The Dandelions

.. the mutual admiration and bashing society.

Posts Tagged ‘ISA’

They don’t really care about us!!

Posted by ella-mae on August 8, 2009


Posted in Anwar Ibrahim, Bangsa Malaysia, BN, Crime, Current Affairs, Dandelions, ella-mae, government, Human Rights, Ideology, Mainstream Media, Malaysia, malaysiakini, malaysian, MIC, Music, Najib Tun Razak, News, Observation, Observations, PAS, People, PKR, Politicians, politics, Racism, Raja Petra Kamarudin, Samyvellu, the dandelions, UMNO | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

An Account of 1st August, 2009 – ISA Demonstration

Posted by Cherubim on August 2, 2009

Cherubim was there. This is a witness account.

Like any other sane protester, Pewaris and GMI alike, all of us took the LRT. It’s kind of amusing to watch a bunch of middle-aged to elderly men wearing ketayaps and white T-shirts proclaiming their affiliations and riding the same train with black and red-clad folk to pretty much the same destinations, when we were supposed to oppose each other.  Along the way, I saw at least 50 blue-clad policemen and their tents, chilling at Masjid Jamek. Even around KL Sentral, I saw more policemen under a brige.

Okay, I thought. Paranoid, much?

At around 1:30pm Cherubim and her fellow protester walked to Istana Negara, but since it was too early we were blocked by a significant number of police and too small number of us. So we walked to SOGO instead. That was around 2:30pm (yes, we walked a lot) when we arrived at Pasar Minggu Jalan TAR. The usual crowd; kids, families, keropoks, air nenas, and oh, the odd FRU truck and police vehicles or two.

Make that a fully loaded water cannon vehicle, several trucks filled with FRU troops fully equipped with gear from SWAT (we girls thought it cool) and they were shooting not merely at us, but at innocent bystanders, patrons of pasar minggu and hawkerstalls alike!

I was lucky, when I was about to go onto Jalan TAR, in a bizarre Cloverfield like feel, I saw the water that was shot at the people in the main road, then I saw everyone running my way. Stunned, I stood aside and just stood beside an equally clueless tourist where we witnessed the police vehicles and policemen in a crowd of 20 or so coming in and grabbing any poor fellow wearing black, red and having anti-ISA emblems on their Ts. Mostly young Malay men tho.

After they were gone, we continued our chant and went on the main road, and heard a few shots of tear gas. I got my very first taste of the day.  My eyes burned, my face burned, my nose burned, my throat burned. Some children were crying. Some families were in fear. A friend handed me some salt, which I gratefully ate to remove the sting of the gas, and washed my face thoroughly. Like many others, we covered our noses and our mouths, but those things are stubborn, and made in Arizona USA. During the last BERSIH demonstrations, I heard tell the pellets were from Israel.

When that cooled down, we peeked outside and hung out in front of SOGO, watching the police watching us there. Me & my friends amused ourselves checking out whether any of the younger policemen are cute. Heck, we wanted to take pictures, but was declined the request. Anyways, we got hungry, a little pissed that Secret Recipe (and their delicious frosty ice lemon tea) was closed, and went to this nice little cafe across the street.

We ate happily, some PKR dude apparently belanja all us citizen journalists there, we chatted with the people from Malaysiakini and others.

That’s when it really happened. I don’t recall exactly how many times the FRU cannon truck went back and forth, but I do recall that during one of the lulls we saw several people carrying effigies and picket signs “Mansuhkan ISA”. Also, they were joined slowly by people who were taking refuge, though when we heard the siren and the sight of FRU troops going in we had good sense to return inside the cafe. There were children and families inside the cafe, some of the kids were hit with the tear gasses that was repeatedly shot by the FRU. People escaped through the back door.

Around what, 4pm or 5pm or so, the FRU decided to spray the corners of the ends at Jln TAR, pretty much near the old cinema (ground zero of 13th May, according to my dad, who was a young man then), and I thought it had some ironic implications. Violence seems to like Jalan TAR. I heard the voices of many, I couldn’t determine where, but there were first screams, then outraged outcry, probably Mansuhkan ISA again. Then I heard more tear gas pellet shots.

