Tuesday, September 20, 2011

ISA update - Towards a brave new Malaysia by Karim Raslan

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak may have appropriated core Pakatan Rakyat issues with his Sept 15 civil liberties announcements, but more crucial is whether Malaysians are ready to face up to the challenges.

PRIME Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak surprised Malaysia on Sept 15. In one fell swoop, he appears to have turned the civil liberties agenda into a Barisan Na­­sional initiative.

Announcing plans to abolish and/or amend the Internal Security Act (ISA), the Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPPA) as well as other laws, Najib has cleverly appropriated core Pakatan Rakyat issues.

In doing so, he has also demonstrated that Umno is capable of renewal. Indeed, the party of Merdeka – as I’ve always argued – is infinitely more diverse than many realise or wish to acknowledge.

After all, it ranges from figures such as Deputy Minister of Higher Education Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah at the moderate end of the spectrum to hardliners such as Deputy Education Minister Dr Puad Zarkashi.

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