?  Not really.  But now with Teresa's arrest... possibly life will just be a little different.
I AM breathing a little easier now. Teresa Kok, Member of Parliament (MP) for Seputeh and state assemblyperson for Kinrara was arrested under the Internal Security Act (ISA) on 12 Sept 2008 for some fictitious crime. She was released after being detained for seven days, when the police found no basis for detaining her any longer. [...]

But for a few hours and days after her arrest, my heart was beating just a tad faster. In my line of work, the ISA is like the sword of Damocles hanging over the head, ready to drop at any time. For opposition politicians like me, we tend to ignore the fact that it's there. I personally take comfort in the fact that I'm not as big a fish as I'd like to think. [...]

Teresa's arrest, however, changed all that. It demonstrated that despite not having committed any crime, as long as there are parties that wish to frame you for "crimes" you never even committed, the threat of the ISA is real and immediate.
For the full article, check it out here.


Shawn Tan said...

On the other hand, it is also a "badge of honour" for opposition politicians and also a "pass" into an exclusive club of former detainees. Of course, having a family does change the equation quite a bit.

BareSheen said...

Dear Tony,

What do you expect? Beds of roses, special lanes when you drive and extra respect?

If you think being an MP is a high calling, then you must live up to it including being arrested under the draconian ISA. The burdens, benefits, the honour, the downs, the ups, all must be embraced in equal measure. No room for you to bitch about it. It is this sort of politicians that Malaysia sorely lack. And Malaysians are looking to see how you and fellow minded MPs are faring. Do not fail us

Anonymous said...

Tony, ISA is like a baptism of fire. Politicians who go thru it usually are much more respected by the people. So don't worry too much about it, it's god's will.
Meanwhile just do whatever you are elected to do without fear or favor.

Anonymous said...

Dear Tony,

In public service, there is certainly a personal price to pay, much more so in certain countries.

Malaysia is not yet at the stage of Myanmar (think Aung San Su Kyi) - I say 'not yet' because the path we are taking does not look very good.

We are depending on leaders and doers like yourself to prevent the total demise of democracy and freedom in this country.

The rest of the country just prefer to remain as commentators and critics.

Thank you for your work,

Anonymous said...

To BareSheen,

I doubt Tony Pua is "bitching" about the ISA - he's rightly stated that it is a real threat.

Don't accuse him of being a crybaby if you have no basis to do so.

CSK said...


Your articles are written logically and not offensive.So i doubt ISA applies to you.

I am not supporting the ISA detention of anyone, but i did read some malaysia today's article by RPK. To me, its like reading novel.

Anonymous said...

It's borderline bitching. But that's okay. I don't know about you, sitting here I feel immense rage inside me seeing how my country is being raped by those idiots. Yeah, the least that we could do is to bitch about it and I feel people should feel more outraged about things.

So Tony, complain, lament, bitch all you want. Get some rest and go get them tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

All this while we had been flip flop by locl newspaper -BN control media and mentioned the Bad about PAS ... but read on below from PAS daily news. You will able to different between UMNO and PAS.

Syabas PAS!

Anonymous said...

ISA is a joke and also a baptism of fire for all Opposition Political leaders.

Let's look at Theresa, her kidnapping last less than a week, but her martyr status stays 4EV4!

Say no to drugs, say no to ISA

Emily Pratt

Marsha Maung said...

Agree that ISA is a complete joke and I don't see why a politician can't 'bitch' about something as ridiculously insulting as a law that rapes our country?

Anonymous said...

"Power comes from the gun barrel"
~Mao Zedong

"Power comes from the people"
~Koh Tsu Koon

"Power comes from the ISA"
~The Government