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Media Conference Statement by Lim Kit Siang at Perak DAP Headquarters in Ipoh on Monday, 6th April 2009 at 1 pm: 

Call for lifting of the ban on Hindraf and immediate removal of all draconian restrictions on Ganabatirau and Kengadharan which have reduced them into “unfree Malaysians” despite being released from ISA after 15 months 23 days

Although Hindraf leaders V.Ganabatirau and R. Kengadharan have been released from Internal Security Act detention after 15 months 23 days – 46 hours after the new PM’s announcement - and have returned home to their families in Shah Alam and Petaling Jaya respectively, they remain “unfree Malaysians” with the host of draconian and undemocratic restrictions imposed on their ISA release.

Instead of full and unconditional release from ISA, Ganabatirau and Kengadharan remain unfree, exchanging incarceration within the four walls of the Kamunting Detention Centre for an invisible incarceration without walls but equally repressive and undemocratic in depriving them of their fundamental rights as Malaysian citizens and the human rights entrenched in the Malaysian Constitution.

The undemocratic and draconian conditions for the release of the Hindraf duo denied them human rights and fundamental liberties in substance, time and space, depriving them of the citizenship rights to take part in political and public activities, the human rights of freedoms of speech and expression, as well as requiring them to report regularly to the police as if they are big-time criminals.

Ganabatirau is not allowed to leave Shah Alam and Kengadharan to leave Petaling Jaya, and must be home by 7 pm every night, exchanging detention in Kamunting Detention Centre to a larger geographical space of Shah Alam and Petaling Jaya respectively – the mark of unfreedom and continued incarceration!

These draconian and undemocratic restrictions on the Hindraf duo’s citizenship and human rights make a mockery of the new Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s claim of greater respect for human rights and democracy in his maiden speech to the nation last Friday. What crooked interpretation of “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now.”!

This is totally unsatisfactory. I call on Najib to immediately remove all draconian restrictions imposed on Ganabatirau and Kengadharan as well as the following:

  • Immediate and unconditional release of all other ISA detainees, in particular remaining three Hindraf leaders under the ISA, P. Uthayakumar, DAP Selangor State Assemblyman for Kota Alam Shah, M. Manoharan and K. Vasantha Kumar; and

  • The sacking of Syed Hamid Albar as Home Minister and the lifting of the ban on Hindraf imposed by Hamid last October.

*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor



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