I am happy that Teresa Kok has been released. Initially, when she was detained under the ISA for her involvement in the Azan issue, I felt it was justified as the Azan issue was and still is an extremely sensitive issue. It could get many Muslims angry and riled up. It is seditious in nature and would have caused many problems, especially when race relations are so fragile now.
But now that things are much clearer, I am surprised and in fact appalled by the whole exercise. At least based on initial reports today, I am made to understand that Teresa Kok was detained under the ISA only to be questioned and investigated along with to ascertain her involvement in several issues like the Azan issue and others.
It is my belief that the ISA should only be used in extremely serious circumstances, amongst which are those affecting national security and harmony. The ISA Act is also a preventive act in nature ie to prevent the individual or individuals from causing harm or affecting national security and harmony. But it is not to be used when only to investigate or just on suspicion! It should only be used when you have totally clear and absolute proof of the matter.
Dato Seri Syed Hamid looks pretty stupid now for authorising the use of ISA. As the minister in charge, he did not utilise his wisdom and ultimate authority to sanction or overrule the suggestions made to him. Again I say, he has made a mockery of the ISA Act by authorising its use on this particular manner. Cases such as this and that of Ms Tan (Sin Chew Daily reporter)are why some quarters are calling for a repeal or review of the ISA.
The ISA Act is still relevant and needed for its proper use ie national security and harmony and as a preventive action when there is absolute proof. However, we need to ensure that abuses such as that committed by Dato Seri Syed Hamid do not happen again.