I’m going to be very clear about this: The ISA must be retained at all costs.

It has not only kept our country secure for many years but has advanced it in countless ways. The ISA should be vigilantly protected and I ask that all good citizens sign a protest asking the government to retain it.

After all the Institute of Social Advancement (ISA) has been of great service to the nation for so many years.

Got you there!

You thought I was harping on about the Internal Security Act, didn’t you? The ISA being that infamous security act which the Malaysian government has recently declared it will abolish.

This detention-without-trial legislation was, after all, inherited from the Brits, so that’s always been a great excuse to retain it. But the times are a changing …

Anyway, the problem with abbreviations is that they can cause untold confusion. We get all too used to these letters in caps. They even take on a life of their own.

I still refer to Malaysian Airlines as ‘MAS’, which is short for Malaysian Airline System, the airline’s old name. (I just can’t get used to saying “I’m flying MH” and incidentally I think they’re going in the wrong direction trying to go budget instead of going up-market).

Unfortunately, all this shows my vintage!

Malaysia’s ruling party, UMNO (which stands for United Malays National Organisation), is always called UMNO, even when referred to in the Malay language and in the Malay media.

Of course, those of us who like cavorting in the rain would much prefer UMNO to be short for ‘Umbrellas Must Never Open’!

Our friends in the UK will be all-too familiar with the NHS, short for National Health Service. Yet one could just as easily mistake it for ‘Never Have Sex’ if they happen to have joined the Multinational Society of the Celibate (MSC).

If you’re a member of MSC, you’ll never have to bother taking a Master’s of Science degree for you’ll be: Miss So-and-so, MSc.

No point taking a Bachelor of Arts (BA), yet alone fly British Airways.

Back to the ISA.

I think it should be short for ‘I See Always’.

Don’t you think?