So, anyway, I was chilling nearby the police, thinking, this was highly excessive. The policemen was nice to me and my friends, we’re technically media, but I thought to myself, I know they are following orders not necessarily in line with their personal opinion, I saw some of them hesitate before aiming and shooting. During the whole event, Pertahanan Awam knocked on shopgrills asking whether anyone was hurt, evacuating the injured, watching out for civillians with a seriously worried and slightly angered look on their faces. What I cannot and will not remove out of the equation is this excessive force and collateral damage.

Look, we all know that on Saturdays, SOGO is a family oriented go to place, as I have all my life with my own parents, we know that most likely there’d be families, not demonstraters there. Plus, in my long involvement with this kinda thing, when the police doesn’t come, after chanting for an hour we all get tired and go to the mamak stalls to chill before going home after 2 hours max. Thanks to the police and especially FRU, we have sufficient warped entertainment for 5 hours to 6 hours. Wow, talk about efficient crowd control.

Again, Cherubim argue that the authorities (we all know who runs the cops) should have let the protesters be. Make sure they don’t hurt anyone, and bonk a few belligerant heads, and things would have been fine. What’s happening now is that even shopkeepers, hawkerstall owners, etc etc are getting pissed off at the gomen.  We each protect each other, blind for once to the idea of race and religion, but conscious of the idea of humanity. Otherwise apathic and apolitical folk are now getting more and more involved.

Well, more fodder for the 14th GE.

P.S = Waaaaah, so many police, meh? How come crime rate still so high?

Posted in Bangsa Malaysia, Famous for Wrong Reason, Human Rights | Tagged: , , , , , | 17 Comments »

Release of the ISA Detainees: – Morally Correct, Technically Flawed

Posted by Oscar the Grouch on April 5, 2009

The release of the 13 ISA detainees – portentously announced by newly elected Prime Minister Najib Razak – is a welcome decision. This, together with the governmental pledge for a comprehensive review of the Internal Security Act 1960, would hopefully mark the style-to-come for Najib’s new administration.

However, although the decision is generally saluted and rejoiced by all, Najib has set – as one of his first administrative directive – a ruling that is technically unsound, unjustified and irrationalized.

What is the justification for Najib to release the ISA detainees in the first place? After all, these detainees – according to the Home Minister, Syed Hamid Albar – were detained to prevent them from acting in a manner prejudicial to the security of Malaysia.

It is pertinent to re-visit the relevant provision of the ISA: –

“Section 8 ISA – Ministerial Order of Detention

(1) If the Minister is satisfied that the detention of any person is necessary with a view to preventing him from acting in any manner prejudicial to the security of Malaysia or any part thereof or to the maintenance of essential services therein or the economic life thereof, he may make an order (hereinafter referred to as “a detention order”) directing that that person be detained for any period not exceeding two years. “

If the detention of these detainees were by reason that they were all a threat to the security of the country, then wouldn’t it be wrong to free them without any sound and reasonable justification. Can a captive group of individuals be deemed a threat to society one day; and be deemed “reformed” the next day?


And – pleasing as the decision may be – Najib has no business announcing the release of detainees on his day of investiture. It gives the unpleasant scoff that the new PM is ordaining some sort of pardon for political prisoners. Perhaps he envisages himself as a monarchist-of-sorts, clout by the power of pardon – which incidentally, is only legally availed to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong under Article 42 of the Federal Constitution.

I do not know when it was actually concluded that the 13 detainees are no longer a threat to society but I do hope it was not a decision reached earlier. If the detainees are deemed no longer a threat, they should be released IMMEDIATELY, not a day longer. Not wait till Najib’s appointment ceremony for him to gain political clout and mileage, as if some sort of symbolic releasing of pigeons from the cage.

That is what is so wrong with the ISA in the first place – it is used as a tool by the Government. Caught one day – released the other – without the opportunity of a fair trial. All of which decided by the same person of bodies – acting as judge, jury and executioner.

