By Dr Kua Kia Soong

The recent call by various quarters to “Reclaim Malaysian History” is most timely. My 2007 title “May 13: Declassified Documents on the Malaysian Riots of 1969” was just such an attempt to rectify the official revisionism of Malaysian history. We pity the poor kids in school who have to put up with this mangled history but we should cry more for the poverty of the Malaysian intellect that allows such blatant dishonesty.

This article is a snippet from my new title: “Merdeka: the Real Story, Documents from the British archives” which will be published later in the year. It attempts to salvage Malaysian history from those who have warped it to present UMNO as the anti-colonial champion of the independence struggle. More recently, we have also witnessed an attempt to rehabilitate Dato Onn (bin Jaffar) as one of UMNO’s “honourable” leaders.

The younger generation and those who are not too familiar with Malaysian history may not be aware of Dato Onn’s questionable record on race relations and civil rights. We shall examine the twists and turns of Dato Onn political stances as he abandoned multi-ethnicity for Malay-centrism to suit his political fortunes during the run-up to Independence.

Today, as we put up with the racist garbage of the far right, Dato Onn’s record sounds familiar and reads like a cautionary tale for what reformist Malaysians should avoid…

Under British Patronage
During the Emergency which began in 1948, it became the urgent task of British imperialism to cultivate an alternative to the Malayan nationalist movement. The colonial state ensured that the mantle of political power would pass to the local Malay ruling class who had been groomed by the British since the early days of colonialism. However, some accommodation still had to be found between them and the non-Malay capitalist class who formed a decisive link in the chain of imperialist exploitation of the Malayan economy.

The shifting alliance of the upper stratum of the Chinese and Indian communities had been noted by the British colonial Government and they had not been slow to appoint some of its representatives to the legislative and other advisory bodies. With the Emergency Regulations and the banning of the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM), the rich Chinese leaders with the help of the colonial authorities began to take advantage of the vacuum created in the leadership of the Chinese community. As early as 1948, the idea of a Malayan Chinese Association (MCA) as the counterpart of the UMNO (United Malay National Organization), had been conceived by Sir Henry Gurney, the British High Commissioner:

“I have recently had long and frank talks with the Chinese members of the Legislative Council and representatives of mining and rubber interests with a view to obtaining more active help from the Chinese against the terrorists…Steps are now being taken by leading Chinese to form a MCA open to all who have made their home in the Federation with the object of cooperation with the government and with other communities in restoring peace and good order in this country…I have mentioned this development to Dato Onn and am satisfied that it will be helpful in forth-coming Malay-Chinese conversations on long-term problems…I intend to pursue these developments strongly since without the active help of the Chinese we cannot succeed. They are as you know notoriously inclined to lean toward whichever side frightens them more and at the moment this seems to be the government.” (From Sir H. Gurney to Secretary of State for Colonies, 19 December 1948, FO 371/1583)

This ‘behind-the-scenes’ plan is also borne out by MacDonald’s telegram to the Secretary of State:

“…the High Commissioner has played, behind the scenes, a decisive part.”
(A. Short, “The Communist Insurrection in Malaya, 1948-60”, London 1975:265)

The next step in the political strategy of the colonial state was the establishment of the Communities Liaison Committee (CLC). This had made its debut in January 1949 as the ‘Sino-Malay Goodwill Committee’, an informal closed-door forum for the upper classes of all three communities. Dato Onn, leader of the UMNO, has been accredited with initiating its formation, (Ishak Tadin, ‘Dato Onn, 1946-51, Journal of SEAsian History, Vol.I, No.I, 1960) but the records show that Sir Henry Gurney had initiated the idea.

The Committee included five Malays and four Chinese, all members of the Legislative Council, including Tan Cheng Lock, and Yong Shook Lin of the MCA; later it was expanded to incorporate leaders of the Indian community. The CLC was actively patronized by the Governor-General, Malcolm MacDonald himself, who attended all the Committee meetings. It was promoted as the ‘multi-racial’ alternative to the CPM. (Indian Daily Mail, 20 September 1949; quoted in K.H. Khong, ‘British rule and the struggle for independence in Malaya, 1945-57, PhD Pittsburgh, 1975:87)

The communal bargaining within the CLC predated the similar secret negotiations within the later Alliance National Council. While the agreements within these were presented as ‘non-communal’ solutions to the rest of the country:

“The Committee never developed a genuine non-communal approach to the problems confronting Malaya; it did demonstrate that significant communal compromise was more likely to emerge from semi-secret and ‘off-the-record’ negotiations conducted by communal leaders.” (G. Means, ‘Malaysian Politics’, NY 1970:124)

From these negotiations, the bare bones of the ‘Alliance Formula’ began to take shape, rife with contradictions from its inception.

Dato Onn, the Inconsistent Politician
It will be recalled that Dato Onn had led the first revolt over the British Malayan Union’s proposals in 1946 to grant citizenship and civil rights to the non-Malays. He had later been won over to the British view that they had to accommodate the non-Malay upper class, especially when the Emergency was proving to be more than just a ‘mopping-up’ operation:

“The lessons of the Emergency awoke the dominant Malayan politicians to the dangers of perpetuating an arrangement in which political power is concentrated in the hands of one racial group while another, almost of the same size, is left with perceptibly less access to that power.” (M.Osborne, Region of Revolt: Focus on SE Asia, Pelican, 1970:97)

At the time, the crucial issues facing the non-Malays were those of citizenship. Onn had to try very hard to persuade the conservative elements in UMNO to relent on the citizenship question and to accept the CLC recommendations to reduce the residential requirement for citizenship for non-Malays from 15 to 10 years. After a melodramatic resignation from the UMNO Presidency, Onn succeeded in getting the CLC recommendations accepted by UMNO.

The fragile limits of this ‘Alliance Formula’ were realized when Onn, through a fatal miscalculation, thought that the British-inspired ‘nationalist’ movement could be liberalized and expanded by opening up the UMNO membership to the non-Malays. The traditional Malay rulers in UMNO would not hear of this, and when Onn realized that another feigned resignation would be futile, he left UMNO to launch the Independence of Malaya Party (IMP) in June 1951.

The IMP mainly attracted the upper strata of the Malay middle class, the Mentri Besars (Chief Ministers) and the like. Within the Malay community, Onn was accused of being a ‘traitor to the Malays’. (Straits Times, 12 June 1950)

Meanwhile, an ultra-communalist Persatuan Melayu Semenanjung (Peninsula Malay Union) had been formed to oppose Onn’s policies. Similarly, a ‘Malay Union of Singapore’ was formed. Tungku Abdul Rahman, a prince from Kedah, who represented the dominant traditional Malay rulers, became the new President of UMNO.

Up until then, and indeed until the IMP had shown itself to be a spent force, there is no doubt that the British had cultivated Onn to represent what they had hoped would be seen as more liberal tendencies in the neo-colony that was being created.

From the beginning of the 1950s, the British colonial state began to introduce reforms in a gradualist fashion, in an attempt to divert influence from the anti-colonial forces rooted in the labour movement. First, a selective ministerial system was permitted to present a facade of local custodians taking over from the colonial power. Five Malaysians: Dato Onn (UMNO President until June 1951), Tengku Yaacob bin Sultan Hamid (brother of the Sultan of Kedah), Dato Mahmud bin Mat (Mentri Besar of Pahang), E.E. Thuraisingham (CLC Chairman), and Dr Lee Tiang King (another CLC member), were appointed by the High Commissioner to head the Departments of Home Affairs; Agriculture and Forestry; Lands, Mines and Communication; Education; and Health respectively. This was billed as “…a sure and steady progress toward freedom and democracy.” (Ibid. 9 October 1950)

Selling Out Citizenship Rights
Secondly, the colonial government had to make some concessions regarding the granting of citizenship rights to the non-Malays; this was one of the main demands of the nationalist movement. In 1950, only 500,000 Chinese and 230,000 Indians had Malayan citizenship, a mere fifth of the total Chinese population despite the fact that by 1947, more than three-fifths of the Chinese and half the Indian population in Malaya were local-born. (Federation of Malaya, Annual Report 1950, p.24; M.V. de Tufo, ‘A Report of the 1947 Census of Population’)

In 1952, therefore, the colonial authorities made some amendments to the Federation of Malaya Agreement Ordinance. Instead of the 15-year residential requirement and the stipulation that both parents of the non-Malay would-be citizen must have been born in Malaya, the amendments permitted citizenship on the following terms:

(a) A total of 10 out of the 12 preceding years of residence, including the 2 years immediately preceding the date of application; the applicant must be of good character; be proficient in Malay or English, and must intend to stay permanently;
(b) Citizens of the UK or British colony, or born in either of the Straits Settlements;
(c) That person should have been born in any of the Malay states or that one of the parents was also born locally.
(Federation of Malaya Agreement (Amendment) Ordinance, 1952)

It can be seen that the British colonial state was reluctant to abandon its communalist strategy. The amendments fell far short of the demand for citizenship based on jus soli principle, whereby all who are born in the country can claim automatic right of citizenship. The conditions were also more stringent than those in the Malayan Union proposals of 1946. This, after all, was in accordance with the demands of the conservative Malay rulers, who refused to accept even basic democratic rights, especially equal political rights for the non-Malays.

