Oct 27, 2012
DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng has called on the government to apologise and provide closure for all Internal Security Act (ISA) detainees in conjunction with the 25th anniversary of Operasi Lalang.
Furthermore, Lim said all remaining detainees should also be immediately freed to put an end to the ISA saga.
The mass arrest action, Operasi Lalang in 1987, saw 106 politicians and activists incarcerated but also for the first time prodded public consciousness to the ISA issue.
“25 years ago on 27 October 1987, I was among the first victims of Operasi Lalang detained under the ISA by former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
“I remember as a newly-elected MP for Kota Melaka, how stunned I was to hear that I was a threat to national security who would cause the country to descend into chaos, ruin and riots if I was not arrested.
“Then followed the dark days of solitary confinement, endless interrogation and intimidation to force me to recant which I managed to endure, survive and prevail,” hesaid in a statement today.
‘Dark chapter in history’
Lim, who is now Penang Chief Minister, said even though current premier Najib Abdul Razak has bowed to pressure by abolishing the ISA, there is still a need for proper closure to a dark chapter in history.
As such, he also proposed that the Kamunting detention camp be converted into a museum.
“Turning the hated Kamunting detention camp into a museum will serve as a timely reminder of the importance of freedom and human rights as well as heal the nation of the trauma of arbitrary detention without trial merely for opposing the BN,” he said.
In an unprecedented move on Malaysia Day eve last year, Najib had announced the repeal of the more than half century old law that had allowed indefinite detention without trial.
The Security Offenses (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) which replaced it early this year no longer allows for indefinite detention without trial but provides for the continued detention of existing ISA detainees.
Thus far, 29 more detainees are still being held at the Kamunting detention camp.
On top of asking for their freedom , Lim said the Sosma should also reviewed and certain sections repealed to ensure that it does not become a reincarnation of the ISA.