My take on the whole issue is this: –

1. The ISA is a draconian piece of legislation which should be repealed. In fact, any law that tacitly allows detention without trial should be removed forthright;

2. If the use of the ISA is allowed to continue, please, for God’s sake, do not misuse the Act for one’s own benefit. The ISA was put in place for fight against the communist in the 60s. It is not intended to be utilized against political opposition;

3. The use of the ISA involves a person’s freedom and liberty. Use it wisely and sparingly. If in doubt, don’t. And if someone should or ought to be set free, do so immediately. Don’t wait for a day of inauguration; or before the elections; or the King’s birthday; or National Day etc … to order release of detainees.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

The David Copperfield of Malaysian Law: Law today, gone tomorrow

Posted by Oscar the Grouch on March 1, 2009

Were we all not amazed when David Copperfield made the Statue of Liberty disappear? The jaws of the world dropped – literary – at such magical feat. How did he do it? Perhaps David Copperfield was actually gifted with powers of the supernatural. Perhaps he dabbled in the occult.

But then, what is that compared to the kuasa sakti of our Home Minister, Syed Hamid Albar. With the flicker of his magical Harry Potter pen, he made law disappear. On January 21, he signed a directive under the Internal Security Act by way of gazette, allowing the conditional use of the word “Allah” in Christian publications. The gazette came into effect on February 16. On March 1, Syed Hamid Albar said that he would issue a fresh gazette to rescind the earlier gazette – the reason being – there were “mistakes” made in the drafting of the Feb 16 gazette.

This issue is in relation to the usage by the Catholic Church of the word “Allah” in their publication – the Catholic Herald. A legal suit was filed in the Kuala Lumpur High Court to challenge the ban by the government. In a surprising turn of event, Syed Hamid Albar issued the gazette allowing the use of the word “Allah”, provided there is a disclaimer to the effect that the words “For Christians” were clearly printed on the publications. But of course, this decision is now reversed, by reason of mistake.

I do not wish to dwell on the usage of the word “Allah”; let that be something for our dear courts to decide. I do wish to point out, however, of several foolish and unwarranted implications arising from this blunder from Syed Hamid Albar.

Firstly, how can someone make a “mistake” in issuing a directive, which later was put on print as gazette? Once a gazette is issued, it becomes law of the land, albeit subsidiary and secondary to the principal Act, the Internal Securities Act 1960. I don’t know the actual workings of the issuing of a gazette – but I’ve been made to understand that the document would have to be drafted and proof-read by at least 2 people and a committee before it could be signed by the minister.

So, who screwed up? The person who took wrong notes during the meeting? The AG’s Chambers who drafted the wordings of the gazette? The committee who was supposed to vet the document? The Minister, who was obviously half-asleep when he sign it? Or perhaps, it was the government printers, who took it upon themselves to print something else than what was instructed upon them?

In any event, it doesn’t appear as if the revered concept of ministerial responsibility – practised in jurisdictions of Westminster parliamentary systems – would apply to Syed Hamid Albar. Dear minister, this is not main-main punya perkara; for God’s sake, you’re issuing a law that binds the citizens of Malaysia. Where can mistake-mistake punya? In Japan, hara-kiri would have been an honourable outlet of redemption. But I guess, in Malaysia, the thought of resigning would not, however fleetingly, cross the mind of Syed Hamid.

Which brings to mind the actual wording of the gazette, entitled “Internal Security (Prohibition on Use of Specific Words on Document and Publication) Order 2009”: –

Paragraph 2(1):

The printing, publication, sale, issue, circulation and possession of any document and publication relating to Christianity containing the words Allah, Kaabah, Baitullah and solat are prohibited unless on the front cover of the document and publication are written with the words “FOR CHRISTIANITY.”

I fail to see, from the wordings of the order, how a “mistake” can arise? The provisions appear crisp and clear. The whole episode appears more to be a decision-taken-in-reverse, rather than a technical mistake. This appears evident, considering that there were calls by certain bodies, notably the Malaysian Islamic Da’wah Foundation, urging the government to withdraw permission for the conditional use of the word “Allah” in Christian publications.

This is definitely not the type of governmental decision that we want to see – laws being made – and un-made – not for the good of the citizens, but at the influential behest of certain important individuals or organizations.

Another damning implication arising from Syed Hamid Albar’s action in issuing a fresh gazette to cancel the earlier one – is that it creates an unhealthy precedent affronting the rules of retrospective laws. Article 7 (1) of the Federal Constitution provides that no person shall be punished for an act or omission which was not punishable by law when it was done or made.

