Tuesday, 9 September 2014

PBS wants ISA back

Without the ISA, people are bolder in issuing unhealthy, hurtful and degrading comments in social media.

KOTA KINABALU: While Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak is wrestling with making good his public pledge to do away with the outdated Sedition Act, Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) wants the draconian Internal Security Act brought back, among other measures, to deal with extremists and instigators.

“We see that many people seem to abuse the freedom given to them in expressing their views,” said PBS secretary-general Johnny Mositun in a statement.

“They become loose and say whatever they want, issuing statements that have seditious elements, and touch on racial and religious issues, and the Federal Constitution.”

Mositun, who is also the Sabah deputy speaker, described the proposed secession of Sabah and Sarawak from the Federation as the latest affront.

He said the government should consider re-enforcing the ISA so that people would not be too bold in making known their wild opinions and insulting statements.

He recalled that before the ISA was replaced by the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma), the people were not too daring and bold to issue irresponsible statements that would hurt the feelings of others.

“Nowadays, without the ISA, they are more bold and daring to issue unhealthy, hurtful and degrading comments in social media like Facebook, Twitter, blogs and WhatsApp without showing any respect at all,” said Mositun. “This trend is a cause for concern. If it goes out of control, then our peace and order could be in jeopardy.”

Reviving the ISA, he reiterated, could complement the Sedition Act.

In addition, he said the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) must be proactive in taking measures such as blocking access to websites and networks that could badly influence the people and pose a threat to the country.

“If other countries like China can strictly monitor and even block access to popular social media, then why can’t we do the same?” he asked in citing the communist giant as an example of one which got away with it.

PBS leaders, when the party ruled Sabah alone from 1985 to 1994, have been detained under the ISA and these include current Deputy President and Federal Minister for Energy, Green Technology and Water, Maximus Johnity Ongkili, and former Vice- President Jeffrey Kitingan who was accused of plotting to take Sabah out of the Federation. Ongkili is the nephew of Jeffrey.

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