Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Malaysia Day like no other

There was never Malaysia Day. Only until recently, Malaysia Day would seen to be more important than 31 August 1957, the independence day of Malaysia.

Malaysia Day however marks an even more important event. That the two Borneo states, Sabah and Sarawak are now a part of Peninsular Malaysia. On 16 September 1963, Malaysia was truly formed.

But a day before this historical day, there was even more news to rejoice in. The PM of Malaysia, perhaps under extreme pressure, has finally repealed the the Internal Security Act, the Emergency Declarations, the Banishment Act and perhaps more freedom under the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 without the annual review of the licences for printing presses. Good news. But long overdue.

After past events of Ops Lalang back in 1987 when press licences of mainstream newspapers were revoked and these presses returned without independence anymore, the extensive use of ISA during these times, during the events of Hindraf in 2008, the use of the Emergency Ordinance not too long back in the events pre Bersih 2.0, and many more which I may not be privy of, It's time these draconian laws were to be abolished.

At least for now, the repeal of ISA seems imminent. Long overdue indeed. Not only has the opposition been fighting for its repeal, NGO's alike and even the Malaysian Bar saw the need to reform arbitrary laws such as these.

Of course, the question would begging to be answered would be, why now? Because the PM fears that he will lose the next and upcoming elections and these laws would then be detrimental to him? Or does he finally see the need for reform ( don't just open your eyes all of a sudden when things were always blatantly in your face). We won't know the reasons in truth, but at least for now the move is a welcomed one.

Of course, laws on internal security would be enacted. Two new laws in fact as pronounced by our de facto law minister, Nazri Aziz will be tabled, drawing ideas from laws enacted in UK and the US, eg, the Patriot Act post Sept 11. Lets just hope these laws will no longer be used according to the whims and fancies of the government. We place that hope for better and fair legislation. But we, as the Rakyat should always be on guard and to voice our grievances whenever injustice is seen to happen. It will happen at some point, but I take comfort in the fact that the Rakyat is more vocal about social justice in an exciting era such as this.

All in all, as was earlier said, the move is a good one and perhaps makes this Malaysia Day even more significant than the rest as the fight to abolish ISA has finally crystallize. Indeed the word 'repeal' is so much better sounding than 'review' under these circumstances.

So, its a good day for changes, when changes are long overdue.

Happy Malaysia Day people. Let the good times roll and keep up the good fight!

my only other beef is...what of the Emergency Ordinance?

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