Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Anti-ISA: United We Stand, Divided We Fall

This is my comment in the article ‘Riot’ at Kamunting: The real story of Malaysia Today . The article describes the plights of Norlaila Othman, the wife of ISA detainee, Mat Sah Mohd. Satray published as a Special Report on 17 March 2005 of Aliran Monthly Vol 24 (2004): Issue 11/12.

For those not in the know, Kamunting is the detention center ISA. Wikipedia has a detailed entry on ISA of Malaysia.

As reported by his wife, Mat Sah was elbowed and choked when UKP personnels were reported to "orchestrate a riot" among detainees on 8-9 December 2004. Other detainees were beaten up. NST and Berita Harian placed the news as front page.

These are the words that Norlaila wrote pertaining to the "orchestrated riot"
" The “riot” actually started from a spot check, a normal procedure carried out by the Prison Security Unit (UKP), at Block T-2B, one of the blocks in the camp. At 9.00 am, the detainees in the block were shocked to see a large number of UKP officers dashing into their block and simply taking their belongings, especially tools and material to make handcraft. They tried to stop the action of the UKP but there were too many UKP personnel and 12 detainees inside were beaten up badly. "

Internal Security Act (ISA) was formed in the early days of independence to counter communism in the country. ISA is under the umbrella of Emergency Ordinance Act. When the State of Emergency was over, ISA was not taken off. Instead, it became a tool of oppression and propaganda.

These are the websites relating to the Abolish ISA Movement

A person by the nickname of josh made a comment on the Malaysia Today article. Raja Petra replied him and I commented accordingly....

josh wrote:
huh, old story...read b4
28/05 19:17:28

Raja Petra wrote:
Dear josh, and what did you do about it when you read it before? Oh, kalau pasal Operasi Lalang in 1987, engkau semua bangkit and ungkit sebab orang bukan Melayu yang kena tahan. Kalau Melayu yang kena tahan, engkau jawab 'old story' and 'these Islamic extremists deserve it'. Yang kena tahan pada 1987 orang jenis apa? Government kata Chinese extremists yang hendak bunuh orang Melayu. Is that so?
29/05 09:09:17

My comments:
Yup, Raja Petra, you are right about this.

Sad isn't it? Malaysians only fight for their own race and religion. Not for the rest of the people.

It is high time for us to change our thinking. Josh, please repent.

The other day, I was reading a book about ISA by Khoo Kay Peng in MPH Mid-Valley.

There were pictures inside from the early days. All sorts of people were detained. Some do not even have the chance to get out of the prison. Sometimes it feels as if certain people have been given life imprisonment without going to the court.

Imagine your, being imprisoned for life without a fair trial? Without a chance to defend yourself with a jury and judge present?

In the pictures there were old grandmothers (in droves) wailing, begging for their children to be returned while armed police officers drag them away from the road.

What did their children do to deserve such treatment? To my surprise, some of these people are actually fighting for society. Some workers were dismissed unfairly by factory tycoons without proper compensations back in the old days.

Do these people deserve ISA?

Bear in mind, that ISA is non-discriminatory when it comes to race and religion.

ALL are victims.

There are many cases like the above where some families lost all their money because some detainees are the sole breadwinner of the family.

I am not saying that all detainees imprisoned are good people. What I detest is, these people are being locked-up without having a chance to defend themselves through proper legal channels.

For me, ISA is a form of Dictatorship. Dictators lock-up people without trial. Why hasn't ISA been revoked? Isn't the State of Emergency over? Isn't Malaysia a Democratic country?

United we Stand, Divided We Fall.

The main reason that ISA still stays is because there were no "Unity" when it comes to protest regarding any detention.

Remind me if what I say is not true.

Reformasi was regarded a Malay issue, therefore many Chinese did not stand together with the Malays when ISA was applied.

Some chinese (non-BN supporters) even label Tian Chua as a troublemaker for purportedly "mingling with Malay affairs".

Is that right to judge Tian Chua that way considering the fact that PKR was attempting to fight against corruption, an ubiquituous issue?

Operasi Lalang were considered a Chinese issue, therefore Malays did not give any support when ISA was executed.

The Chinese were only demanding for their rights as described in the Constitution.

Tell me if I am wrong to say that "some" Malays labeled their Malay friends who protested against ISA during Operasi Lalang to be a traitor.


Dear josh,

This article is to highlight the effects from the tyrant and cruel ISA.

Perhaps, you should give a token of support rather than provide such statements.

Having more articles to raise social awareness is better than a lack of it minusing the fact that the story can be repetitive.

For me, the concept of Malaysian Malaysia is to band together to fight against tyranny rather than looking at one's personal advantage or disadvantage in the shades of race and religion.

Please do not view people of different races as "worthy" of ISA.

Josh, I hope you understand and repent.

First, ISA take the Reformist Malay away, you say you are not a Malay. Then, ISA take the Reformist Chinese away, you say you are not in politics.

One day, when the situation worsens and you protest. ISA comes to take you away and you realise, there is no one to help you.

This situation is applicable to the Malays and Indians as well.

Yes, this is an old phrase.. but it still rings true to this day.

Think Utilitarian, Think General.

We are Malaysians, We are Not Enemies of Each Other's Race.

I have written too much......


ckchew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ckchew said...

That's what we malaysian think we are. the malay is for the malays & chinese for chinese & the same goes to the indian. one was assumed to be a traitor if he/she dare to stand up for his/her counterpart.

can't we be united as one, as malaysian? that's a million dollar Q!!