DAP calls for immediate release of the reformasi six under the draconian ISA as the government has not convinced the court of national and international  public opinion that they are not the victims of politically motivated  framed-up charges

Media Statement 
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya,  Friday):  DAP reiterates its call for the immediate release of the reformasi six - Mohamad Ezam Mohamad Nor, Hishamuddin Rais, Chua Tian Chang, Saari Sungib, Badrulamin Bahron and Lokman Noor Adam - under the draconian Internal Security Act (ISA) as the government has not convinced the court of national and international public opinion that they are not the victims of politically-motivated framed-up charges. 

The  detention of the reformasi six is anotherr  example of the iniquity of the ISA, where the government is not only relieved of the onus of having to prove its allegations in a public trial  but enables it to make the most preposterous falsehoods against the detainees in utter impunity and immunity.  

When the police launched the ISA arrests leading to the detention of the reformasi six, the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Norian Mai  spoke of a “militant plot” to topple the government citing as examples of such militant tactics the securing of  explosives including bombs and grenade launchers and the recruitment of silat (martial arts) instructors and a big number of former officers and members of the security forces.  

Just as there has been no evidence to support the allegation by some   UMNO Ministers and leaders that the University of Malaya Dewan Tunku Chancellor pre-dawn fire on June 29 last year was caused by sabotage and arson by anti-government “militant” student activists, there has been no iota of  evidence  that the reformasi six were involved with any  “militant plot” to topple the elected government by force. 

For the past one year, the government has been  unable, to produce a single grenade launcher or bomb to justify the detention of the reformasi six in the way they displayed the weaponry captured by the Al-Maunah extremists to MPs. 

In fact, during their 60-day ISA interrogations, none of the reformasi six had been questioned by the battery of Special Branch officers on their “militant plot” to topple the elected government by force, which represented the very essence of the government’s case to justify their detention without trial under the ISA. 

This has been the common thread in the sworn affidavits of the reformasi six last July in their habeas corpus appeals to the Federal Court. 

Mohamad Ezam bin Mohd Nor swore in his affidavit:

 “They (Special Branch officers) then explained the meaning of detention in general - not one of the meanings stated to me had any connection whatsoever with the reasons of detention stated in the press conference by the Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Norian Mai on 11.4.2001.  I was informed that the press conference was held to inform the public on the reasons for my detention along with my six colleagues under section 73(1) ISA….

 “In fact I asked them to prove the claims that there were violent plans and attempts like collecting bombs, grenade launchers, Molotov cocktails, ballbearings and other things as claimed by the Inspector General of Police. They failed and could not give any evidence. In fact, on the contrary, the policemen who interrogated me claimed that there were other groups which did it outside my knowledge. But because I was amongst the leaders who attended the peaceful assemblies or demonstrations I was therefore responsible.”

Chua Tian Chang swore in his affidavit:

“I state that throughout my detention and interrogation I was never asked any question nor interrogated in respect of any alleged militant activities, in particular, I was never questioned nor interrogated on any alleged explosives such as bombs or grenade launchers, molotov cocktails, weapons, silat masters, militant groups or militant movements”.


Saari bin Sungib swore in his affidavit:

“Throughout the period of my detention, I was not asked at all about the allegations on trying to get explosive materials and weapons…I was never asked about the allegations which allegedly implicated me in using dangerous weapons to attack security personnel. About getting assistance from silat teachers, I was only asked whether I knew anything about it. When I told the police that I did not know anything about this accusation, they did not ask me again.  They did not ask any specific questions to show any relations between the accusations and myself.”


Hishamuddin Rais swore in his affidavit:

“Throughout the wyhole of my detention, I was never asked, questioned or interrogated about bombs, molotov cocktails, firearms or grenade launchers….They never asked me anything about allegations of obtaining assistance from martial arts experts.”


Badrulamin bin Bahron swore in his affidavit:

“After two weeks, I asked my interrogators why they did not ask me about weapons/bombs/rocket launchers.  They said that those were not the reasons why I was detained. I said I did not understand because the IGP himself mentioned that we were detained because of lethal weapons. They answered, ‘You’ll know very soon why you’re detained.’”


It is significant that in all major ISA arrests previously, White Papers had been issued to convince the Malaysian pubic and the world  that the government had not acted arbitrarily or capriciously but had a case from the standpoint of national security and stability, whether it be  the University of Malaya Chinese Language Society arrests in 1974 or Operation Lalang arrests in 1987 - but the government has been very shy in issuing a public document to justify the first ISA crackdown in the 21st century against the reformasi six.  

DAP calls on the Cabinet to convene an emergency meeting to respond to national and international protests on the occasion of the anniversary ISA detention of the reformasi six and renewed calls for their immediate release and the abolition of the draconian and iniquitious ISA. 


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman