Press Statement: 29th May, 2013
SUARAM WARNS OF OPERASI LALANG II
SUARAM is appalled at the State’s demonstration of might over the people’s rights in recent times. The government, with the Home Ministry and police in complicity struck fear and imposed threats to the dissenters. Calls from the local and international civil societies for an end to the massive crackdown had been ignored in toto.
Haris Ibrahim, Tamrin Ghafar and Chua Tian Chang were re-arrested under the Sedition Act 1948 yesterday evening just days after being released by the Magistrate. They were charged under Section 4(1)(b) of the Sedition Act today together with student activist Safwan Anang. Yazid Sufaat and Hilmi Hasim were re-arrested and charged under S130KA of the Penal Code for alleged terrorism offences after being released more than a week ago. Six Pakatan Rakyat leaders were charged under the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 for alleged violations of the unconstitutional Act.
Apart from the police’s overpowering authority in the recent crackdown, it was reported that there were two deaths being caused by the police under their custody. N. Dharmendran (Accused) and R. Jamesh Ramesh (Suspect) were found dead in police custody in a matter of a week’s time.
SUARAM is gravely concerned on the state of Malaysia at present. For as long as SUARAM has existed, violations of human rights, civil liberties and police brutality by the Barisan Nasional government had never seen a decline.
The recent spate of crackdown reminisces the dark periods of Operasi Lalang under the repressive governance of Mahathir. Prime Minister Najib must not only unlearn the past tyrannies but must be seen to redeem the people’s trust and confidence in his government. The Prime Minister must stop hiding behind the Home Minister and the IGP, whom had sufficiently demonstrated the State’s powers against any kinds of dissent from the people.
SUARAM demands an explanation from Prime Minister Najib on the failure of his promises to ensure greater freedoms and liberties to the people. What we see on a daily basis is a total departure from his pledges. The use of his brainchild, the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 and SOSMA 2012 which, ironically the product of a ‘delicate’ balance between security and freedoms, to silence the people had proven just that.
Would the Prime Minister step forward to end all intimidation and harassment against these peaceful dissenters? Would the Prime Minister send a strong message to the IGP and Home Minister to look at the realities of the present scenarios? We shall only hope that these are not the symptoms of Operasi Lalang II.