For example, if smoking is not an offence today, then a law cannot be made tomorrow to declare smoking an offence today – this is retrospective laws. This means, I cannot be convicted of smoking yesterday, last week or last month by a law that operates retrospectively.

But by issuing “cancellation” orders, Syed Hamid may be doing just that. On February 16, the law allows me to use the word “Allah”. Because of that – I start printing, publishing and circulating to people in my church. 2 weeks later, a new law come up to revoke the old law – to the effect that there was no such law in the first place. This means, technically, I have committed an offence and can be charged under the ISA.

By doing what Syed Hamid has done, a precedent has been set. Let’s take another example: – say now, a law is passed today to legalize the smoking of marijuana – and people start doing just that, smoking marijuana – 6 months later the Home Minister revokes the law and puts everyone in bars. Is that possible?

All said and done, Syed Hamid Albar is truly Malaysia’s resident magician – Law today, gone tomorrow.

Posted in Observations, Opinions, Oscar the Grouch | Tagged: , , , , | 8 Comments »

Malaysia…….The Preferred Destination For All The Wrong Reasons……..

Posted by ErnieJean on December 11, 2008

Something’s just not right with Malaysia….can’t really put my finger on what’s wrong but one thing’s for certain, that there is more than meets the eye as far as our constant link to terrorist acts is concerned.
Remember JI terrorist Mas Selamat? He’s the one who made fools out of the Singaporean authorities by staging a successful escape bid from detention in Singapore. Where he is now, nobody knows. But rumours have it that while he may still be hiding in the forest areas of Singapore, he could also be attempting to get to Indonesia through Malaysia……….WHOOPEE!!! Malaysia gets a mention here!!!
Then there was the recent terrorist attack in Mumbai. Once again, our beloved country gets a mention here, as the terrorists had Malaysian credit cards and home addresses……deny as much as our Home Minister likes but the fact remains that those terrorists were comfortably familiar enough with our country…..I mean of all Asian countries, why pick Malaysian addresses?
And now, with no valid reason other than that he’s believed to have been rehabilitated enough, our authorities quietly releases one of the most dangerous terrorist in Asia (and a dozen more fellow JI-ians) back into the streets of Malaysia last month while harmless folks of Hindraf are still deemed security-threats…….WHAT STUPID LOGIC IS THAT!!!!

KUALA LUMPUR: Suspected Jemaah Islamiah terrorist Yazid Sufaat, who allegedly abetted and housed several terrorists involved in the September 2001 attacks in the United States, has been freed from Internal Security Act detention.

The rehabilitated JI terrorist?

The rehabilitated JI terrorist?

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan said Yazid, 44, was released with another Malaysian, Sulaiman Suramin, on Nov 24.

“We released him as he had shown remorse and had repented,” he added. (Remorse? Repented? How certain are they? Bcos he constantly nods in agreement to every single statement the rehabilitators say? How sure are they that what goes on in his mind and heart is the same as what he professes through his mouth?)

“His release was conditional upon his reporting to the police from time to time and not leaving the state without prior permission from us.

“Our officers will also be monitoring him, as well as several others who had been released over the past years, to ensure they do not go back to their old ways,” Musa said. (Yes, our police officers are very well-known for their “diligent monitoring”)

It is learnt that the Government had over the past year released 17 suspected JI members, eight of them Indonesians.

Yazid, a biochemistry graduate from a US university, was detained in January 2002 and is said to have allowed his home to be used in early 2000 as a meeting place for al-Qaeda members planning the Sept 11, 2001, attacks in the United States.

Mind you, Yazid was not only a well-connected and well-trained JI member, but he was also a biochemist who had headed an Al-Qaeda anthrax programme on using the deadly biological agent for terror attacks. This is the sort of person who has already decided where his path will go……straight to “a heaven that is laden with virgins“………definitely not the sort who would be easily persuaded to go back onto the “right path” by some ustaz who couldn’t even out-debate Raja Petra.

No, this time it’s not about ISA…..I still believe that we should abolish this draconian law and everyone should get their day in court………rather it’s the way our law enforcers (who wouldn’t think twice about detaining the ordinary man on the street who happens to support Non-UMNO-friendly causes citing security concerns), determines (with prejudice?) “who stays” and “who goes“, based on very flimsy reasons.

