KUALA LUMPUR, 16 Dec 2008: Not all detentions under the Internal Security Act (ISA) are done under ministerial powers rather the police also have powers to make detentions under the act, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar.
He said the action taken by police was due to their investigations to ensure the safety and security of the country besides taking preventive action on issues including racial issues.
“Detention under the ISA need not be referred to the minister, it is also up to the wisdom of the police, as they have information and intelligence. That a 60-day detention is necessary for investigation,” Syed Hamid said during the winding-up debate for the 2009 Supply Bill in the Dewan Negara today.
Syed Hamid said the ISA is only used when it is found that no other acts can be used like in the detention of blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin, Seputeh Member of Parliament Teresa Kok and Sin Chew Daily reporters Tan Hoon Cheng in September.
“More apt, faster and better to use the ISA…detention under the act is early action to prevent the security of the country from being adversely affected,” he said.
He said all were responsible to ensure that certain issues that can lead to misunderstanding and friction among races be avoided as well as not be politicised by the both the Opposition and Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties.
The ISA is only used when there is no other choice to prevent something that can disrupt the country’s harmony, Syed Hamid said. — Bernama