Wednesday, December 14, 2005

ISA and our forefathers

Saw something funny on the midnight news earlier. Japan's Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi visited Perodua's sales office and there was a visual of him standing next to a MYVI giving it a jolly good old slap and endorsing the car. It made realize sometimes Prime Ministers have to do the most indiginified things as part of their daily job. Here's a leader of a powerful asian country with a land steep with culture endorsing a little car. The poor guy looked out of place but here he was sportingly playing it out for the camera.

Today was a pretty exciting day, spoke to two lawyers today about legal rights. Made me realize today that if I ever face a criminal charge, I'll be too poor to afford free legal help and not rich enough to afford a good lawyer. Even if I could afford a lawyer, I'll be financially destroyed after all that.

They passed me pamplets on our legal rights when dealing with the police. Quite interesting. Basically, you don't have to say anything that would incriminate yourself. If you are not under arrest, just walk away. Of course, all these would certainly piss of the cops so I don't know if I would want to do that in face of all the media controversy of how police actually treat suspects.

This made realize, with all the free advice people have been giving out on our legal rights, I have a feeling the police probably knows all these limitations in how they can get information out of suspects. Thats why we often hear of cases of police torturing suspects.

The two lawyers I spoke too basically specialized in dealing with ISA cases and were obviously quite critical of this law. Personally, I feel that it's an inferior weapon to deal with the 'terrorist' treat but its the most effective one. It's napalm you drop in the forrest and it kills everything in it. Malaysia is so proud in how it won the war against the communist treat, we often forget how we won the war. It was weapons like that ISA that got us where we are today. The one of the lawyer mentioned that while we inherited this law from the British, they knew how to do it properly. Now here's where I have my scepticism.

On the Delphi in Greece, there is quote etched in that says "know thy self". It basically means, don't kid yourself... know yourself. Humans share the same traits. I have a feeling that the Malaysian police force is just of the same caliber of the British police force pre-independence. Now that brings us back to my point of how the British and the early Malaysian government fought the battle for our independence against the communist. The suppression of the communists and trade unions with laws such as this was certainly an affront to civil rights but look at where we are today. Does the end justify the means? I don't know if I can imagine a different life if our forefathers didn't do what they had to do.

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