Which brings me and a couple of friends to come up with this conspiracy theory of sorts………it may seem far-fetched but seriously, Malaysia’s been quite the frequent reference to these terrorists, don’t you think?

Could Malaysia be, sort of, “allowed” to be used as some sort of transit base for these terrorist networks, as long as they “guarantee” that Malaysia will never be the target of terrorist acts? Perhaps, some greasing of the palm took place too?

After all, what better decoy than a “peace-loving” nation that is all about smiles, great sunshine and imbecilic politicians? Perhaps, like what one commentator said on Malaysia-Today, just like MM2H (Malaysia, My 2nd Home), our ever innovative and “pro-active” authorities are thinking about starting a MMTH (Malaysia, My Terrorist Hub)?

And please, don’t even get me started on how the other non-desirable crime-based syndicates prefer to settle down in our country too.

What do you think?



Posted in conspiracy, Current Affairs, Famous for Wrong Reason, government, Malaysia, mumbai, Observations, Opinions, Raja Petra Kamarudin, terrorism | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Worst than ISA!!!!????

Posted by ErnieJean on November 18, 2008

KUALA LUMPUR: The Government hopes to be able to bring home two Malaysians held at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp when Barack Obama takes over as president of the United States in January.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ra-is Yatim said the US had all this while, ignored a ministry request for detainees Mohd Farik Amin and Mohamm-ed Nazir Lep, suspected to be terrorists, to be allowed to face the penalty back in Malaysia. “No charges have been brought against them, and this is worse than the ISA (Internal Securi-ty Act),” he said yesterday after the presentation of the South-East Asia Write Award 2008 winner here.


Talk about BEING TOTALLY SELF CENTERED AND THICK SKINNED!!!!! To the point of not even knowing when to shut one’s mouth before making one look like a total buffoon!!!!

Why did the US set up this Detention-Without-Trial Camp in Cuba? To hold “suspected terrorists” and “enemy combatants” in their “War On Terror”. And since America still faces terrorist threats, their Department of Defense sees no reason in closing the place up just yet. The camp currently houses about 460 detainees from about 40 countries, and is said to include terrorist suspects picked up in Eastern Europe and Africa.

And though I am no apologist of nor condone this sort of detention…….after all, every person deserves to defend him/herself in the court of law……..from what I’ve gathered, the detainees were detained because of their strong link to the terrorist networks, right?

Worst than ISA!!!???

In comparison, why was ISA established in the first place? Set up in the 1950s, it was to fight the communists. COMMUNISTS, people!!! Where are the communists now?

Who gets detained by the Malaysian Government under ISA?

Datuk Mohamed Nazri, told Human Rights Watch, “They [ISA detainees] have not committed any crime because ISA is preventive. You cannot, therefore, go to court. The government has information that something will happen. (Yea Yea….same sort of information about some rally that was going to be held in Parliament grounds earlier this year, thereby causing massive traffic jams all over but in the end, that information proved to be a dud?) 

We can’t wait till it happens. Lives and property will be lost. So before it happens we detain them.”- Human Rights Watch

Basically, Loud-Mouth Nazri is telling us that they don’t need solid evidence….as long as UMNO, oops, I mean our dear Home Minister, deems a person to be a danger to society, that person will be detained…..Preventive mah!! Without the proper check and balances, sounds more like another area for abuse of power to me.

Just to prove my point, who has the BN government deemed to be a danger to society (more like a danger to their political survival) ?

  1. Folks who writes about the corrupted BN leaders (Oooooo Raja Petra is sure one heck of an EEEVIL LORD OF DESTRUCTION),
  2. Women who either was accused of asking a mosque to lower its azan calls (which was then, proven to be totally fabricated) or deemed to require protection from the BN government’s own henchmen (Can Teresa Kok really kill someone with her sharp wit and radiant pink blouses?),
  3. Ethnic Indian folks who just wanted equal rights in their own beloved country,
  4. Whoever poses a threat to the BN government (In other words, “Political Supression” lor),
  5. Practitioners of religious beliefs deemed “deviant” by UMNO (Remember this….Ayah Pin and his teapot are considered to be very very dangerous, ok?), and
  6. Suspected militant Islamist groups.

