Pro-tem president and deputy president of PABS expressed their shock at the draconian and questionable detention of citizen-blogger Nathaniel Tan by police on a flimsy charge under the OSA, when no national security issue exists to justify that repressive persecution.
On the eve of an auspicious period in Malaysia's history, when Malaysians are poised to celebrate the 50th anniversary of our great nation, the questionable remand of Nathaniel Tan can only besmirch a momentous national event.
PABS appeals to PM Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, also as the Minister of Internal Security, to instruct police to release Nathaniel Tan immediately, so that Malaysians may proudly greet 31 August 2007 in an inclusive joyous Merdeka celebration.
Jangan biar pelanduk mati di tengah-tengah, bila gajah sama gajah berjuang!
PABS views with great regret the threat by Deputy Internal Security Minister Johari Baharum to use the police to seek out law-abiding citizen-bloggers who post responsible criticism of government ministers or officials.
Constructive criticism of the government, especially of the people's representatives, is a constitutional right of every citizen. PABS considers the Deputy Minister's act of intimidation as inappropriate and against free and responsible expression of speech, guaranteed under our Constitution and the principles of Islam Hadhari.
Instead of threatening lawful citizens into silence, the Ministry of Security should focus its hitherto missing attention on the nation's rising crime rates and ameliorate this worrying threat to national security.
PABS will be sending to malaysiakini a copy of its appeal to the Prime Minister on the unjust and oppressive incarceration of Nathaniel Tan.