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Archive for September 15th, 2008

A Sad Tale

A Sad Tale

On 12 September, about eight thirty in the evening, I was at my home in Bukit Mertajam, Penang. While enjoying my yew char koay (fried dough stick), I was worried about the show cause letter issued to Sin Chew Daily, and anxious about the days ahead for my newspaper.

Suddenly, a group of plain cloth police officers appeared at my front gate. The person who started to identify the group and the purpose of this visit was a woman officer. She was also the only one in her uniform.

Through the gate, she told me that I have to follow them to the Police station, in response to that I told her that unless they have a warrant of arrest, I will not open the gate. At the same time, I immediately rung up the legal adviser of our company and my direct superior, seeking their advice.

Later, the female officer told me that they are arresting me under Internal Security Act, therefore a warrant is not required. On hearing that, I was immediately was prepared for the worst.

I have to act calm, comforting my parents and reassuring them that my colleagues would be waiting for me at the police station to render assistance. When I was taken away, my parents acted strongly, they kept on asking the police to accord me with proper treatment.

I was brought to Seberang Perai Tengah IPD (district head office), and I was placed in a chilling cold room while waiting for the police to begin their paperwork. I was accompanied by a female officer who seemed to be trembling as a result of the low room temperature as well. To break the silence, I initiated a conversation. She told me, “You seemed to be very calm.”

I told her, “I am arrested under the Internal Security Act, even though I am scared, I have to face this reality. But I am worried about my parents, friends and relatives, they must be very worried about me.”

To be frank, I was very cool-headed. I believed that there must be a lot of people out there supporting me, giving me the strength that I need, so I must stay strong, to be with these people who are supporting me.

The police recorded all my personal belongings, these were later taken away from me. After that, I am considered ready to be sent to the Police Contingent Headquarters in Penang. When I was brought out of the police station, I realised that a lot of my colleagues in the media, together with representative from different parties and groups were already waiting outside the Police station to show their support. Seeing this,I was deeply touched, I could no longer hold my tears.

When the police car arrived at the station’s entrance, my superior, Puah Eu Peng, our Northern Region Manager, tried to halt the car with his body, to slow the police car’s movement. He knocked at the window, to make sure that I was in the car and gestured to show me his support.

I instantly wiped off my tears, I realised that a lot of them are staying with me, I must be with them as well.

After taking my thumbprints, I was given my dinner and arranged to spend my night in remand. It was not to my knowledge that my colleagues in the profession and people from different groups and parties were there to show their support, right outside that station.

I requested the female officer to keep the lights on. She told me not to worry, she will not switch off the lights. The police also informed me that I would be meeting my parents tomorrow morning at eight. I have spent a very long time, thinking of everything that I have to tell my parents. I have lost touch with the outside world this is my only opportunity, I must cherish it, to clearly explain everything to my parents.

After clearing my mind and organising my thoughts, I tried to sleep while lying on the wooden bed with the company of the mosquitoes and the noise of water dripping. I have no idea what tomorrow holds for me, but I know I have to be in my perfect condition to handle everything.

I have never suffered from insomnia and this very night, I finally experienced it. Deep down in my heart, I know that those who care about me, would also be experiencing the same, my heart wrenched thinking of that.

At 6 o’clock in the next morning, when I was about to wash up, the female officer passed me the clothing brought by my parents. I was surprised; everything was new, the toiletries, t-shirts, shorts, panties.

I later discovered that the ‘parents’ that the police officer was referring to were a bunch of my colleagues. While waiting outside the Penang Police Contingent Headquarter, they have prepared all these for me. They were uncertain when I would be released, but they told themselves that they must get these necessity items ready in the briefest time possible.

I met my parents and bided them goodbye, the police informed me that they would bring me to the Police Headquarter in Bukit Aman in Kuala Lumpur. My heart sank, I told myself this is the beginning of it, I must brace myself for everything.

After few turns of event, I was eventually brought to the Perak Police Headquarter in Ipoh. After a brief interrogation session, I was brought back to Penang Police Headquarter again.

It was here, where I was interrogated further. I told myself to keep my mind clear, I must tell them the truth, and respond appropriately.

After the interrogation session, I was brought to see another higher-ranked officer, he told me, “We can both go home now!”. Both of us turned to the clock on the wall, the time was 2.25p.m.

This my 18 hours under ISA. I have gone through a lot

After being released, I received a lot of messages, telephone calls and bouquets. My colleagues in the press, representatives from political parties, society leaders, schoolmates, classmates, friends and relatives have visited me at home. Of course, not forgetting the readers and the public who called up or visited Sin Chew Daily’s office in Penang or the Head Office in Petaling Jaya.