Seriously, our Malaysian Government should be the last to open their gap and preach about “Human Rights” to another nation……TAK TAU MALU KE?


Posted in government, hypocrite, Malaysia, Observation, Opinions, Politicians | Tagged: , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Rebranding, The Key To Resuscitate…….

Posted by ErnieJean on September 30, 2008

Remember after the Political Tsunami in March this year, after suffering heavy heavy losses, partners in the ruling coalition attempted to do some soul searching to see where they went wrong…..and guess what? Till today, they are still searching for the answer…..that must be some real lousy politicial and PR strategists they have in their stables, huh?

UMNO blamed it on political bloggers and freedom of speech. Action taken? ISA whichever bugger deemed irritating;

MCA said it was not their fault. Action taken? Continue with their “No Action, Talk Only” policy, while kissing the feet of the keris-wielding Lords;

And MIC?

They decided to blame it on their “out-dated image” and unleased a very expensive Re-Branding Exercise earlier this year, with new taglines, membership discount cards, new logo, new uniforms, new hair-pieces (?)………

A call centre will be established to entertain problems, and a new portal to replace the party’s current website will also be launched.

An MIC discount card will also be given to members for use at selected outlets.

“We are expecting total penetration of this image change within a two-year period.

“A detailed action plan will also be communicated to all grassroots leaders via some 140 meetings to be held in all branches from district to district,” he said, adding that the complete exercise would cost some RM500,000.

I must say, MIC is definitely working their asses off to ensure the success of this “Image Overhaul” Project………..

Check out what they’ve been up to lately :

K.Basil, MIC Division Head of Bukit Katil, Malacca and fellow MiCkey Mouse stamping their seal of approval on the Ali Rustam’s proposal for tapioca plates. (Another more apt term to describe this would be “to kiss ass” :P)

Yummy utensil: K. Basil (left), one of NHI directors, tasting the biodegradable plate at the Al-Azim state mosque Sunday.

And then we have this….

SHAH ALAM: About 100 MIC members demonstrated here to protest the demolition of a Hindu temple by the Ampang Jaya Municipal council recently. (Wonder where they were hiding all these while before PR took over……)

The crowd, which included Indian NGOs, protested at the main gate of the Selangor secretariat building yesterday morning.

Mohan (centre) handing over the memorandum to Nik Nazmi in Shah Alam yesterday.
List of grievances: Mohan (centre) handing over the memorandum to Nik Nazmi in Shah Alam yesterday.

Organiser T. Mohan, who is MIC Youth chief, said the PKR government had lied to the people that they would not tear down any places of worship.

“They said no temples would be destroyed, what happened now?” Mohan told reporters the MIC was unhappy with the state government’s action to demolish the Sri Mahakaliaman temple after he presented a memorandum to Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim’s political secretary, Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad.

The 19-year-old temple was built on forest reserve. It was destroyed and rebuilt several times between 2002 and 2007.

Asked why the MIC did not solve the issue then, Mohan said the party had taken action and that was why the temple was rebuilt. (Betul ke ni?)

And how can we forget the MAN himself, PR Maestro, King of Self-Publicity!!!!
Nice hair, Mr. Value 😛

“It’s about time that they are released as they pose no danger to the security of the country.

“The government should not hold them any longer as it will prolong the Indian community’s ill-feelings towards the government,” said the former works minister in a statement today. (*Mock Gasp*!!! You mean, all these while, the govn has been running this country according to what makes them politically popular rather than what’s right?)

Samy Vellu said that the five should be released unconditionally.

“They only voiced out the problems and the frustrations of the Indian community.

“Similarly, the MIC has also been doing the same for the past few decades … so why detain them any longer?” he asked. (Wah! Wah! Salute!!!! Master in action here folks!!!)Don’t you just love the way he twists and turns the issue to his advantage?

Isn’t it funny that, after having so many Post-Election meetings, these headless chickens can only come up with such hilarious and shallow post mortem analysis and damage control measures?

Posted in government, hypocrite, Malaysia, Observation, Opinions, Politicians, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | 7 Comments »

I remember an Englishman I once met.

