Monday, September 15, 2008

Malaysia law minister Zaid Ibrahim resigns

A government minister in Malaysia has resigned in protest against the detention of three people over the weekend under the country's harsh Internal Security Act.

Our south east Asia correspondent, Karen Percy, reports the legal affairs minister, Zaid Ibrahim, tendered his resignation to Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi, after disagreeing with the use of the act against an anti-government blogger, a journalist, and an opposition politician.

The act allows the police to detain suspects indefinitely without trial.

It is supposed to target people who are a threat to national security.

But it has been abused for political purposes. Mr Zaid told local reporters at the weekend that the cases should have been handled in the court system.

Other members of the cabinet are believed to also be concerned, which could play into the hands of the opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, who is trying to convince government members to defect and join his People's Alliance.

source: Malaysia law minister resigns
Radio Australia, Australia3 hours ago. More: Malaysia minister in charge of law quits, Malaysian minister quits to protest strict security law, Malaysian resignation points to more trouble, Malaysia minister resigns as cracks appear in Govt, Malaysia's controversial ISA arrests.

Latest: Zaid's resignation rejected

Datuk Zaid Ibrahim’s resignation letter was not accepted by the prime minister.

It is learnt that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi urged Zaid to stay on and continue with the judicial reforms during their 30 minute meeting at Seri Perdana today.

Sources said Zaid, known for his outspoken views, had expressed his concerns that he could be a liability to Abdullah.

The prime minister, however, advised him to take two weeks’ leave to re-consider his resignation. - NST online. Zaid's resignation rejected
New Straits Times, Malaysia - 4 hours ago

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