Tak cukup Menteri…mesti bebaskan semuanya atau dakwa di bawah Akta yang sesuai…

Gov’t to free Hindraf trio and 10 others
May 8, 09 12:38pm Malaysiakini.com
The government will release another
13 Internal Security Act detainees, including
three of the Hindu Rights Action Force
(Hindraf) leaders.

MCPX

hindraf isa detainee r kenghadharan and v ganabatirau released 060409This was announced by Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein
at a press conference in Putrajaya.

Hishammuddin
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,”
Hishammuddin said.

“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
the constituency.

He has also expressed his
intentions
to quit the seat
but his release now will surely alter his plans.

[More to follow]

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Hero after hero…the BNs don’t see it, do they? (Updated)

ISA detainee Manoharan mulls resignation
Rahmah Ghazali | May 2, 09 5:00pm
Hindraf legal advisor M Manoharan, who is under ISA detention, has today confirmed that he is considering quitting his Selangor state seat of Kota Alam Shah.

MCPX

manoharan and kota alam shah state seat selangorIn a statement issued by his wife S Pushpaneela, the ISA detainee said he regretted his inability to effectively serve his constituents over the past 14 months given his incarceration at the Kamunting detention camp in Taiping, Perak.

“I feel a sense of guilt of being unable to serve the voters who have voted me as their respresentative in the Selangor state assembly. I feel I am being unfair to my constituents thus far,” he said.

“I now have to consider resigning as a Selangor state assemblyman for Kota Alam Shah paving the way for a by-election in order for my constituents to re-elect their new representative who will be better able to serve them and who will be able to physically attend all the sittings of the Selangor state legislative assembly and matters arriving there from.”

Pushpaneela, who met her husband in Kamunting today, came out from the detention camp at around 4.15 pm.

Two days ago Malaysiakini reported that the detained assemblyperson was considering giving up his seat due to his frustration of not being able to physically serve his constituents, quoting an unnamed close source.

Contested under the DAP ticket

Manoharan was detained under the ISA on Dec 13, 2007 along with four other top Hindraf leaders.

He then contested under the DAP ticket for the Kota Alam Shah state seat in Selangor while in custody and defeated BN-Gerakan’s Ching Su Chen by 7,184 votes.

karpal singhHowever, Manoharan will only make the official decision after a meeting with DAP chairperson Karpal Singh on May 19 at the Kamunting Detention Camp.

According to the statement read out by Pushpaneela via telephone with Malaysiakini, her husband has “exhausted all avenues” to seek his release and all the efforts have been in vain.

“I have written a letter to former prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, three letters to now Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, eight letters to former home minister Syed Hamid Albar, and two letters to Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah (to gain my freedom),” said Manoharan.

hindraf isa detainee r kenghadharan and v ganabatirau released 060409Apart from that, he added, his applications to attend the state assembly sittings have all been rejected by the Home Ministry.

“(Instead), I was forced to apply for leave from the ministry,” he said.

Furthermore, Manoharan also expressed his frustration over the ISA advisory board and its panel members “who have all rejected my pleas for my release”.

“The High Court has dismissed my three habeas corpus application and the Federal Court have dismissed all the three appeals from the High Court.

“So all the efforts (I have made) have been to no avail. I am very disappointed that this had happened despite the 12,699 voters of Kota Alam Shah having voted to show that I have never ever been a threat to national security.

“The home minister defied the voice of the people and the democratic voice of the 12,699 voters,” he said.

Wife: It’s only so much I can do

Between being the breadwinner of her family and replacing Manoharan as the state assemblyperson, Pushpaneela, however, conceded that her contributions in the constituency is still unsatisfactory.

manoharan wife hindraf deepavali message 281008 s pushpaneela 2Even though she had acted on behalf of her husband for the past 14 months, she said that she still “can’t bring the constituents grievances to the state assembly”.

“I can do as much as I can in the constituency, but I cannot attend the state assembly sitting. As a state representative, you need to bring their grievances to the august House but these people have been denied (this),” she said.

Despite the hardest decision that her husband has to make, the mother of four children however said that Manoharan was “in good spirit”.

“But he just feels very guilty … the people only saw his posters and not him in person. He tried his best to be out (of prison) to serve them … but he can’t even attend the assembly sitting,” said Puspaneela.

Manoharan’s threat to quit has put Najib on the back foot.

The prime minister has lambasted the opposition for forcing by-elections for no good reasons after Penanti assembyperson Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin resigned from his Penang state seat last month.

In this case, Manoharan is arguing that he has compelling and legitimate reasons to quit, unless of course, Najib releases him from ISA detention.

The Kota Alam Shah seat is one of the three seats which falls under the Klang constituency, also held by DAP. It covers Klang town and surrounding areas.

Related reports

‘Let my constituents elect new rep’
My 500th day under ISA

K Kabilan | Apr 30, 09 11:47am
Kota Alam Shah state representative M Manoharan, who is under the Internal Security Act detention, is believed to be considering quitting his seat, Malaysiakini learnt today.