Posted by Oscar the Grouch on September 27, 2008

As I ponder, with abated breath, upon the event slated today: the Candlelight Vigil for ISA Detainees, scheduled this evening 7.00 p.m. at, aptly, Dataran Merdeka, or its English translation, Freedom Square; my mind raced back some four years back, when I had the occasion to encounter upon an Englishman who I have known, at that time, only by reputation.

I was, at that material time, a Masters scholar at a local varsity, partaking as one of my course study, the dreary subject of comparative constitutional law. I had psyched myself up to expect a long and dull semester on the lacklustre and unexciting field of study; when, within the early weeks of the course, my professor announced that he has lined up for us a guest lecturer.

R.H. Hickling was his name, my professor said, a wry smile etched up as he made his announcement. A restrained gasp was offered in response, for we all know of him. Hickling was the man who drafted, and unceremoniously presented upon us, the Internal Security Act 1960. Yes, the dreaded ISA! On last count, 64 individuals are still being callously detained, without recourse to justice, within the confines of their cells in Kamunting; in all probability, being incessantly tortured and tormented, in body and in mind.

How could he, I thought, as I looked around my other fellow academic scholars. Looks of disgust were exchanged between us. And the gall of Mr. Hickling, an Englishman who has since left Malaysia, happily residing in a sweet Shakespearean cottage in the cliffs of Dover, to dare come and sermon us on his horrendous pen of legacy. Damn you colonial idiot, muttered someone, in a huff.

“Do bring your camera next week” my professor reminded before ending the class, “We shall pose for a shot with Professor Hickling for remembrance.”

“It’s not everyday one gets this chance, you know,” he declared.

Camera? Photos? What about rotten eggs for pelting the English twat, I thought.

I had entertained the thought of missing the lecture, perhaps as a sort of indirect activist protest, in line with the abhorred stance against the ISA. But then, lecture attendance counts to the passing rates for the course, so that would not be such a good idea after all. Let’s just see what he has to say then.

Come the week of the lecture, all of us were early, neatly seated like dutiful citizens, waiting to see the great man. “He’ll be a little late” said my professor. Yeah, sure, made us wait, you insensitive superior colonial master. Are we the least surprised? Then, within minutes, in comes this man. He is diminutive in size; old and quaint, almost like a garden gnome out of the Enid Blyton’s kiddie adventures, except for lack of pointy ears. He is wearing a faded Durban shirt, with ancient barrack slacks, something that one gets from bargain jumble sales. And he has with him, a folded black umbrella, which he quickly hid into his plastic bag. Yes, a plastic bag, one that comes from a purchase from the local super mart. No fancy briefcase, no branded sling-on; just a plastic bag, was all this man has with him. Is this the merciless and ruthless Hickling that left the heritage to the nation, in the form of the ISA? Where is that monstrous English brute that I have envisioned? This is no beast, all I see before me is Santa’s helper.

“I’m sorry for being late,” the little man apologized, “There was a slight drizzle, you see, and the buses are full.” Buses?

“Professor Hickling stays in Brickfields when he’s Malaysia. He uses the bus to get around,” my professor added, as a sort of clarification to the somewhat perplexed audience.

What, the great bad drafter of the ISA carries a plastic bag and goes around in buses, I asked myself.

“Perhaps I shall start by telling by telling a bit about myself and how I ended up in Malaysia,” said Professor Hickling, formally commencing his lecture. “Well, it was decades ago, in England, my young son died.” There was a hush silence in the hall. The professor stopped for a while as well, his eyes lost in his thoughts. “Well, my wife was very sad,” continued Hickling, after regaining composure, “.. and I told her, let’s go away, somewhere far, far away, from all these.”

We were all astounded by these early revelations. We forgot about the ISA, we forgot about the law; we wanted to hear about him. And Professor Hickling carried on: about how he then applied to join the Colonial Legal Service, how he asked to be posted to Sarawak so that he can bring his beloved wife afar from the damp memories of England. He told us about how he wanted to escape as well, how he hated the war, how he had served, previously, as a seaman with the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve; and how he, as a sub-lieutenant, commanded the landing craft tank to Sword Beach during infamous D-Day Invasion of Normandy. We were revealed on the atrocities of the war; how soldiers became mad and eat up dogs, scenes which we were only privy to courtesy of Saving Private Ryan; made real by this man who was actually present at the setting to witness it all.

