Malaysia:Why the sledgehammer?

Posted by Aliran Exco under News on 5 July 2011

Aliran calls upon the Barisan Nasional government to be fair and just, and to free Jeyakumar and his colleagues immediately.

Why the sledgehammer?

JULY 4 It looks like if they don't get you under one law, they will get you under another law. That seems to be the case as far as Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj and his colleagues are concerned. But this time they used a sledgehammer just to make sure that they get them.

During the seven days' remand, the police did not unearth any incriminating evidence to justify their action against 30 Parti Sosialis activists for allegedly "waging war against the king". That was the reason stated for remanding these people. Before that, there was talk they could be investigated for sedition.

On the seventh day of their remand, six of them were freed from the Kepala Batas police station. The implication of this action was very explicit: The police had actually cleared them of whatever they were originally suspected of being involved in.

In other words, there was no case against them, and therefore, there was no reason to seek a further remand order to continue with the police investigation or to charge them. It was the end of the case and the matter was closed to the satisfaction of the police.

But lo and behold, at the very moment Jeyakumar and his colleagues were freed, police personnel from Bukit Aman immediately re-arrested them! This time, they were being arrested under the Emergency (Public Order and Prevention of Crime) Ordinance 1969. This time, they used the sledgehammer approach. This Ordinance doesn't give you a chance to challenge the arrest and detention.

But this Ordinance is meant for suspected goons and gangsters and criminals who habitually indulge in crime and violence; suspected criminals who pose imminent danger to citizens and remain a constant threat to public order.

The activities of Jeyakumar and his colleagues come nowhere near to this conceived potential danger to the nation. Their activities were never violent or criminal. In fact, they are very concerned and compassionate people who only want to do good that will benefit the discarded and marginalised sectors of our community.

Jeyakumar is noted for devoting his entire life to the care of the less privileged and discriminated urban poor, the neglected estate communities and the largely ignored Orang Asli. His ways are gentle, his approach is gentlemanly. He has never advocated any violence in the pursuit of justice for the poor, the weak and the meek. It was always persuasion and reasoning that he deployed to seek justice.

Reasonable and rational Malaysians cannot accept any insinuation that he is a danger to public order. In their eyes Jeyakumar is a victim of gross injustice. Aliran has known Jeyakumar for many years. He is one of our loyal members committed to the aspirations of Aliran.

His concerns are exemplary and inspiring. He is a tireless worker for the good of the nation. We reject any allegation of criminal intent on his part. Detaining him under the EO is a terrible injustice to this man of peace.

Aliran calls upon the Barisan Nasional government to be fair and just, and to free Jeyakumar and his colleagues immediately. Their continued detention does not speak well of our notion of justice or our respect for the rule of law.

Aliran executive committee
4 July 2011

23 PSM members charged over Bersih flyers

BUTTERWORTH, July 4 Twenty three Party Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) members were today charged for allegedly distributing flyers related to the Bersih rally, barely a week before the event is scheduled to take place.

The 23 were part of a larger group of 30 that were detained by police over a week ago while on their way to a roadshow in Penang, and had been remanded for a week to facilitate investigations that they were "waging war against the King."

Six more from the group, including Sungai Siput MP Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj, are now being held without trial under the Emergency Ordinance.

The 23 charged today are R. Nalayani, 64; K. Deeba, 22; G. Packialetchumy, 40; P. Jody, 52; K. Gana Santhanam, 45; J. Reveen Veerasenan, 18; G. Velaitham, 54; S. Ramasamy, 35; M. Ravindran, 20; K. Kamaladevi, 57; R. Saroza, 51; M. Santhanadevi, 30; NP Indra, 54; M. Kavitha, 35; S. Thivya Kumar, 18; M. Sivoosamy, 56; K. Thanushia, 21; Chan Mooi, 55; Cheang Sew Yin, 60; A. Shanmugam, 57; Soh Sook Hwa, 29; and M. Aroklam, 62.

They were charged under Section 48(1) of the Societies Act 1966 as well as Section 34 of the Penal Code, and are liable to be jailed no more than five years and fined up to RM15,000 upon conviction.

Additionally, they were also charged under Section 29(1) of the Internal Security Act for unlawfully possessing subversive documents, for which they can be jailed up to five years and fined not more than RM10,000 if found guilty.

All 23 claimed trial to the charges. Bail was at RM4,000 in a single surety for each charge. The case is set for mention on July 21.

Sources and Relevant Links:

Malaysian Insider Why the sledgehammer?04 July 2011

Malaysian Insider 23 PSM members charged over Bersih flyers 04 July 2011

Malaysian Insider Free EO detainees now, TI-M tells Putrajaya 04 July 2011

MalaysiaKini BNs yellow-phobia a fear of clean elections 04 July 2011

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