Without doubt, the amendments did enable more Chinese and Indians to acquire Malayan citizenship. V. Purcell estimated that between 50 per cent and 60 per cent of the Chinese and 30 per cent of the Indians would have become eligible. (V.Purcell, ‘Malaya: Communist or Free?’1954:196) By the end of 1953, 1,157,000 Chinese and 255,000 Indians had become citizens, a comparatively bigger fraction of the total numbers of non-Malays than under previous regulations. (K.J. Ratnam, ‘Communalism and political process in Malaysia’, KL 1963:92)

As Khong, K.H. has pointed out, (op cit, p. 146) by 1952 most of the UMNO leaders who had opposed citizenship for non-Malays had, in one way or another, been co-opted into the Administration, and appointed either as Ministers or Legislative Councillors, Mentri Besars, State Councillors, or members of various advisory boards. Furthermore, any protests or demonstrations were impossible while the Emergency Regulations were in force.

The next ‘safe’ reform introduced by the colonial power was elections to the Local Councils and Municipalities, but even at this level, no real democracy was permitted: the British High Commissioner had the power to revoke the elections as he saw fit; the Mentri Besar (appointed by the High Commissioner) could appoint up to one-third of the members; there was no fixed tenure of office since the Ruler-in-Council could dissolve the Council as he deemed fit; and lastly, the Local Councils themselves had no autonomy, since everything needed ratification by the High Commissioner or the State Government.

Racialist IMP: ‘1Malaya’ to ‘Malay Rights’
The Kuala Lumpur Municipal Council Elections in February 1952 largely decided the configuration of the political set-up in the would-be Independent Malaya. UMNO was determined to prove itself to be the credible representative of the Malay electorate and decisively to undermine the IMP. The MCA also had reasons for not trusting the IMP, which tended to define ‘Malayan’ solely by reference to the Malays. This stance by the IMP was yet another opportunistic volte face by Onn.

The apparently unlikely alliance between the two communalistic parties, the UMNO and MCA, won nine out of the 12 seats in the elections, while the IMP won only two seats. Essentially, the Kuala Lumpur Municipal Elections gave an indication to the colonial government of the political forces in Malaya at the time. The IMP, after the poor showing at the polls, lost its credibility. Soon, with the successful application of this electoral ‘Alliance Formula’ in the other areas of the country, the arrangement became institutionalized.

During the Emergency, there was reason enough for the Malay rulers in UMNO and the Chinese big businessmen in the MCA to reach a rapprochement in order to defend the status quo and defeat the workers’ revolt. At the same time, great strain was placed on the Alliance since, as basically communalist parties, the leaders of the UMNO and MCA constantly had to assuage the respective social bases in their communities.

The IMP managed to stir up more communalist issues before its final demise. It still had considerable strength in the Federal Legislative Council, accounting for 30 out of the 75 members. In the last days of its existence, it tried to destroy the UMNO-MCA alliance and succeeded in having the MCA’s ‘Social Welfare Lottery’ banned in May 1953. When the government introduced the Education Ordinance to control the Chinese-medium schools (which were strong bastions of anti-colonialism), overwhelming pressure from the Chinese community forced the MCA to take an independent stand from the Alliance. Similarly, it had to differ over the licencing and registration of businesses.

In 1953, Dato Onn in provocative vein accused the MCA and other Chinese organizations of trying to make Malaya ‘the 20th province of China’. In the furore, the colonial government took a backseat. The censure motion in the Legislative Council against Onn for his speech that was “calculated to stir up interracial discord” was defeated. (Debates 6 and 7, May 1953; and Khong,KH, 1975:146)

While the UMNO and MCA still lacked ministerial positions in the government, the IMP was the party preferred by the British. The UMNO and MCA then demanded that elections to the Federal Legislative Council be held by 1954, but the British would not oblige. It is noteworthy that throughout all this, UMNO and MCA did not openly conflict with the colonial authorities.

After the IMP was defeated in the Municipal Elections, it lost interest in further elections. The IMP had no base in the Malay masses, which were more responsive to the communalist line of the traditional rulers in UMNO, or were otherwise unconcerned. Moreover, the IMP was the party most closely identified with the colonial power.

In March 1953, the IMP attempted to launch a new initiative to gain support by sponsoring a National Conference “to plan the way to a united, free and independent Malaya.” (Malay Mail, 20 March 1953) The British Governor-General gave his whole-hearted support to the Conference, while UMNO and MCA boycotted it. (R.K. Vasil, ‘Politics in a plural society’, KL 1971:76)

UMNO and MCA threatened to resign from the Government Councils if the 1954 deadline was not met. With these various groups vying with each other to lead the so-called nationalist movement, the British had to make some concessions. Consequently, in May 1953 the colonial government announced the formation of a Legislative Committee.

