Media Statement
by M.Kula Segaran Deputy Secretary-General DAP Malaysia and Perak DAP Secretary
on 12April 2002
in Ipoh

DAP urges the authorities to allow Private doctors to provide medical assistance to the needy 6 political detainees on an urgent basis before it is too late

Since the Internal Security Act (ISA) came into being in 1960 it has been successfully used to quell all forms of legitimate dissent by the people against maladministration of the laws of the country by the government.

As of today it is said there are 6 political detainees in the Kamunting Detention Camp.They are the reformasi six -  Mohamad Ezam Mohamad Nor, Hishamuddin Rais, Chua Tian Chang, Saari Sungib, Badrulamin Bahron and Lokman Noor Adam

Last week on Wednesday I visited and had a lengthy discussion with all the 6 detainees. At that moment the detainees were all getting mentally and physically prepared to go on a hunger strike. The primary purpose of the “Hunger Strike” was to remind all that 

1)      it has been 1 year since the detainees arrest and the authorities have yet to bring charges as against them in an open court

2)      That detention without trial is a unacceptable and a contrary principle to a country which practices Democracy  

 The 6 were detained under the ISA on 10 April 2001.

Yesterday Siva Subramaniam, Perak DAP Committee Member and I left for the Kamunting detention camp to meet the 6 detainees. When we arrived at the Kamunting detention center at 12pm we  were informed by the authorities that only I can meet the detainees and even then that is only possible at 2pm. I promptly arrived at the Detention center again at 2pm and after due paper clearance I was allowed to meet the detainees at 3.10pm. Of the 6 detainees, Hishamuddin Rais and Badualamin Bahoron  were just too unwell to meet me.

 I then had discussion with the rest of the 4 detainees and among the matters which were deliberated were :

1)      I was informed that on Wednesday when the hunger strike took off in the morning suddenly there were streams of “visitors” to meet the detainees. The visitors were mainly Special Branch Officers (SB), doctors, prison officers of the Detention Center as well as from the Head Quarters. The health check was conducted in the morning on all of the detainees by one Mr.Harpajan(MA-medical assistant). When Mohamad Ezam Mohamad Nor enquired on the readings of the blood pressure of the detainees with the MA he refused to disclose the results. Also just before the medical check up began food was left around in a manner which was too enticing to the Detainees. Upon complaints that the food ought to be removed  it was done with much reluctance. In the afternoon one Dr.Sothi met with the detainees and gave advice on dehydration. All the detainees have now refused further medical check ups by the authorities.The detainees want the authorities to be just and fair to all and allow in their own doctors to examine and treat the detainees.  

2)      a)  Badural Amin blood pressure is said be very high that is 140/95.  b) He is also having high fever.  c) Since the hunger strike he has lost 2kg (from 64kg to 62kg).   Badural too was not able to discuss his legal rights with me.  

3)      Hishamuddin Rais is having severe migraine and he too was unwell to meet me today

The DAP urges the Government to restudy the ISA legislation which has out live its usefulness. The government should have an open mind and could get inputs from all, in particular the Bar Council, NGOs and political parties. 

The 6 who are detained must be released with immediate effect and if there are criminal basis or grounds the detainees should be charged in open court. To silence them without a fair trial is clear violation of all accepted norms of a civilized society. 

In this respect SUHAKAM need to intervene to see whether independent doctors need to be sent to the Kamunting detention Center to ascertain the medical condition of the detainees. It is also incumbent on SUHAKAM to monitor the health of the detainees continuously. 

From my observation,  Hishamuddin Rais and Badualamin Bahoron  need medical assistance urgently. As the detainees have lost confidence on the government doctors and their medical personal it is incumbent on the authorities to allow an independent medical team to provide medical assistance to the detainees. Unless something is done urgently to address this medical problem of the detainees we feel some untoward incident may occur. 

Except for the above, the Detainees are well with high spirits. 

Tien Chua ended the discussion by saying this “ We want to assure all our friends & family members that we remain in high spirit. Your support strengthens our conviction to carry on with the struggle. Thank you for marching together for Malaysia Democratic future”.