(Petaling Jaya, Tuesday): The
hunger strike planned by the six
reformasi ISA detainees beginning tomorrow at the Kamunting detention centre
on the anniversary of their detention without trial
to demand open trial or release deserves the support and solidarity of
all right-thinking and justice-loving Malaysians.
September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States and national abhorrence of
terrorism can be no excuse for the use of detention-without-trial laws like the
Internal Security Act to suppress legitimate political dissent.
year after the ISA arrests, the government had failed to produce one iota of
evidence to substantiate its allegations that the “reformasi six” had
planned to use explosives and weapons including bombs, grenade launchers,
molotov cocktails and ball bearings in violent street demonstrations to topple
the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir
fact, the flimsiness of the government allegations against the reformasi six is
borne out by the fact that a year after the detention,
the government could not even issue a White Paper to justify the ISA
arrests - unlike Operation Lalang when a White Paper was issued within five
months although such White Papers were invariably “White-Wash Papers”.
In the case of the ISA detention of the reformasi six, the goverrnment
could not even produce a “White-Wash Paper”!
the DAP had declared from April 10 last year, when the first ISA arrests were
made, the reformasi six - Mohamad
Ezam Mohamad Nor, Hishamuddin Rais, Chua Tian Chang, Saari Sungib, Badrulamin
Bahron and Lokman Noor Adam - should be charged in open court and given a public
trial or they should be released immediately unconditionally.
launching of the hunger strike by the reformasi six tomorrow on the anniversary
of the ISA detention reminds me of a similar anniversary hunger strike by
Operation Lalang detainees on October 27, 1988 where I was one of the 17 ISA
detainees in Kamunting detention centre who took part in a
week-long hunger strike or puasa sunat (for Muslims)
to protest against our continued
detention, hightlight the rejection of the government distortions and fabrications in
the White Paper on Operation Lalang and to reaffirm our commitment to the cause of freedom, justice and
other 16 Operation Lalang detainees who took part in the week-long hunger
strike/puasa sunat from October 27 to November 3, 1988 were Karpal Singh, P.
Patto, Lim Guan Eng, Lau Dak Kee, Mohd Sabu, Mohd Nasir Hashim, Ariokia Das, Kua
Kia Soong, Kamaruzaman Ismail, Sebil John Joseet, Tuang Pik King, Yusuf Hussein,
Tengku Shukri Zainal, Zainuddin Abdullah, Philip Cheong and Mohd Yunus Lebai