Swansong for the IMP
In February 1953, in what was to be its last about-turn, the IMP gave way to the ‘Party Negara’ and the ideology of this opportunistic party once more reverted to that of Malay chauvinism. Dato Onn’s political stance had come full circle, back to that of 1946 when he led the Malay revolt over the Malayan Union proposals. In many ways, it reflected the realization that in 1955, 85 per cent of the electorate was Malay. (K.J. Ratnam, op. cit. p.186) Party Negara adopted the IMP’s programme of the gradual introduction of elections and self-government, and maintenance of the Malay rulers as constitutional monarchs. In addition, to prove that it was even more communalistic than UMNO: (Straits Times, 3 January 1955)

(a) It disallowed membership of the party to non-Malays who had resided in Malaya for more than 10 years but who were not citizens;
(b) It declared Islam as the official religion;
(c) Malay would be the official language along with the English language;
(d) There would be restricted immigration of non-Malays through a quota system;
(e) There would be stringent conditions on application for citizenship by non-Malays.

Party Negara maintained that the immigration restrictions were meant to avoid “the growing imbalance between the three major races… [since] we are against any attempt at domination by a section of the Chinese community in this country.” (Singapore Standard, 23 January 1955, cited in G. Means, 1970:159) Onn even proposed encouraging Indonesian immigration as a way of ensuring the numerical superiority of the Malays. In its campaign to break the UMNO-MCA alliance, Party Negara played upon the theme that by its alliance with MCA, UMNO was betraying Malay interests. In 1955, it succeeded in putting pressure on the Alliance by forcing UMNO to take a definite stand on the language issue as well as on citizenship policy. The two parties in the Alliance had kept their programmes as vague as possible while invoking communalist rhetoric to their respective audiences; it was this tenuous bond that held the Alliance together. The IMP motion in the Legislative Council had moved to make Malay the sole official language. The MCA and the Chinese guilds protested, and the Alliance decried the devious nature of the motion, but it was passed. The Chinese associations then petitioned the British Crown demanding a policy of multilingualism.

When the Federal election campaign began in earnest, the country had a full taste of the communalist politics that was to feature in the years to come. The ‘Alliance’ was complete when the MIC joined this ‘Communal Formula’. The strain on the Alliance was most severe during the allocation of seats for the elections. In all three member parties, there were protests at what each saw as concessions to the other parties, and the familiar allegations of the leaders having ‘sold out their race’. The Alliance leaders had to impose strict internal discipline to keep the electoral front intact, while at the same time they each had to secure the support of the very same communalist base; such was the contradiction of the ‘Alliance Formula’. For example, on the one hand the Tunku appealed to the Malays by stressing the ‘alien danger’ posed by non-Malay immigration, and on the other, he defended the Alliance manifesto compromise of marginally less restrictive citizenship requirements, arguing that the ‘loyal’ MCA and MIC members did not constitute this alien threat.

Dato Onn’s Political Demise
The 1955 Federal elections were mainly a contest between Party Negara and the Alliance, although neither faction was antagonistic to the interests of imperialism. During the election campaign, Party Negara played on the theme of Chinese domination after Independence and the betrayal of the Malays by UMNO through its compromise citizenship conditions for the non-Malays. Party Negara, however, could not shake off the close identification with the colonial power at a time when independence and self-government were the main demands of the masses. Its target date for Independence was not until 1960.

The Alliance managed to keep the contentious communal issues as nebulous as possible between themselves, and created an apparent image of opposition to the colonial power to suit the prevailing political climate. It capitalized on all the misgivings relative to the colonial power, but failed to present the electorate with any clearly defined alternatives. It even orchestrated some protests and boycotts, such as the resignation of the three main Alliance leaders from the Legislative Council in May 1955. (Ibid. p.161) The question of amnesty for the guerrillas (included in the Alliance manifesto) was intended to appease a war-weary population. Their manifesto, however, made no reference to the eventual union of Malaya and Singapore. Above all, this was because of the fear of Singapore’s strong left-wing labour movement, as well as the threat to the Malays’ numerical edge should Singapore become part of the Federation.

The 1955 election saw a landslide victory for the Alliance, which won 51 out of the 52 seats. The remaining seat was lost to the Pan-Malayan Islamic Party (PMIP) in the Krian rice district of Perak, which was mainly composed of Malay padi farmers. After the rout, Party Negara became a spent force, leaving the Alliance as the only political party worth supporting by the British colonial state and the Tunku became ‘Chief Minister’. Subsequently, the Alliance announced the target date for Independence four years hence and also undertook to negotiate amnesty for the guerrillas.

But the British were not prepared to hand over power until they were assured of the Alliance’s ability to deal with the CPM and the insurgent masses. Western imperialist interests had to be ensured while the Emergency was still in progress. Only after the Baling talks between the Alliance and CPM leaders had broken down in December 1955 and the former had reneged on its amnesty proposals, were the British assured of the Alliance’s reliability as their neo-colonial custodians. Soon, negotiations started between the British Government, the Alliance, and the Malay Rulers. The result was a foregone conclusion.




