The release of well-known blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin was today welcomed by politicians and civil rights activists, who called it a triumph for the rule of law.
They now want the government to release all remaining detainees being held under the draconian Internal Security Act at the Kamunting detention camp in Perak.
Many are also calling for the resignation of Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar for abuse of power.
DAPâ€™s Bukit Bendera Member of Parliament Liew Chin Tong congratulated Shah Alam High Court Judge Syed Ahmad Helmy Syed Ahmad for his courage in releasing the controversial blogger.
He, however, hoped Raja Petra would not suffer the same fate as DAP chairman Karpal Singh, who upon his release from ISA in 1988, was re-arrested just hours later.
“It would amount to contempt of court and I hope that the authorities will not misuse their power,” he told Malaysiakini today.
In freeing the popular blogger, Judge Syed Ahmad ruled that Raja Petra’s detention was illegal and unconstitutional because the home minister had not followed proper procedures in issuing the detention order.
Raja Petra was arrested on Sept 12 by police and was sent to the Kamunting detention camp on Sept 23.
United Hindu Religious Council deputy president AK Suppiah said the court decision showed that the government was palpably wrong to depict independent journalism and freedom of expression on civil rights and abuse of power as threats to national security.
He called on Syed Hamid to resign immediately for ordering the wrongful detention of Raja Petra, a sentiment shared by Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) national co-ordinator RS Thanenthiran.