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UMNO Samseng again!

If UMNO Youth gangsters want to support ISA, please do it with a lawful and democratic manner.

I am also support ISA, but with a condition, the power to arrest is vested to a committee chaired by a prominent community leader and members from BN and PR Members of Parliament.

Ghani steps on stage to interrupt the forum. Directly behind him is panellist Hishamuddin.

Mob storms anti-ISA forum
by Himanshu Bhatt and Opalyn Mok

Ghani steps on stage to interrupt the forum. Directly behind him
is panellist Hishamuddin.

GEORGE TOWN (Nov 21, 2010) : A mob claiming to support the Internal Security Act stormed an anti-ISA forum at Komtar Walk here today.

Identifying themselves as members of non-governmental organisations and those wanting to preserve the ISA, the 20-odd boisterous youths held banners and shouted slogans to drown out the proceedings soon after the forum, held to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Act, began.

The forum organised by Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA (GMI) had at the time four speakers on stage – activist Hishamuddin Rais, PAS veteran Mohamad Sabu, Hindraf activist V. Ganabatirau and Socialist Front member Lim Choo Leong – all ex-detainees who had come to relate their experience.

Mohd Sabu was speaking about how the ISA was used to hold people without trial, when a scuffle broke out as the demonstrators moved towards the stage with their banners, while GMI volunteers tried to persuade them not to disturb the event.

Penang Umno youth chief Norman Zahalan and his colleagues, who were among the protesters, told the organisers that the venue was a public space.

Komtar Merchants Association vice-chairman Mohamed Ghani Jiman then stepped on stage and took the microphone to speak in support of the ISA as necessary legislation to detain traitors, and maintain peace and harmony.

Hishamuddin, who was watching Ghani from behind, then took the mike and facetiously praised Ghani for his views.

“If I were a Penang resident, this man here would be my elected representative next year. We respect your right to your views.” he said.

Komtar assemblyman Ng Wei Aik later told a press conference the demonstrators should have respected the organisers and not disrupted the event.

“Even though they disturbed the forum, the organisers allowed them to go on stage to express their views,” he said, adding that irrespective of the stand of the two groups, the “silent majority” of citizens will be the ones to decide in the end.

“The silent majority will show whether they support the ISA or not in the next general election.”
Earlier, Ng who officiated the forum, said there was a need to spread greater awareness of the negative impact of the ISA on the public.

“Although we still need to raise awareness, we must have made an impact to have spurred the Umno supporters to organise a demonstration this morning to voice their support for the ISA,” he said.

“Many people are unaware of the negative impacts of the Act as they assume that only politicians will be affected by it, when in fact it can be used on anyone.”

Panellist Hishamuddin Rais said NGOs would not discriminate between the Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat.

“If there is a new federal government, we expect the new government to repeal the Act within three days of taking over, otherwise we will organise a demonstration to protest,” he said.

Former Gerakan state executive councillor Datuk Dr Toh Kin Woon, who was also present to officially launch the book “Beyond The Blue Gate” by a victim of a similar act in Singapore, also said it was time the government repealed the Act.

“Many have suffered under this law and the ruling party has abused its power by using the Act on those who went against them,” he said in his speech.

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