Monday, 15 September 2008

Law Minister Zaid 'tenders resignation' - Malaysiakini

De facto Law Minister Zaid Ibrahim yesterday threatened to resign if the government continues to use the Internal Security Act (ISA) which allows detention without trial, and he is good as his word.

Today he tendered his resignation in protest over the arrest of three individuals last week, according to a Malaysiakini report.

Below is excerpts from the report.

According to a reliable source, Zaid's resignation letter was delivered to the Prime Minister's Office at around 2pm oday.

However, Zaid could not be reached for comments but is expected to call a press conference later today.

The minister has expressed his disagreement with last Friday's ISA dragnet where DAP parliamentarian and Selangor senior exco Teresa Kok, controversialblogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin and Sin Chew Daily reporter Tan Hoon Cheng were held for allegedly being a threat to national Scurity.

Zaid had earlier said that he would try to meet Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi some time this week to discuss the matter.

Malaysiakini was informed that Zaid did not meet with his boss before the letter was submitted to the PM's office in Putrajaya this afternoon.

Yesterday, Zaid told Malaysiakini that the detainees should be charged in court.

"We have a government that commits to laws and reforms, we can't be using old-style politics or resort to creating fear. We have laws and they (the detainees) should be charged in court."

"If my position is untenable, I will leave," he said. Zaid argued that the ISA should only be used to curb terrorism, which was the reason why it was first enacted in 1960.

"The problem with the ISA now is that it is used against certain people, it is a very unjust law," he added.

Zaid also felt "very sad that people like Teresa, whom I know personally, can be seen as a threat."

"I can't see how a journalist doing her duty, or even Raja Petra, can be seen as a national threat. If their statements upset certain people, let the police investigate," he said.

Zaid added that he was against the government using such a "strong-arm tactic" against any individuals.

Little support from cabinet colleagues

Zaid, who is the former Kota Baru MP, was made a senator and named as minister in charge of legal affairs during the cabinet reshuffle by premier Abdullah in March.

His appointment was lauded by many quarters as it was seen as a gesture by the prime minister to put in place judicial reforms.

Zaid lamented, however, that the latest ISA arrests had dealt a blow to his six-month-long task of trying to regenerate the judiciary.

The minister also conceded that his views on certain matters do not go down well with his cabinet colleagues."I don't want to make it difficult for him (Abdullah). If my views are inconsistent or unsuitable (to that of the cabinet's), I can leave the government.

"It (the crackdown) is a setback (on my work). The government wanted to change certain things, otherwise they don't need me (to be in the cabinet)," he said.

A lawyer by training, Zaid was chairperson and senior partner in Zaid Ibrahim and Co - the largest law firm in the country - before he was appointed senator.

Upon his appointment as minister, Zaid had resigned from his position in the law firm and was replaced by Dr Nik Norzrul Thani. It is not known whether Zaid, who established the company in 1987, will return to full-time practice. -Malaysiakini



Read also rocky'sbru Zaid Ibrahim quits here.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia, Heritage Associations, Malay Cultural Organisations and Related Bodies Cooperation Network yesterday lodged police reports against Teresa Kok over her "alleged act" to prohibit the azan call. As a social and cultural associations, they should show to the general public that they are run by good intellectuals who can provide good examples on righteousness, fairness and integrity. To make such police reports after the fact that the Masjid had denied the involvement of Teresa Kok on the azan issue, the confirmation by the residence association that Teresa Kok did not initiate any petition and that the blogger at the Pembelamelayu Blog has appologized on the mistakened allegations made by him, it makes one wonder what is the motive of such police reports now! It has been told that Islam forbids slander against anyone. So in this holy month, why are such actions taking place against the truth and supporting lies by these muslim associations?

Lee said...

I fail to understand why The Muslim Consumers association and the Islamic NGOs lodged the police reports against YB Teresa Kok only after the selective arrest of YB Teresa Kok by the police under the ISA.Are they trying to justify the government's blunder?Why all these during the holy month of Ramadhan?Why did the police choose to act before any report was lodged?The de facto Law Minister YB
Zaid Ibrahim is to be congratulated for standing by his principles.Is it possible that the government is not aware that this selective persecutions will be objected to by all strata of malaysian society cutting across racial barrier?The conflicting statements by Albar is definitely not enhancing the credibility of the government!To many people it is becoming increasingly doubtful
that AAB is in control!After all he is supposed to be a God-fearing person.

jamal said...

Yang dia ni sibuk sangat nak membela orang yang dah disumbat tu apa cerita. Bukannya orang yang ditahan tu takda buat salah langsung. Semua bersebab. Tak payah nak banyak cakap, buat kecoh, dan nak jadi hero macam ni. Ke sebenarnya dia ni memang nak melompat2 macam katak gak sebenarnya. Semua ni alasan je. Sambil2 tu dapat burukkan kerajaan dengan harapan plan Anwar betul2 berhasil.

jamal said...

Yang dia ni sibuk sangat nak membela orang yang dah disumbat tu apa cerita. Bukannya orang yang ditahan tu takda buat salah langsung. Semua bersebab. Tak payah nak banyak cakap, buat kecoh, dan nak jadi hero macam ni. Ke sebenarnya dia ni memang nak melompat2 macam katak gak sebenarnya. Semua ni alasan je. Sambil2 tu dapat burukkan kerajaan dengan harapan plan Anwar betul2 berhasil.

spliff_roller said...

hey jamal kalau adalah sebab untuk menahan Teresa Kok dan Raja Petra tidak perlu ISA digunakan.

Tetapi ISA digunakan kerana Kerjaan UMNO-BN tidak ada sebab untuk menahan mereka di mahkahmah, justeru itu ISA digunakan untuk tahan warganegara Malaysia kita demi tujuan politik.