Syed Hamid: Review must focus on police’s power to detain
“To challenge this is difficult. Maybe this thing can be studied, or referred to court,” he said yesterday. He said it was also important to review the interpretation of national security and public order, two crucial elements that have always been the basis of the detention of individuals under the ISA.
He said that when the Government conducts a review on the ISA, it also needed to review two other preventive laws: the Dangerous Drugs (Special Preventive Measures) Act and the Emergency Ordinance.
On a suggestion that the name of the Act be changed, Syed Hamid said it would not end people’s anxiety over the Act. “If the body remains the same, it will not bring effects. Most importantly, what the people fear and are unhappy and concerned about are provisions that enable us to take action without being questioned in court,” he said.
Syed Hamid said what was most important was not the question of abolishing the ISA but of concerns over abuse by the police or minister. “We have to free these processes but it is not the intention and objective of the Government to abolish the ISA,” he said.
He added that Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s announcement to review the ISA in his maiden speech as Prime Minister gave the people an opportunity to discuss the issue openly to enable the Government to find the best way and approach, in line with the people’s aspirations.
Syed Hamid said the Government’s sincerity to review the controversial Act should not be disputed. “If it becomes an empty promise, we will be gravely penalised in the next election,” he said.
Syed Hamid said he also saw the Restricted Residence Act as obsolete and which needed to be repealed. On the Printing Presses and Publications Act, he said the Government also needed to determine if it was still relevant.
On another matter, he said the police must take into consideration all aspects before implementing any restructuring, including the creation of two more Deputy Inspectors-General of Police. During the 202nd Police Day celebration, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan had said the force would be restructured, including adding two more Deputy Inspectors-General and the formation of six new departments. – Bernama
In the old days, if you failed your form three or LCE, you could become a police constable. A form five ‘dropout’ could become a trainee inspector and thereafter go on to become an inspector. Nowadays, the police are better educated than that. Many are university graduates and even have a law degree. But the policemen of the old days were respected, despite their lower education. Today, the police officers are despised, even how highly educated they may be. They no longer command the respect of the public.
What happened to change the public perception of the policeman? What transformed respect for the police officer into contempt? I can go into an extremely long cheong hei thesis to explain this and would probably qualify for a doctorate if I do. But much of what I would want to say has already been said before and I would merely be flogging a dead horse with my ‘thesis’. Should I waste everybody’s time by repeating what has already been argued at great length?
The long and the short of it is the public no longer trusts the police force. As what one ex-Deputy IGP told me, if they wanted to clean up the police force and rid it of corruption, 95% of the police force would have to be sacked. How do you sack 95% of the police force and still remain effective?
It delights as well as disgusts me to wake up in the morning and read the news that a certain police officer has just been arrested and charged for corruption. It delights me because this was the very same officer who raided my house, confiscated all my papers and computers, and accused me of breaking the law by writing an article that ‘smeared the name of our revered political leaders’. It disgusts me because the corrupt act of this police officer is the profile of 95% of our police force.
The majority of our police personnel are Malays. In Malaysia, Malays equates to Islam. And Islam is viewed as a very extreme religion, absolutely intolerant of sin and harsh in its punishment of those who commit sin. But the majority of these Malay-Muslim police officers are corrupt to the core. How does one reconcile the action of these police officers with the religion they profess?
Can you now understand why Islam is viewed as a most hypocritical religion? Actually, it is not the religion but the people who profess the religion who are hypocrites. But the religion is invariably and most unfortunately judged on the basis of the actions of those who practice it. And the failure of those who profess and practice the religion called Islam is seen as the failure of the religion itself. That is the most unfortunate truth and something we can never escape from.
Adding two more Deputy Inspectors-General and forming six new departments, as what the IGP is planning to do, will not improve the image or performance of the police force. More posts and more departments just mean more wrongdoing. Quantity is not the issue and is not what is needed. What is lacking is the quality of the people who join the police force.
Islam appears to have failed. It has failed to cultivate good people. The country can pass hundreds of laws and amend the Federal Constitution every Parliament sitting making it a crime for Muslims to leave Islam to become followers of other religions. They can make it an un-amendable part of the Constitution that every Malaysian born Malay is automatically a Muslim and no court in the land can reverse this. But Malays can’t be forced by legislation to become good Muslims. This, the powers-that-be can’t seem to appreciate.
Malays, meaning Muslims, must first comprehend that there is no such thing as detention without trial. Islam just does not allow for this. And as long as they continue to argue that Malaysia still needs the Internal Security Act, then they have deviated from Islam and have violated Islamic teachings. You just can’t sing about Islam and in the same breath sing about things that violate Islam. It is like claiming you are a virgin prostitute. A virgin can’t possibly be a prostitute and a prostitute can’t be a virgin if she is a prostitute.
We do not need the Internal Security Act to be reformed. It is like saying we shall now slaughter pigs and sell the meat as halal pork. Pork can never be halal even if the pigs are slaughtered by Muslims wearing white skullcaps who utter bismillah as the knife touches the jugular vein. Pork is haram, full stop, in spite of reforming the way the pig is slaughtered. And so will the Internal Security Act be haram in the eyes of Islam in spite of amending the manner and circumstances in how a police officer can detain a Malaysian without trial.
As long as Muslims make a mockery of Islam and show no respect to the teachings of Islam, that will be how long non-Muslims will look down on Islam and consider the religion a total joke. And this is not the fault of the non-Muslims. This is the fault of the Muslims. When you run naked on the street and have sexual intercourse on a park bench, can you fault the passer-by for thinking you may be not quite right in the brain?