The statement by the Home Minister that certain laws will be reviewed to allow the public to assemble in specific places, such as stadiums, without the need for a police permit is an attempt to restrict demonstrations in public places. We would like to remind the Minister that he has no right to stop any peaceful demonstrations that people choose to participate in.

The right to demonstrate is part and parcel of the right to freedom of expression guaranteed in our Constitution. The right to freedom of expression means nothing if it does not include expressing our views in “public places” including streets, parks, plazas, in front of government buildings, and even shopping complexes. Such public spaces have come to be considered as “free speech areas”.

Obtaining a police permit for a demonstration should merely be a formality to inform the police of the time and place where a demonstration or rally is organized. This is done so that the police will be able to redirect traffic and to ensure safety of the public and of the participants of the assembly. A permit cannot be denied on the grounds that the event is controversial or will express unpopular views.

In great contrast, what we have seen in demonstrations in Malaysia recently, for example during the May Day Rally on 1 May 2011, is the presence of the police who behave provocatively by indiscriminately using violence against participants of the event. Neutral observers, such as SUHAKAM, and Bar Council can testify to this.

SUARAM would like to remind the government that the National Human Rights Commission, SUHAKAM has recommended in its 2007 report that “peaceful assemblies should be allowed to proceed without a license”. Reporting on the inquiry into a public demonstration against fuel price increases in Kuala Lumpur on 28 May 2006, the Commission concluded that the police had used excessive force; that they had infringed on the rights of some of the participants; and that certain officers could be charged under the Penal Code.

Article 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 10 of the Federal Constitution clearly guarantees our right to freedom of assembly. Nowhere does it impose restrictions on where people can exercise this freedom.

We are human beings who have the basic human right to hold peaceful protests and marches to express our opinions and to draw the attention of the public to issues which concern us all. This is a widely recognized right in the international community and we would like to stress to the government that this right cannot be taken away from the citizens of Malaysia.

Released by,

Program Manager




Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA (GMI) ingin membawa perhatian Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi Manusia (SUHAKAM) kepada kes penahanan terbaru di bawah Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri (ISA) iaitu penahanan Sdr Abdul Majid Kunji Mohamad pada 6 Mei 2011.

Beliau ditahan tanpa bicara di bawah ISA atas tuduhan menyalur bantuan kewangan dan sokongan logistik kepada kumpulan militan di Selatan Filipina dan kemudian dikaitkan dengan Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Baru-baru ini, seperti dilaporkan sebuah akhbar tempatan yang memetik satu sumber perisikan serantau yang tidak dinamakan, Sdr Abdul Majid dipercayai diminta untuk membekalkan peralatan kejuruteraan dwi-kegunaan untuk kilang senjata yang berkeupayaan membuat pelbagai jenis senjata termasuk pelancar roket.

Ini merupakan tuduhan yang amat berat tetapi tidak dibicarakan mahupun diberi ruang pembelaan. Penahanan tanpa bicara dan tuduhan berat tanpa bukti ke atas beliau melanggar prinsip asas hak asasi manusia, keadilan, agama dan piawaian antarabangsa berhubung hak asasi.
Terkini iaitu pada anggaran tarikh 19 Mei 2011, Sdr Abdul Majid telah dihantar pulang ke Singapura dan difahamkan ditahan di bawah ISA di sana. Sdr Abd Majid berasal dari Singapura.

GMI serta ahli keluarga Abdul Majid Kunji Mohammad mengecam penangkapan dan penahanan di bawah Seksyen 73 (1) ISA serta penghantaran pulang Abdul Majid ke negara asal iaitu Singapura.Pada Hari ini GMI bersama dengan ahli keluarga Abdul Majid ingin membawa perhatian SUHAKAM berkenaan beberapa pencabulan hak asasi yang berlaku dalam penahanan ini dan memohon perhatian segera dalam isu ini.

Abdul Majid Kunji Mohammad merupakan seorang ahli perniagaan tekstil. Berumur 60 tahun dan berasal dari Singapura, namun beliau telah menetap di Malaysia lebih daripada 10 tahun. Beliau mempunyai 8 orang anak dengan bekas isteri pertamanya. Beliau merupakan seorang yang periang dan seorang yang kuat beragama. Beliau pernah menjadi pensyarah di salah sebuah Universiti di Singapura.

