Commentary and Analysis

Latest Breaking News

Latest Videos

Your Ad Here

Newest crackdown against dissent - Malaysia heading for another Ops. Lalang? (malaysiakini)

DAP leader Teresa Kok has also been detained under the Internal Security Act - the third person to be detained without trial today.
Confirmed by DGP
Arrested at 11.18pm

Malaysiakini report

First it was a blogger. And then it was a journalist.

Then went an MP and a state exco member.

The last time a journalist or an MP was detained under the ISA act, it was 21 years ago. We lived under a more oppressive regime, a more oppressive leader, a nation that did not tolerate dissent.

Or so we thought.

Echoing the sentiments of the Malaysian Bar Council President, I was under the impression that Malaysia was moving towards being a more open, matured society where dissent was accepted, even cherished. Evidently I have given too much credit to my nation's government.

They still resort to the Machiavellian ways of running the country - by arresting and jailing dissenters as means to threaten and intimidate the general population. And we say that our nation is not in distress.

To the Home Ministry, I ask you this : How is it that you can perceive these 3 Malaysians, especially the two women, Teresa Kok and Sin Chew report Tan Hong Chen to be a grave threat to Malaysian national security? Have they purchased bombs to blow up a body? What have they done, but to fight for justice, for freedom, for the rights of the individuals in our nation of Malaysia?

One can only wonder as to the plans of the Home Ministry. Are more to come?

Of particular concern is the arrest of Teresa Kok. An MP and a state exco legislator. The arrest not only deprives her of the individual liberties supposedly guranteed under article 5 of our constitution, but also deprives the people of Seputeh and Selangor of their right to representation in the Federal and State Parliament.

Only time will tell whether we will shrink back into our holes, cower and hide, just like in 1987, or we will come forward to aid our heroes in a time where they now need us to bear the torch for them. Will we fight for justice, for freedom, and for the liberty of these 3 heroes, now that they are incapable of carrying on our fight?

This is to say that we should help them peacefully, without resorting to violence, for it would become a greater atrocity and blow to our 3 heroes' cause if we were to spiral into a web of violence and bloodshed. We must show that we, the rakyat of Malaysia oppose and will not take the jailing of our people lightly, but we still have the maturity and restrain ourselves.

Before I end, I will leave you with 4 profound, and extremely appropriate quotes:

Dissent is the highest form of patriotism - Howard Zinn

"In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist;
And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist;
And then they came for the Jews, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew;
And then . . . they came for me . . . And by that time there was no one left to speak up." - Pastor Martin Niemoller.

Stand by me, and I will stand by you - Teresa Kok

Before one can be fit for the practice of civil disobedience one must have rendered a willing and respectful obedience to the state laws. . . A Satyagrahi obeys the laws of society intelligently and of his own free will, because he considers it to be his sacred duty to do so. It is only when a person has thus obeyed the laws of society scrupulously that he is in a position to judge as to which particular rules are good and just and which injust and iniquitous. Only then does the right accrue to him of the civil disobedience of certain laws in well-defined circumstances. - Mahatma Gandhi