Sunday, September 28, 2008

Confused HINDRAF spouses plea does not dampen struggle to repeal ISA

Now, if you are the spouse of an ISA detainee - then your concern generally is for the immediate and unconditional release of your spouse.

After the release, of your spouse you may not even be bothered to campaign further for the release of the others detained under the ISA or other Detention Without Trial laws... let alone continuing to campaign for the repeal of such laws...

We have to ask ourselves the question whether we were even bothered about those under detention without trial laws before this - before our spouse, friend, acquaintance, our 'leader', our fellow fighter for rights, our church member, our ... was arrested and detained under these laws.

In fact for many, after our 'people' are released - the ISA just is no more a priority. For some, it will be worse - they just become indifferent to it.

Now the police or their agents may be telling family and friends of the detainees - stop the campaigning, stop the protest...etc and then your loved one will be released. They will also say that the continuous campaigns, protest... is actually the cause of your 'loved one' continued detention. STOP it all and they will be released...

This tactic of the police is not unique to the ISA arrests - it is also used commonly by the police whenever they arrest persons. They would say that there is no need for a lawyer - just be patient and the arrested will be released soon after investigations.

If you protest...get a lawyer, etc - then it will be will become complicated...difficult.

If not, it will be settled soon --- and that is the reason WHY many persons, when arrested, do not engage a lawyer as soon as the arrest happens... they(and their families) wait believing the police and hoping for a quick release --- and sometime it does not happen.

And within 24 hours after arrest, when the police take the detainee to the Magistrate to get a remand order, the detainee is most of the time not represented -- and in fact, without contest, the police usually get their way most of the time when it comes to remand applications...

I say, it is very important to engage a lawyer when you get arrested - and choose a lawyer, who is not afraid of the police and who will really fight for the rights of the arrested person. Sadly, there are many lawyers who are afraid of the police or are not interested in challenging the police because they are worried that their 'rice bowl' will be affected..

In Malaysia, sadly most people only start looking for a lawyer after they get charged in court - and that delay is sometimes bad for the person charged.

Not knowing the law, he/she may have done things after their arrest and during detention, which they would not have done if they had early legal advice and representation, may in fact be the very things that will ultimately be the things that will cause them to be found guilty...

Why do they do this? Why do they risk it? Why do they prejudice themselves by their ignorance or by reason of not having a lawyer? To save money - for after all, if I am not charged - then the money spend on a lawyer could have been better spent for other important matters...

I read with interest a recent report in Malaysiakini entitled "ISA detainees' wives: Hindraf has changed"
The struggle of the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) is different now compared to when it started some 10 months ago under the leadership of the five who are currently under Internal Security Act (ISA) detention, said the wives of two leaders today.

Dr M Kalaivani and B Buvaneswary, the wives of K Kenghadharan and V Ganabatirau, respectively, said they were not comfortable with the direction in which the movement has taken.

Speaking at a press conference in Kelana Jaya, Kalaivani said aside from the goal of obtaining the release of the Hindraf leaders, what is of utmost importance is that the Indian community's problems are alleviated.

Both these goals can be affected without rallies planned by those now coordinating Hindraf activities.

hindraff isa detainees 141207On the contrary, they said the rallies may actually serve to harm the chances of the five's release. - Malaysiakini, 26/9/2008 ISA detainees' wives: Hindraf has changed

They want it all to stop - the rallies, the protest --- and the authorities seem to have convinced them if this happens, then, their spouses will be free..., and so 2 spouses call a press conference (which is not that easy to do) and say things that can be very damaging for the HINDRAF movement and struggle...

Commenting on the anti-ISA vigil planned for tomorrow night, she said as long as the organisers have obtained the required permits to ensure the gathering is legal, she appreciates the effort of all quarters to highlight the plight of her husband and other Hindraf leaders.

"If they are going to do it legally, if they've got a permit, I really appreciate the efforts taken by these individuals. The vigil will be peaceful, so I don't think there is anything wrong with it - as long as they do it legally," she said.

Echoing her statements, Buvaneswary said she too disagreed with the planned gathering at Abdullah's Hari Raya open house as it may be detrimental to her husband’s chances of being released.

Contending that the rallies organised after the detention of the Hindraf five had deviated into becoming 'anti-government' rallies, Buvaneswary said they were defeating the purpose of highlighting the problems of the Indian community.

She said her husband had also told her to call for an end to such rallies.