Kini, beliau mengalami masalah yang serius dalam perniagaan kerana sambutan yang kurang memuaskan. Dalam pada itu, beliau dituduh menyalurkan dana kepada kumpulan militan di Selatan Filipina. Tuduhan ini amat meragukan sekiranya Abdul Majid mengalami kesukaran kewangan dan hampir muflis

2.1 Abdul Majid telah ditangkap pada 6 Mei 2011, pukul 7.00 malam oleh sekumpulan anggota polis yang memperkenalkan diri sebagai polis dari Bukit Aman. Beliau telah ditahan di pejabatnya di Setiawangsa, Kuala Lumpur dan kemudian telah dibawa terus ke rumah beliau di Hulu Kelang, Kuala Lumpur. Pihak polis terus menyerbu masuk ke dalam rumah tanpa sebarang identifikasi dan sebab. Puan Suriati bt Osman, isteri Abdul Majid walaupun berkali-kali bertanya alasan mengapa Abdul Majid digari tangannya dan sebab penahanannya, namun jawapan daripada polis hanyalah mengatakan Abdul Majid ditahan  di bawah ISA. Menurut pihak polis, mereka tidak mempunyai sebarang bukti, cuma mereka bertindak atas laporan yang diterima.

2.2 Menurut  Puan Suriati, semasa berjumpa dengan suami beliau pada kali pertama selepas penahanan, Abdul Majid sentiasa muram dan berkelakuan agak ragu-ragu untuk menceritakan sebarang pertanyaan yang dikemukakan. Manakala, pada kali kedua perjumpaan juga Abdul Majid masih berkelakuan pendiam, muram dan tidak mahu memandang isteri dan berkelakuan aneh serta menasihati isteri agar tidak berbuat apa-apa untuk pembebasan beliau.
2.3 Kelakuan Abdul Majid tidak banyak berbeza dengan mana-mana tahanan ISA yang baru ditahan.         Kami percaya ini semua adalah angkara Special Branch (SB) yang kemungkinan besar telah mengugut Abdul Majid dan menasihatinya untuk tidak membuka mulut jika mahu bebas.
2.4 Pada 19 Mei 2011, Puan Suriati menerima panggilan daripada polis yang menyatakan bahawa, Abdul Majid telah dihantar semula ke Singapura dan juga kini dikatakan ditahan dibawah ISA Singapura. Namun, pihak keluarga dan GMI masih belum dapat memastikan kebenaran berkenaan penahanan Abdul Majid di bawah ISA di Singapura.

Sehingga hari ini peguam belum dibenarkan berjumpa dengan Abdul Majid. Beliau dihantar pulang tanpa mendapat sebarang perbicaraan.

Isu utama dalam undang-undang pencegahan adalah penahanan tanpa bicara. Menahan seseorang di bawah akta-akta yang tidak memberikan peluang untuk perbicaraan dan proses bela diri di mahkamah adalah sesuatu yang menyalahi piagam hak asasi antarabangsa dan hak asasi seorang manusia yang fundamental seperti yang termaktub dalam Fasal 9, 10, 11 dan 13, Deklarasi Hak Asasi Manusia Sejagat 1948; Fasal 9 dan 12, Kovenan Antarabangsa Hak Sivil dan Politik 1966; Fasal 12, Piagam Hak Asasi Manusia Malaysia dan Fasal 5, Perlembagaan Malaysia.
Prinsip tiada seorang pun bersalah sehingga dibuktikan di mahkamah adalah asas utama dalam persoalan penahanan tanpa bicara. Sekiranya ia tidak dihormati dan dengan adanya kuasa yang berlebihan di tangan kerajaan dan polis maka, undang-undang seperti ini sering digunakan untuk mempertahankan kedudukan pihak kerajaan dan polis yang seringkali gagal untuk membuktikan sebarang individu yang ditahan di bawah akta-akta ini.
Penahanan dan penghantaran semula Abdul Majid Kunji Mohammad adalah mala fide kerana polis sendiri mengakui bahawa mereka tidak mempunyai sebarang bukti terhadap Abdul Majid.

4.1 GMI mengecam keras penahanan dan penghantaran semula Abdul Majid ke Singapura. GMI dan keluarga amat bimbang akan keselamatan dan kesihatan Abdul Majid. Pihak keluarga iaitu isteri dan anak Abdul Majid masih berada di Malaysia. Suami dan ayah mereka dirampas akibat daripada ISA. Ketiadaan perbicaraan dan penghantaran semula (deportation) adalah satu tindakan yang menentang hak asasi manusia.

