Why the sledge-hammer?

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It looks like if they don’t get you under one law, they will get you under another law. That seems to be the case as far as Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj and his colleagues are concerned. But this time they used a sledge-hammer just to make sure that they get them.

Jeyakumar and colleagues arrested under the Emergency Ordinance - Photograph: freemalaysiatoday.com

During the seven days’ remand the police did not unearth any incriminating evidence to justify their action against 30 Parti Socialis activists for allegedly “waging war against the king”. That was the reason stated for remanding these people. Before that, there was talk they could be investigated for sedition.

On the seventh day of their remand, six of them were freed from the Kepala Batas Police Station. The implication of this action was very explicit: the police had actually cleared them of whatever they were originally suspected of being involved in.

In other words, there was no case against them and therefore there was no reason to seek a further remand to continue with the police investigation or to charge them. It was the end of the case and the matter was closed to the satisfaction of the police.

But lo and behold, at the very moment Jeyakumar and his colleagues were freed, police personnel from Bukit Aman immediately re-arrested them! This time they were being arrested under the Emergency (Public Order and Prevention of Crime) Ordinance 1969. This time they used the sledge-hammer approach. This Ordinance doesn’t give you a chance to challenge the arrest and detention.

But this Ordinance is meant for suspected goons and gangsters and criminals who habitually indulge in crime and violence; suspected criminals who pose imminent danger to citizens and remain a constant threat to public order.

The activities of Jeyakumar and his colleagues come nowhere near to this conceived potential danger to the nation. Their activities were never violent or criminal. In fact, they are very concerned and compassionate people who only want to do good that will benefit the discarded and marginalised sectors of our community.

Jeyakumar is noted for devoting his entire life to the care of the less privileged and discriminated urban poor, the neglected estate communities and the largely ignored Orang Asli. His ways are gentle, his approach is gentlemanly. He has never advocated any violence in the pursuit of justice for the poor, the weak and the meek. It was always persuasion and reasoning that he deployed to seek justice.

Reasoning and rational Malaysians cannot accept any insinuation that he is a danger to public order. In their eyes Jeyakumar is a victim of gross injustice.

Aliran has known Jeyakumar for many years. He is one of our loyal members committed to the aspirations of Aliran. His concerns are exemplary and inspiring. He is a tireless worker for the good of the nation. We reject any allegation of criminal intent on his part. Detaining him under the EO is a terrible injustice to this man of peace.

Aliran calls upon the Barisan Nasional government to be fair and just and free Jeyakumar and his colleagues immediately. Their continued detention does not speak well of our notion of justice or our respect for the rule of law.

Aliran Executive Committee
4 July 2011

Please send the following appeal letter and email a copy to Aliran email: aliran (at) streamyx (dot) com


YAB Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak
Prime Minister, Malaysia
Office of The Prime Minister,
Main Block, Perdana Putra Building,
Federal Government Administrative Centre,
62502 Putrajaya, MALAYSIA
Tel : +60 3 88888000
Fax : +60 3 88883444
E-Mail : [email protected]

Tan Sri Ismail Omar
Inspector General Police
Ibu Pejabat Polis Diraja Malaysia,
50560 Bukit Aman,
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel:+60 3 22626015
Fax:+60 3 22725613
[email protected]

Dear Sir

We write to you concerning the detention of Member of Parliament for Sungai Siput Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj and five other members of Parti Sosialis Malaysia who were re-arrested on 2 July 2001 in Penang.

Apart from Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj, 56, they are PSM deputy chairperson M Saraswathy 58; central committee members Choo Chon Kai, 33; M Sugumaran, 50; Sungai Siput branch secretary A Letchumanan 49; and Youth leader Sarath Babu, 25.

During the seven days’ remand, the police did not unearth any incriminating evidence to justify their action against the PSM members for allegedly ‘waging war against the King’. Hence they were taken out of the premises of the Kepala Batas District Police Station on the seventh day and freed. There being no case against them, one would have thought that that was the end of the matter.

Instead, they were immediately rearrested under the Emergency (Public Order and Prevention of Crime) Ordinance 1969, this time by police personnel from Bukit Aman, and taken to Kuala Lumpur.

As you well know, this Ordinance is meant to be used against suspected gangsters and criminals who habitually indulge in crime and violence; suspected criminals who pose an imminent danger to citizens and pose a constant threat to public order. Like the Internal Security Act, this Ordinance doesn’t give you a chance to challenge the arrest and detention.

In no way do the activities of Jeyakumar and his colleagues pose any serious danger to the nation. Rather, they have always shown much concern and compassion for the poor and marginalised sectors of our society. As well, they have never resorted to violence and criminal ways in all their activities.

Under the circumstances, the detention of Jeyakumar and the other five is a gross violation of their rights as citizens of Malaysia and a travesty of justice. It makes a mockery of Malaysia’s seat in the UN Human Rights Council.

Therefore we urge you to intervene in this matter and seek your assistance to facilitate their immediate release.

Thank you for your attention.

Yours faithfully,


The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

AGENDA RAKYAT - Lima perkara utama
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  2. Galakkan pembangunan saksama, lestari serta tangani krisis alam sekitar
  3. Raikan kerencaman dan keterangkuman
  4. Selamatkan demokrasi dan angkatkan keluhuran undang-undang
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najib manaukau
4 Jul 2011 5.47pm

This speaks loudly that the deceitful, corrupted morons from Umno and their lackeys from the quarter cooked police are very very desperate. As a consequence they just come up with an excuse, any excuse, to place the people under arrest.
Sorry to add, there is nothing absolutely nothing anyone can do, yours not to question why,yours but to do and die !

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