Professor Hickling then proceeded to talk on the ISA. “At that time,” he said, “There were the communist. They were bad, bad men. Very bad men, you see,” he explained, in his earnest simplistic demeanour. “We had to do something, there were so many of them, we had to nab them and quickly locked them up. There wasn’t much time for trial; hence we needed a legislation to befit the occasion. Those were the insurgent times, a time of emergency.”

With that short statement, Professor Hickling ended his lecture on the ISA. No grandeur, no fanfare, no sermon, no defence, no arguments; just a brief historical proclamation. He did not defend what he did, nor did he lay down lengthy credence of his actions. There was no boisterous reasoning on his part as to how relevant the ISA is then, as it should be today.

I never saw Professor Hickling again after that; but after that memorable lecture, I knew more of him as a person than just as the drafter of the ISA. I received news that he passed away three years thereafter, in Worcestershire, England, leaving behind his beloved wife and 3 other children.

A check on the internet search on Professor Hickling shows a record on what he wrote in the NST in 1989:-

“I could not imagine then that the time would come when the power of detention, carefully and deliberately interlocked with Article 149 of the Constitution, would be used against political opponents, welfare workers and others dedicated to non violent, peaceful activities.”

Posted in communism, government | Tagged: , , | 7 Comments »

Raja Petra to be sent to Kamunting

Posted by ella-mae on September 23, 2008

This piece news must have made many out there breathe a sigh of relief. But only a short breath: don’t forget RPK left behind a legacy and that can never be shut away in Kamunting.

Raja Petra to be sent to Kamunting
Sep 23, 08 9:34am

Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Kamarudin will be sent to Kamunting Detention Centre in Taiping, Perak today to begin his two-year detention under the Internal Security Act, said his lawyer.

The home minister has signed his detention order last night to be held without trial under section 8 of the tough security law. Under the Act, the government can renew his detention indefinitely.

raja petra and internal security actLawyers said that the police had informed them this morning that they would be taking Raja Petra to the detention centre.

The Kuala Lumpur High Court is to hear a habeas corpus bid by Raja Petra’s lawyers to overturn the detention of the controversial blogger today.

Habeas corpus is a writ ordering prisoners to be brought before a judge to ascertain if there are any procedural defects which could render their detention unlawful.

Hope to see some of you at the Abolish ISA forum tonight.

Venue: KL & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall

Date: 23 Sep 2008 (Tues)
Time: 8:00 pm


*Teresa Kok, Selangor State Exco

*Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, Bar Council President

*Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh, Chairman of Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA (GMI)

*Lim Guan Eng, Penang Chief Minister

*Khalid Samad, MP Shah Alam

*Nurul Izzah Anwar, MP Lembah Pantai

*A. Sivanesan, ADUN Sungkai

Posted in Badawi, blogosphere, Current Affairs, ella-mae, Human Rights, malaysiakini, Politicians, politics, Raja Petra Kamarudin | Tagged: , , , , | 13 Comments »

ISA Detention Updates…….She’s Free (?)

Posted by ErnieJean on September 19, 2008

OMG!! OMG!! Could it be!!!!??? I’m all goosebumpy right now!!

Whispers heard in the winds of change, apparently say that one of the wrongfully detained victims of the draconian ISA law has been released today!!! Who could it be? Rumours My credible sources (quoting RPK) has it that it could very well be Ms. Sassy herself!! Expecting a press conference anytime soon folks!!!

But let’s not let our guard down…there’s still Raja Petra and many more who needs justice.

However, I don’t see why I can’t do the “jiggle” right now 😀 Woo Hoo!!!

Updated 1.38pm:

Confirmed! Malaysiakini just reported the news here:

Teresa Kok released
Sep 19, 08 1:22pm

DAP Seputeh MP Teresa Kok was released at 1pm today, after being held under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for a week, revealed her lawyer Sankara Nair.

At press time, she was at tha Jalan Travers police station waiting for her release documents to be processed, he told Malaysiakini.

Teresa’s parents are now on the way to the station after being informed of her release.

She will be holding a press conference at 3.30pm at the DAP headquarters in Petaling Jaya.

Posted in government, Malaysia, malaysiakini, Politicians | Tagged: , , , , , | 10 Comments »