Monday, September 15, 2008

MCA’s Fong: Home Minister’s explanation ‘unacceptable’

MCA’s Fong: Home Minister’s explanation ‘unacceptable’

PETALING JAYA: MCA vice-president Datuk Seri Dr Fong Chan Onn has criticised Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar’s explanation for the detention of Sin Chew Daily reporter Tan Hoon Cheng.

He said Syed Hamid’s explanation that Tan was arrested under the Internal Security Act (ISA) because her life was under threat was “totally unacceptable.”

“It was a feeble attempt to justify the use of the ISA on Tan.

“By doing so, the police have xycaused added emotional distress and mental agony to Tan and her family,” Dr Fong wrote in his blog.

He also said Syed Hamid’s claim that the detention was done without his knowledge was inconsistent with his explanation.

Dr Fong said based on his experience as a former Cabinet minister, sensitive issues were discussed at weekly meetings before any decision was made.

“As the Home Minister, he should be responsible for any action undertaken by the police, especially when it involves the sensitivities of the people.

“As a senior Minister, (he) must be very familiar with these procedures,” he said.

Dr Fong also called for the Government to either abolish or review the ISA.

“The government should abolish or take another look at the ISA to put in place a rigorous system of checks and balances before any decision is taken to detain someone,” he said.

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