|The government will release another
13 Internal Security Act detainees, including
three of the Hindu Rights Action Force
This was announced by Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein
at a press conference in Putrajaya.
said that they would be released in the
next “two or three days”.
“I will be signing the (release) papers now,” he said.
He did not give the reasons for the release
of the 13 but added that they “no longer
needed to be held”.
Of the 13 to be released, six are Malaysians,
two Indonesians and the remaining five are Filipinos.
They are Zulkepli Marzuki, Jeknal Adil, Azmi Pindatun, P Uthayakumar, M Manoharan,
T Vasanthakumar, Zainun Rasyhid,
Aboud Ghafar Ismail, Sufian Salih, Hasim Talib,
Abdul Jamal Azahari Yusof Mohd Salam and Husin Alih.
After taking over the reins in April, Prime Minister
Najib Abdul Razak ordered the release
of 13 ISA detainees, including Hindraf leaders
V Ganabatirau and R Kengadharan.
‘Mas Selamat detained under ISA’
The three Hindraf leaders still in detention
are P Uthayakumar, T Vasanthakumar and M Manoharan.
Manoharan is also the state representative
for Kota Alam Shah in Selangor. He won the
seat from behind bars in the last general election.
The five were detained in December 2007 after
mounting a massive street protest which saw
tens of thousands of Indian Malaysians taking
to the streets.
On another matter, Hishammuddin today
confirmed that alleged
Islamic militant leader Mas Selamat Kastari
has been captured and is being held under ISA.
“Mas Selamat is under our detention and is
being investigated right now. He was planning
something which allows us to arrest him,”
“He is under ISA,” he said.
Is it a diversion tactic?
In an immediate reaction, Hindraf chairperson
P Waythamoorthy welcomed
the release of the three Hindraf leaders but
urged the government to release all remaining
detainees and close down the detention centre.
“I also hope this is not an eyewash to divert
the people’s attention from the ugly episode in Perak yesterday,” he said when contacted.
Waythamoorthy, who is Uthayakumar’s younger
brother, is presently in exile in London following
the government crackdown on Hindraf.
The movement was banned last October.
Meanwhile, Manoharan’s wife S Pushpaneela was
elated with the news of her husband’s impending release.
“I can’t believe it. My children and I can’t wait
to see him free again. Now he can serve
the people who voted him in as the state
representative of Kota Alam Shah,” she told Malaysiakini.
Manoharan won the seat while in detention
but in recent days he is said to have grown
frustrated of being unable to be able to serve
He has also expressed his
intentions to quit the seat
but his release now will surely alter his plans.
[More to follow]