A source close to the detained lawyer said that he was growing frustrated over his inability to serve his constituents.

“He also realises the pressure he has put on his wife to work as his representative in his absence,” added the source.

manoharan wife hindraf deepavali message 281008 s pushpaneelaHis wife S Pushpaneela (right) has to juggle her time in taking care of their four young children, his legal office and his constituency, added the source.

Manoharan was detained under the ISA on Dec 13 in 2007 along with four other Hindraf leaders.

He was a legal advisor for the movement, which has since been banned by the government.

He then contested under the DAP ticket for the Kota Alam Shah state seat in Selangor while in custody and defeated BN-Gerakan’s Ching Su Chen by 7,184 votes.

Various appeals to the government and judicial reviews in courts to seek his freedom have been unsuccessful.

In his absence, Pushpaneela and several volunteers have been taking care of the constituency with the help of some DAP leaders.

“However, the workload is just too much on her. She is after all not the elected representative and there is only so much she can do for the people,” added the source.

Manoharan is now believed to have decided that it would be better for someone else to do the job as the state assemblyperson in Kota Alam Shah.

Wife meeting him on Saturday

When contacted, Pushpaneela refused to comment on the matter.

“I can’t say anything until I have met him at the Kamunting detention centre this Saturday,” she said.

“Please wait until Saturday for further information on this,” she added.

kota alam shah selangor state seat 300409If Manoharan steps down from the seat, it will pave the way for the seventh by-election in the country after the March 2008 general election.

As it is, a by-election is just around the corner – for the Penanti state seat in Penang, which will be held on May 31.

That seat became vacant after its PKR’s representative Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin quit on April 16.

The Kota Alam Shah by-election, if it happens, would be the first in Selangor and for DAP.

Pakatan has 36 seats in the state assembly as opposed to 20 held by Barisan Nasional.

The decision by Manoharan to step down, if it materialises, would come as a shock to state leaders as this was one seat which they had not anticipated a by-election.

The state however came close to hold a by-election for the Bukit Lanjan state seat held by PKR’s Elizabeth Wong after semi-nude photos of her were circulated in public earlier this year.

That did not materialise after Wong decided against resigning the seat.

Will BN contest?

A by-election in Kota Alam Shah would also put BN in a quandary as the coalition’s chairperson and Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak had recently lashed out at elected representatives from the opposition for quitting their seats for flimsy reasons.

najib deneis allegations of buying state assembly person 260209 01Najib had argued that the nation was better off spending money on fighting the ongoing financial crisis than wasting it on by-elections.

Worried that the ruling coalition will suffer its fifth consecutive defeats in the Peninsular, BN is contemplating not contesting the Penanti state seat. However, a final decision is expected on Monday.

The coalition may take a similar stand on Kota Alam Shah if the seat becomes vacant.

“But in the case of Manoharan, it is not that he does not want to serve his constituents. It is the decision of the government to hold him under detention, thus disabling him from performing his duty,” said the source.

“There is no way Najib can call Manoharan’s reason to quit as being flimsy. He (Manoharan) is after all seems to be thinking for the benefit of his voters,” added the source.

The Kota Alam Shah seat falls under the Klang constituency, which is also held by DAP.

st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } Meanwhile Selangor Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim denied that Manoharan was going resign from his state seat.

Speaking to reporters in Shah Alam, he brushed aside the resignation talks as speculations.

And in Penang, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng refused to comment on the matter.

It is completely and absolutely unacceptable…

My 500th day under ISA
P Uthayakumar | Apr 26, 09 7:55am malaysiakini.com
Today April 26, 2009, marks my 500th day under Umno’s captivity without being charged, tried or found guilty in a court of law. I suppose this is ‘justice’ for me, an Indian ethnic minority and human rights lawyer of 18 years.

MCPX

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s continued unilateral decree is that I be made to serve a jail sentence of two years and indefinitely thereafter under his regime. There are prisoners here at Kemta Kamunting, Taiping, serving their eighth year of their ISA sentences.

p uthayakumar sedition trial 030209 01But I have no regrets. I know in my heart that every day of my imprisonment will liberate and open up a thousand new minds against Umno’s atrocities and injustices in their marginalisation, discrimination, suppression, oppression and the exclusion of Indians from the mainstream of national development in Malaysia.

Today, I have grown 500 days older. Today, I have lost 500 days of my precious freedom. Today, it is 500 days since I shaved my beard or combed my hair to protest my ISA detention. Today, it is 500 days since I have been made to wear the very same two pairs of dark blue baggy pants and white restaurant waiter-like prison uniform.

My left foot

On Jan 31, 2009, I had accidently injured the last toe of my left foot, which had gotten worse because of my long standing diabetic condition. From day one of my injury, I had repeatedly asked to be treated at the Gleneagles private hospital as I no longer have confidence in the independence of government-service doctors, which I believe had been compromised by the Home Ministry and its Special Branch police officers.