Calls, messages, well wishes, and visits from readers and friends. To all of them, I have to express my deepest gratitude. During that 18 hours which was filled with a lot of uncertainties, I felt that there is some unknown strength that has supported me throughout, I knew it must be from you all, those whom I knew or have not met!

I realise that our journey is still full with challenges and obstacles, so we have to continue the same righteous spirit and courage that we have all shown this time! Our society needs this spirit, to build a better tomorrow.

I have finally been freed, but I hope Teresa Kok and Raja Petra Kamaruddin and all those detainees under the Internal Security Act, could be released as soon as as possible. If the authorities think that they have broken the law, they should brought to the court of law to receive transparent and fair trials.

Anakdesa – Well, now we know how it was to be “protected” if your life is threaten! 

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Arrested Under ISA

Arrested Under ISA

I wonder what’s the rational by the Home Ministry for invoking the ISA on reporter Ms Tan Hoon Cheng. Syed Hamid’s explanation that she was arrested under the ISA was because her life was under threat does not hold water at all. This minister must be out of his mind when he made that excuses. Maybe he thought that the rakyat can be fooled by such explanation. He has totally gone out-of-hand in handling this issue. In fact, in the first place he shouldn’t have signed the order. Here we have a reporter, who was just doing her work in reporting what was said by Datuk Ahmad Ismail. Funny right? Why the reporter was arrested but not the person who actually said the racist statement! Those statement was not said by Ms Tan Hoon Cheng but Datuk Ahmad Ismail. Yet, she’s the one that was locked up! Is this a selective prosecution by the government? The “weak” was arrested for reporting, while the person who allegedly uttered the seditious remarks goes free?

Arrested because of life under threat????? What the heck! If her life is truely under threat, why arrest? Can’t they just give her police protection or call her to the police station? This is another history created by the present government of protecting her rakyat! I guess now, everyone will be arrested under the ISA if their life is under threat! Once again I said “STUPID” excuse! Please find other excuses, maybe I will believe!

I guess now that she had been arrested, detained in an “ice-cold” room, interrogated and finally released, I am sure that  her safety is now assured! Woww! Isn’t it fantastic, for those people being threaten by the “Ah Longs”, you may apply to the home ministry and just go through what Hoon Cheng went through and out of the blue, you are freed from being threaten.

MP for Seputeh YB Teresa Kok Suh Sim, who was also detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) on Friday, 12th September 2008 at 11.18 pm, is what I term as excessive and inhumane. The azan allegation was first made by the former Selangor Mentri Besar, Datuk Seri Dr. Mohamad Khir Toyo, which was then sensationalised by Utusan Malaysia. However, YB Teresa Kok had made an immediate denial that she had tried to disallow azan in Kota Damansara Sri Serdang and Puchong Jaya.

The mosque committees in bothareas have also endorsed YB Teresa Kok’s denial with the Masjid Kota Damansara officials explaining that a damaged ampliflier had resulted in the calls to prayer to be made without the aid of a PA system while Masjid Kinrara mosque committee said Teresa had never set foot in Masjid Kinrara and was not involved in the azan petition issue in the area.

With all the these denials, it’s a wonder why the Home Minister still signed and issued the warrant of arrest under the ISA! What kind of Home Affairs minister is this? I am just a simple Anakdesa, yet I can’t see the rational behind all these arrests!

The PAS MP for Kota Raja YB Dr. Siti Mariah Mahmud had also lodged a police report against Khir on Thursday for his statement published in Utusan Malaysia on Tuesday, as it was “maliciously intended and aimed at raising the anger and anxiety of Malay Muslims”. But why was he not detained under the ISA? Another act of selective prosecution by the government!

The government should really look into reviewing the ISA and should revert to the original purpose of the law, which was to curb communism.  The ISA nowadays is misused by the “people In power” just to ensure that they can remain in power.

However, I must thank the Home Minister, for his action will only make the people angrier with the government’s “arm-twisting” rule. This is what I call a desperate action by the Government.

Resigned!

Resigned!

Meanwhile, De facto Law Minister Zaid Ibrahim has tendered his resignation over the government’s use of the Internal Security Act, which allows detention without trial, against three individuals last week.

MCPX

According to a reliable source, Zaid’s resignation letter was delivered to the Prime Minister’s Office at around 2pm today.

(Updated – De facto Law Minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim submitted his resignation letter to the Prime Minister, but Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi rejected it, asking the senator to take two weeks off to think about it.)

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