4.2 GMI menilai tinggi keselamatan negara dan tidak merelakan aktiviti pengganas, tetapi hak seseorang terhadap perbicaraan yang adil tidak boleh dinafikan dalam keadaan apa pun. Sekiranya kerajaan memiliki bukti terhadap suspek, kami menggesa kerajaan untuk mendakwa mereka dalam mahkamah terbuka, sesuai dengan hak mereka untuk membela diri, hak mereka untuk mendapatkan khidmat peguam dan hak  terhadap perbicaraan yang adil. Jika tidak, maka sesiapa pun termasuk Abdul Majid  perlu dibebaskan tanpa tangguh dan tanpa syarat.Penahanan yang dibuat tidak menjustifikasi kepentingan ISA. Penahanan yang dibuat tanpa bukti dan tanpa bicara sebenarnya menjustifikasi pemansuhan akta zalim ISA. Menuduh seseorang melakukan jenayah tanpa mengemukakan bukti yang kredibel adalah fitnah. Menahan seseorang tanpa bicara dan tanpa peluang membela diri adalah tidak bertamadun!

4.3 Malah, pihak polis yang sering  menukar tuduhan atau label yang digunakan ke atas Abdul Majid adalah cukup jelas menunjukkan bahawa pihak polis tidak mempunyai sebarang bukti tehadap beliau. Mereka sebenarnya gagal untuk membawa sebarang bukti terhadap Abdul Majid.

4.4 Cadangan untuk kajisemula ISA dibuat sejak 3 April 2009, lebih dari 2 tahun yang lalu. Tetapi sehingga kini, tiada sesiapa tahu bila sebenarnya kajian tersebut akan siap sedangkan ISA sudah menjadikan puluhan ribu sebagai mangsa samada pengganas atau bukan pengganas sejak 51 tahun lalu. Syor kajisemula ISA pernah disuarakan oleh beberapa orang Menteri dan parti komponen BN sebelum ini. Ada yang mencadangkan penubuhan Jawatankuasa Terpilih Parlimen. Malah ada yang meletakkan jawatan kerana membantah.

4.5 SUHAKAM mencadangkan sejak tahun 2003 supaya ISA dimansuhkan dan diganti dengan sebuah Akta baru, Akta Terrorisme tetapi tidak pernah diteliti oleh kerajaan atau dibentangkan di Parlimen. Pada masa yang sama, sudah ada peruntukan undang-undang sedia ada yang mencukupi untuk menangani keganasan. GMI ingin menegaskan bahawa asas-asas ISA bercanggah dengan hak asasi manusia dan prinsip-prinsip keadilan, kebebasan serta kedaulatan undang-undang. ISA bukan sahaja perlu dikajisemula tetapi perlu dimansuhkan!

Justeru , GMI ingin menggesa SUHAKAM untuk:

1. Mengenalpasti dengan Kerajaan dan pihak Polis status penahanan Abdul Majid di Singapura dengan segera

2. Campur tangan dan memohon agar pihak Polis dan kerajaan Singapura membebaskan Abdul Majid dengan segera atau bicarakan di mahkamah keadilan.

3. Mengadakan sesi dialog dengan pihak polis dan pihak GMI berkenaan perjumpaan keluarga dan pihak peguam semasa seseorang ditahan di bawah ISA kerana hak mendapatkan peguam dan perjumpaan dengan keluarga sering ditolak oleh pihak polis.

4. Menegaskan dan menuntut kepada Kerajaan untuk menghentikan sebarang penahanan terbaru, membebaskan tahanan dan memansuhkan ISA. Mansuhkan ISA!Bebaskan Semua Tahanan!Tutup Kem Tahanan Kamunting!

Yang benar,


Pengerusi GMI

Press Statement: 20 May 2011 Deportation of ISA Detainee Abdul Majid Kunji Mohamed: Embarrassment to the country


Press Statement: 20 May 2011

Deportation of ISA Detainee Abdul Majid Kunji Mohamed: Embarrassment to the country!

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) and Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA (GMI) strongly condemn the deportation of the Abdul Majid Kunji Mohamed alleged of being channeled money and supplying double-purpose engineering equipment to a militant group in the southern Philippines. Abdul Majid was detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) on the 6th May 2011 and he was deported back to his country on the 19 May 2011.

SUARAM and GMI regrets that the Home Minister who controls the Police Department, has made decisions to disallow the detainee from seeing respective legal counsels during his 13 days of detention under the section 73 of the draconian ISA. We do not see any security or diplomacy difficulties in allowing the lawyers to perform their duty. The denial of access to legal assistance and the deportation of the detainee without proper trial are totally uncalled for and embarrassing. The government is not even bothered to provide a reasonable answer for their irresponsible actions. This is a typical case of how arrogant the authorities can be when granted absolute power. We view the authorities’ move to deport the detainee as malicious.

We are very concerned about Abdul Majid’s safety as the Singapore government also has a similar Act in their country and we afraid that Abdul Majid who was deported to his country of origin will experience another round of investigations. This is unfair to the detainee who until now, has failed to be produced before a court.

Furthermore, the wife and the children of Abdul Majid still live in Malaysia. We urge the government to take care of the families’ welfare and their daily needs as the government is responsible for making the family’s life miserable without the husband and the children without their father.