Under protest, I agreed to be treated at a government hospital on Feb 3, 2009. As I had anticipated, the doctor refused to admit me despite my swollen leg and blackening left foot condition. The doctor told me there were no hospital beds and neither did she want to refer me to an orthopedic surgeon or a consultant physician, as well as a cardiologist to treat my silent heart attack during my ISA detention.

No cast was put on my leg. No medication was prescribed. This doctor told me that my leg would heal on its own. My suspicion was confirmed when the doctor, who had written my medical notes in a police file, gave it back to the police officers accompanying me.

brickfields uthayakumar hindraf 280209 marching to stationBy the second week, my leg got even worse and despite repeated pleas, the prison authorities refused to take me even to a government hospital, which I agreed to go under protest. I had lodged four police reports but again zero action was taken. Even my statement was not recorded.

The worst case scenario ran across my mind. I may lose my left foot. For the first time, I realised that as a lawyer, I could not even save myself. There was nothing I could do, I was a prisoner.

But even then, I had thought to myself that should the worst happen, I would put on a prosthesis (artificial leg) and keep walking. I feel that at the end of the day, it was the prayers held at scores of Hindu temples nationwide by supporters of Makkal Sakthi that had actually saved my leg and ensure my well-being in prison.

Surviving on bread and biscuits

On March 22, 2009, I found pieces of beef in the chicken sambal served to me. Mohamad, a Pakistani national, and Abdul Sarjon, a Sri Lankan national, and fellow detainees who worked at the prison kitchen confirmed that chicken and beef were cooked in the same pot after which the chicken was scooped out and served.

uthayakumar interview 051207 pausedI immediately lodged a police report. But again nothing happened as usual. But had it been the other way round – the victimisation a Malay Muslim – a different set of rules would be applied by Umno.

But I suppose this is all part and parcel of PM Najib’s One Malaysia policy. One Malaysia, two systems. Since that day, I have refused to consume cooked food from the prison kitchen in protest against the violation of my religious rights in contravention of Article 11 of the Federal Constitution. As a Hindu, I do not consume beef. I am now surviving basically on bread and biscuits.

Throughout these 500 days, there was never a single day that I ever regretted starting and spearheading this struggle. I believed in justice, including for the minority ethnic Indians, in Malaysia.

In these 500 days, I have refused to meet any of the Special Branch officers who came to meet detainees once in every two to three months to “plead for my release”. I have done no wrong and I am not prepared to beg for my freedom. I had earlier also refused to meet Umno’s home minister, knowing fully well that my release from prison is in his hands, for the very same reason.

My biggest satisfaction and what keeps me going in prison is the true and sincere spirit of the struggle through Hindraf’s Makkal Sakthi.

brickfields uthayakumar hindraf 280209It moved me to see thousands of Hindraf supporters who had braved FRU’s tear gas and water cannons, who were roughed up and beaten by the police, arrested, handcuffed, thrown into jail, prosecuted in court and bravely standing up in the dock to face possible jail sentences, losing their jobs, and with their wife and children suffering.

All these sacrifices, just for a public cause to put to an end to Umno’s racism, religious extremism and exclusion of the Indians from the mainstream of national development. To all of you, I salute you and I am proud of you. Makkal Sakthi Valga.

I miss my freedom

I am suffering from this imprisonment daily. I miss my freedom. I miss my family, my wife and children.

But I am prepared for the worst, even if it means another 500 days or more of imprisonment. I will do this just for the cause of Hindraf. Umno can imprison me but they cannot imprison the forces of Hindraf’s Makkal Sakthi.

Makkal Sakthi was the tipping point in the March 8, 2008 general elections. It was the triggering factor which resulted in Umno/BN losing two-thirds majority in Parliament as well as political power in four west-coast states.

Makkal Sakthi once again showed its prowess at the Bukit Selambau and Bukit Gantang by-elections. I never, even in my wildest dream, thought I would see Makkal Sakthi forces to this extent in my lifetime.

gantang by election 040409 hindraf candle light vigil kamunting isa detainees09I am no Mahatma Gandhi or Nelson Mandela, but Umno has to understand and accept that it was the genuine grievances of the people – the pent-up pain and suffering, misery and heartache – that brought about the unprecedented 100,000-strong Hindraf rally on Nov 25, 2007.

Please be patient. Umno will not change, but we will change Umno in the 2012/2013 general elections. We will put an end to Umno’s bully tactics and its rule by fear. We have waited 52 long years.

Please be patient. In another three or four years, there would hopefully be a new beginning, a new political structure and a Malaysia with equality and equal opportunities, including for the Indians. A Malaysia where the Indians would be a part of the mainstream in national development.

Every day and every moment of my imprisonment, my thoughts and prayers are with Makkal Sakthi. I have plans for our further struggle. Please pray for my freedom, and for Umno’s end of its rule so that justice will finally prevail.

Umno may have punished me with this 500 days of imprisonment but you, the Makkal Sakthi, will in turn punished Umno/BN where it hurts them most – the ballot box.

God bless.

P Uthayakumar
Kamunting Detention Camp, Perak