"Who are these people to call for rallies? If our husbands wanted these rallies, their wish would be conveyed through us because we are their wives. What are the Hindraf coordinators trying to do now?"

"If you want the Hindraf five to be released, there are other methods of seeking this," she added.- Malaysiakini, 26/9/2008 ISA detainees' wives: Hindraf has changed
When it comes to the ISA and the Malaysian police - we really have to re-evaluate our perception of the Malaysian police - many think that they are sub-standard and not very good...but this may be far from the truth..

What have the police (and the authorities) achieved to date? They have got the 5 HINDRAF detainees to already go against each other. Recently, we also heard that one of them may even be a police plant - or agent...How good are they...they are 'breaking' the unity of the struggle...doubts about some 'leaders'..

By arresting the 5, they made them 5 HINDRAF leaders - but are they all really the leaders of HINDRAF?? Or is it what the police (and others) managed to get into our minds - i.e. that these are the 5 main leaders of HINDRAF... [Try to remember the HINDRAF movement before the ISA arrests - and ask yourself who were the 'leaders'. then. Were there even any 'leaders'?]

Remember HINDRAF is not a society - not an association - it is a movement of people...a movement of a long-oppressed people..who finally finds the courage to stand up and say "enough is enough".

HINDRAF rose up from the people because those who were supposed to be looking after the interest/needs/rights of the Indian community were not doing their job - the main culprit being the MIC. Temples demolished - and MIC was silent ( silent also was PPP, IPF, ....). When the so-called leaders and self-proclaimed reps failed, the people arised - The cry was "Makkal Sakti" - "People Power".

The numbers that came forth into the streets - and stood there withstanding the water cannons and tear gas...When this happened, other Malaysians, irrespective of ethnicity/religion again gained courage to fight for rights - for a better Malaysia - for change - and hence the results of the 2008 General Elections...

I go back to the news report about the 2 detainees wives - and note that in their eagerness to get their loved ones released, they even go so far to praise and thank the MIC and Samy Velu...

During the press conference, the wives also recorded their appreciation for MIC president S Samy Vellu and other quarters who are pushing for the five's release.

samy vellu exclusive on tamil schools 080708 05Commenting on the statements by certain quarters who questioned the "integrity and sincerity" of Samy Vellu in declaring he had met with Abdullah and sought the release of the Hindraf leaders, Kalaivani said her family’s only wish was to see her husband's return.

"I'm sure it’s the same for the other detainees as well and we sincerely hope that no individuals would continue questioning the integrity of any leaders or individuals from any party or question why they are asking for the release of our husbands.

"We appreciate the efforts taken by anybody to secure the release of our husbands, ...." - - Malaysiakini, 26/9/2008 ISA detainees' wives: Hindraf has changed

Now, Zaid Ibrahim has set the standard - will the MIC Cabinet members be resigning now - or did they even threathen to resign?

It is sad that the 2 wives (noting that it was not the family members of all 5 detainees) also goes further to state...that all is well and their husbands are being treated well...

Kalaivani said her husband was being treated well and was provided with the necessary medical attention at the Kamunting Detention Centre.

"We would like to thank the government for having looked after my husband well. He has not had any problems with medication so far, and I’m thankful for that," she added. - Malaysiakini, 26/9/2008 ISA detainees' wives: Hindraf has changed
What she did was very wrong - because she has unconsciously painted a picture that all is great in detention in Kamunting. She has also raised doubts about the assertion by ISA detainees about the bad conditions and even 'torture' that they undergo during detention.

Interestingly, during arrest and detention under the ISA - they treat different people differently. I believe Lim Kit Siang, Karpal Singh and Chandra Muzaffar, the Ops Lallang detainees, were not at all tortured and were treated 'well'. On the other hand, others were tortured...

During the first two weeks of my detention, I was interrogated very vigorously by Special Branch officers about my personal faith and my religious activities. I was not allowed sleep for days at a stretch and was warned that I would not get my food if I did not cooperate. One Inspector threatened to disturb my girlfriend ... On one occasion, I was knocked down to the ground and I injured my back. Since then, I have been passing blood in my urine and have suffered pain in my lower back constantly ... On one occasion, Inspector (name withheld) forced me to strip naked and enact the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. [He] also forced me to crawl on the floor in a naked state ...’.

‘The cell was windowless, the only ventilation being some holes in the upper portion of a wall. It was lit by a single light which was kept on all night ... For a full month ... my entire bedding was a thin plywood sheet on a cement slab. I was beaten with a stick about 1cm x 4cm x 120cm on my legs and the soles of my feet several times ... and was also slapped on the face with the back of my hand …’.

