ISA : Notice to the Government

Speech by DAP Secretary-General and M.P. for Bandar Melaka, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, at the Selangor DAP State committee meeting at Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, 11.10.1970 at 10 a.m.

ISA : Notice to the Government

I hereby serve notice to the government that the DAP shall oppose the Internal Security Act unless the government:

1. Immediately terminate its abuse of the Internal Security Act by immediately releasing all detainees unreasonably and unjustifiably detained, and;

2. Give us a satisfactory undertaking that the Internal Security Act will not be abused in the future by the provision of adequate safeguards in the Act.

For if the Internal Security Act is grossly abused, as it is being grossly abused today, then it becomes a more monstrous evil than the evil it is designed to suppress, namely, a group of people dedicated to the use of force to overthrow the popularly elected government.

In fact, when the ISA is grossly abused, the beneficiaries are bound to be the advocates of violence, who can point out to the public the futility of constitutional democratic struggle where the government can put under and key any politician who threatens its position and power.

Among the outstanding cases of unjust detention today are that of the peasant leader, Hamid Tuah and the Parti Sosialis State Assemblyman for Tanah Puteh, Inche Dzulkifli Ismail.

Hamid Tuah is the greatest peasant leader Malaysia has produced. His crime is to have a conscience that cares for the plight of the landless in Malaysia.

But to the ra’ayat and petani, he is a hero, for his champions their cause.

The DAP supports any movement to bring about radical land reform by giving land to the landless, for this is one of the key solutions to the problem of rural poverty and backwardness in the country.

Hamid Tuah should be honoured by the nation for his concern for the landless. Instead, he is detained. This is a perversion of government power.

The arrest and detention on Inche Dzulkifli Ismail is equally arbitrary and insupportable. The government is developing a habit of by-passing the wishes of the electorate by detaining elected representatives of the people, whether on the state assembly or parliamentary level.

I have read the government’s explanation for the detention of Inche Dzulkifli Ismail, and I must state that there is not one iota of it which justifies Inche Dzulkifli Ismail’s detention.

In conclusion, unless the government immediately releases Hamid Tuah and Inche Dzulkifli Ismail and all other currently unreasonably detained, and give us a satisfactory assurance that the ISA will not and cannot be abused in the future, the DAP shall oppose it.