SUARAM and GMI recognize the seriousness of the terrorist activities and are of the view that proper measures should be taken to improve the situation. However, these measures must nevertheless be consistent with international human rights standards and norms. Detaining any individuals without trial under the ISA breaches fundamental human rights that are enshrined in, among others, article 9 and 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights –
v “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.” and
v “Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.”

The use of the ISA on the current detainee demonstrates yet again how the state can arbitrarily use this infamous tool on anyone. ISA is a very convenient tool to cover-up real issues and weaknesses of the system.

SUARAM and GMI also reiterate that punishing or detaining people without giving them any opportunity to defend themselves is barbaric. Uncivilized laws that permit detention without trial are a pain of the democratic system and must be abolished. We also demand Abdul Majid to be released immediately or charge him at open court!

Abolish ISA!
Release All the ISA detainees!
Close Down KEMTA!


GMI Secretariat and SUARAM Coordinator

PRESS STATEMENT: 18 MAY 2011 Detention under the EO is Arbitrary!

Detention under the EO is Arbitrary!

Suaram expresses disappointment and concern over the detention of the three youths under the Restricted Residence Act (RRA) 1933 for 2 years. The detention orders under the RRA were issued by the Home Minister on 17 May 2011. This has made the habeas corpus applications that Suaram has planned to file has been made academic. The three individuals are Muhamad Arif bin Abu Samah (19 years old), Mohamed Ramadan bin Muhamed Ali (22 years old) and Mohamed Rafe bin Mohamed Ali (20 years old). Muhamad Arif was send to Mersing, Johor (for 2 years), Mohamed Ramdan to Chenon, Pahang (2 years) and Mohamed Rafe to Kulim, Kedah for 2 years as well.
The three were arrested by the Gombak District police officers on the 8th of March 2011 allegedly for involvement for possession of a stolen vehicle in their residential area in Selayang. But until today these allegations against them have not been proven in any court. On the other hand, the three of them have also been brought on a ‘remand roadshow’ by the police before being pinned under the Emergency Ordinance (Public Order and Crime Prevention). On 19 March 2011, they were served with detention orders under the EO which allows for detention without trial. The three have been detained for 60 days and they were tortured physically and mentally by the police during the entire duration of their detention. They were severely kicked and beaten with iron pipe, wire and aluminum. Other than that, they were also not allowed to meet with lawyer for nearly two months. Besides that, the family members of Mohamed Ramadan and Mohamed Rafe has also been duped by a man calling himself as an Inspector to extort money of RM 13,000 from them.
SUARAM is appalled at the increasing number of youngsters detained under the EO. SUARAM strongly condemns the Minister’s decision to pursue the detention of the youths under the RRA. Worst still, the detainees will most likely face traumatic experiences and difficulties in their new restricted area. Their rights to move freely, rights to education and more importantly, rights to live a better life with their family have been deprived. This is an outright abuse of power by the Minister who has been blindly signing the detention orders. The gross misuse and abuse of the EO on ordinary citizens of the country does not merely lie with the police but with the slipshod manner of the Home Ministry itself.

As of now, more than 1000 persons were being detained without trial under the EO at Simpang Renggam Detention Centre and other detention centres around the country. This number does not include those detained without trial in other police stations around the country. Going by this number of people detained, the EO can be deemed to be ten times worse than the infamous Internal Security Act (ISA) which also allows for arbitrary detention.

SUARAM recognizes the responsibility of the Malaysian government to curb crime and to deal with criminals, gangs and syndicates. But the government should not resort to means that violates human rights such as the EO in efforts to address criminal activity. Unfortunately in Malaysia, EO has been frequently abused by the police and government to deal with suspects of petty crimes. This is an outright misuse of power by the police and the Home Ministry in dealing with the EO detainees, particularly when they have absolute power and their decision cannot be challenged in court. Detention of any individual without trial is a violation of fundamental human rights.

SUARAM urges the government to withdraw the restricted order that have been served to the three detainees that have been mention above and immediately release them without any further conditions.

Detention without trial is a gross human rights violation. It violates Article 9, 10 and 11 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 and Article 8 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Federal Constitution which guarantees due process and security of persons.

Therefore, we call up on the government to:
Immediately repeal the EO, DDA and ISA;
Stop arresting youths and minors under the EO and respect their rights as laid out under CRC;
Stop re-arresting individuals under the same law (or any other preventive laws) especially those released by the courts through habeas corpus applications or through the recommendations of the Advisory Board ; if need be, they should be charged under existing criminal laws;
The police should immediately stop making any further arrests under EO ;
All those who are currently detained or restricted under EO should be released immediately or be charged in open court under existing criminal laws.

Released By,
Detention without Trial Coordinator,