SLEEPLESS IN MALAYSIA

Posted on October 6, 2008

12


It was an honour to join many other concerned Malaysians to greet RPK and show support for him when he arrived at the Petaling Jaya Sessions Court in the morning of October 6. As he alighted from the unmarked and heavily tinted police van, it was good to see the man who through his writings have been voicing the concerns of many Malaysians and to be satisfied that despite the gross injustice mounted against him, he was reasonably healthy and composed.

But seeing him, I had three concerns which weighed heavily on me through the entire day and night. So, being unable to shake off this heaviness and not succeeding in my attempts to sleep, I sit instead to write this, commencing at 1.20 and finishing at 3.35AM, still SLEEPLESS IN MALAYSIA.

 

MY FIRST CONCERN arose from my observation (a visual image) of a husband and wife, a couple, forcibly separated from each other by the infernal Internal Security Act effected by the decree of just one man who had no need to justify or argue or defend the reason why RPK should be detained without trial. By the mere act of affixing his signature on the detention order, a Malaysian family was separated from their father, and a Malaysian wife was separated from her husband. This separation was graphically enacted by Marina the brave wife, with the rest of their sympathisers, on one side, and RPK the detained husband on the other side of the line formed by the police (who were performing their duty).  

 

My SECOND CONCERN arose from the irony of the situation being enacted at the PJ Sessions Court on the morning of October 6. All of us Malaysians who have joined our voices against the wicked ISA have always been saying that if the authorities had any issues to take against anyone, the proper thing to do would be to proffer charges against him or her and try him or her in court.

 

RPK was charged with committing sedition at the PJ Sessions Court on May 6 at which time the trial date was set for October 6. (The sedition charges are in relation to a statutory declaration he had made implying that certain individuals of high standing were present at the scene of the killing of a Mongolian woman.)   

 

So there we were on the morning of October 6 at the PJ Sessions Court for the start of this sedition trial. But the air was thick with Malaysian irony. Because on September 12, RPK was arrested under the ISA and on September 22 the order for his two-year detention without trial was signed which saw his despatch to the detention camp in Kamunting (in my hometown of Taiping). So on the morning of October 6 we who were present witnessed the merging of two legal opposites involving the one and the same person: RPK the ISA detainee without trial was brought to court so that the RPK who was being charged with sedition could be tried in court where he would have the chance to defend himself.

 

I want all Malaysians to think and chew over this. This cruel paradox which renders those of us with conscience SLEEPLESS IN MALAYSIA while those who were responsible for all ISA detainees’ immoral detention are seamlessly sleeping through the nights (as well as the days).

 

MY THIRD CONCERN which so consumes my never resting mind is the fact that in effect the person who was to stand trial on October 6 was detained under the vicious ISA twenty-four days before he was to appear in court. Again I want all Malaysians to think and chew over this fact and sleepless we should all be. Think of the injustice of it all.

 

Let me put it in relevant graphic easy-to-understand way. Your young son or daughter is forcibly removed from home and freedom and then twenty-four days later after sleeping in the most uncomfortable room he or she has ever experienced in all of life and feeding on the most unsavoury meals ever compared to mother’s cooking, he or she is brought under heavy guard to sit for his or her SPM or STPM or University exams. Do you think your son or daughter will do well under the circumstances? Do you think this would be fair to your dear one for such an important test?

 

So it is with RPK. Forcibly removed from home, from loved ones and subjected thoroughly to all kinds of interrogation, without freedom of when and where to sleep and what to eat. Removed from his own dining room. Removed from free access to his lawyers, not being able to pick his own time when he could consult with his lawyers and for how long he wished to spend with them. And then, twenty-four days later, to be brought to the court to commence his defence against the charge levelled at him. 

 

Is this fair? Can this be fair? This is Malaysian justice? A grave injustice has been committed. Always a disadvantage is intentionally placed in the way of those who dare to make their voices heard. The odds are always against them. There is no fairness. The playing field is never level. 

 

How can I or any of us sleep who care about such fundamental issues of freedom? 

 

I want all Malaysian MPs to think and chew over this. HOW DID MALAYSIA COME TO THIS?  HOW CAN THOSE WHO SIT IN PARLIAMENT ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN? WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT THIS? You owe your constituents who elected you an answer. Now.

 

The truth must and shall prevail.

Advertisements
Posted in: Perspective