Wednesday, April 8, 2015

POTA: ISA Clone

The Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) Bill 2015 has been passed by Parliament at 2:30 AM, March 06, 2015. The vote saw 79 ayes and 60 nays.
 
POTA is an ISA clone. It is an insidious piece of legislation – that provides for detention without trial. And there will be no judicial review of detention orders, except for procedure.
 
Malaysians know too well that the Internal Security Act, 1960 – repealed in 2011 – had been very much abused. Remember Operation Lalang where 106 persons – activists, journalists, members of civil society, and Opposition leaders – were detained under the ISA in 1987? Who will be stupid enough to trust the BN government now?
 
Pakatan Rakyat have been vigorously vocal against the bill and yet when it comes to a vote, their lawmakers couldn’t muster the numbers.
 
There are now 86 PR Members of Parliament – meaning that if just another 20 of them had shown some measure of responsibility to be present that day – then POTA would NOT have been passed by the Dewan Rakyat. Sure, in the end, BN will still prevail because they have the numerical advantage but at least it will demonstrate that PR mean business. It's about making a point! 
 
How is it that 26 PR lawmakers were absent from the POTA debate and vote? The twenty-six have betrayed the rakyat’s trust. It is worth reminding these absentee MPs that they were elected to Parliament to represent the interests of their constituents – the rakyat.
 
On Tuesday, they didn’t do their job. I sure would like to know who they are. And what were their excuses.

On Monday, I was at The Boulevard in KL's MidValley to attend the KL Advanced Toastmasters meeting. A new venue and we saw an attendance of fifteen members and guests. A good start really. I spoke at the meeting – delivering a speech from the Speeches by Management manual. And I was voted Best Speaker.
 
Overall, I had no complaints and my meeting score is a 6 over 10.

 














 

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