‘A police officer put fear in me ... by saying, ‘If I squeeze your balls, how long can you last?’ ... I was also subjected to the cold treatment during interrogations with very cold air directed through louvers onto my head causing me to shiver ... [i] experienced hallucinations and woke up in cold sweat. For two or three nights, I hallucinated that a big cobra was crawling beside me ... It was under such harsh and oppressive circumstances that I was requested to make statements...’.

‘I was forced to stand on a leg with arms outstretched and head bent backwards for long periods until I collapsed onto the floor ... Immediately I was kicked by the police officer to stand up again on one leg, and this was repeated many times ... I was forced to walk blindfolded towards the wall resulting in knocking myself against the wall and this was repeated many times. The police officers stamped on my toes and fingers causing excruciating and prolonged pains. I was subjected to the ‘cold treatment’ which consisted standing in front of a very cold air conditioner either naked or half naked several times ... and on one occasion the police officer had thrown cold water all over me ... I was forced to strip naked. A police officer ... rolled a bundle of newspapers, lit one end and threatened to burn my genitals [by] bringing the lighted end close to my genitals ... A police officer stated that he would ... make sexual advances to my wife ...’. - Charles Hector, Preventive Detention in Malaysia - A Brief Overview, also Malaysia: ‘Operation Lallang’: Detention Without Trial Under the Internal Security Act – Amnesty International (December 1988), Preventive Detention (Restrictions) Laws In Malaysia – an article that was published in ALIRAN on or about December 1994.

YES - this is what they do. Treat persons differently. They may have treated Dr M Kalaivani's husband well - but we all know that Uthayakumar has alleged that he was not treated well at all.

We may get angry at these 2 women - but remember they are spouses - family members - and they really may not know what they have done - how they may have affected the strugle. But remember, they are also the victims of the police and the authorities..

It was great to see that their 'press conference' has not affected the struggle for the repeal of the ISA and for the immidiate and unconditional release of the HINDRAF 5 and the others detained under the ISA..

About 2,000 people staged a peaceful march through the busy streets of Kuala Lumpur tonight calling for the abolishment of Internal Security Act and freeing detainees under the Act


anti isa dataran merdeka 270908 01Initially, two separate groups - Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) and coalition of NGOs led by the Writer Alliance For Media Independence (Wami) - had initially planned to hold a candlelight vigil at Dataran Merdeka at about 7.30pm.

When they came across a police cordon at Dataran Merdeka, the Hindraf-led group numbering about 500 decided to march to the temple opposite the Puduraya bus terminal about 1km away.

The crowd marched unhindered towards their destinations and gradually the crowd swelled to about 2,000 people from all walks of life, with many carrying candles.

anti isa dataran merdeka 270908 raja petra fansThe other group, which was in a procession holding Chinese lanterns, eventually joined up with the Hindraf group.

The police were caught off-guard by the huge turnout. Many media personnel had also remarked that the large crowd was unanticipated as past vigils had been small in number. - Malaysiakini, 27/9/2008 - Anti-ISA vigil turns into peace march

Let us continue to call for the repeal of the ISA... Let us continue the call for the release of not Raja Petra and the HINDRAF 5 ...but for the release of ALL who are being detained under the ISA and other Detention Without Trial Laws..

Come on -- go get Hari Raya cards and send it to each and every person that you know are being detained under the ISA and other Detention Without Trial laws (My earlier posting/s give the address of the Kamunting Detention Centre and also a list of who were know are being detained under the ISA in Kamunting)


Anonymous said...

Well said Charles Hector. I agree entirely. Thank you for writing this.

The incarceration has got to the two wives. Notice that the wifes of Waytha Moorthy, Uthayakumar and Manoharan have made no such pleas.

While we must forgive the weakness of these two wives, we have to make sure that it does not affect the spirit of makkal sakti, and certainly not the views of Hindraf.


v-key said...

Kindly go through this article about Hindraf struggle..I found the struggle revolves around few individuals who out to exploit Indian communities in total..How about you??

Anonymous said...

Hindraf is rubbish.

Anonymous said...

Waytha Moorthy is the ONLY spokesperson for Hindraf, at the moment. No one else shall speak for Hindraf.

He is silent on this issue as he does not want to upset the two wives, but wants to honor the contributions of their husbands who were the lawyers for Hindraf and mistakenly (maliciously) detained for no fault of theirs.