Archive for March 21st, 2008

Release Hindraf 5 from ISA – start healing after political tsunami

Two days after the political tsunami of the March 8 general election, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in an op-ed article in Asian Wall Street Journal (March 11, 2008), entitled “Malaysia will heal her divisions”, pledged:

“As there has been much speculation about the implications of our election results, I wish to offer clarity on three critically important points:

“First, we have heard the voice of our citizens, and I will dedicate myself, in this second term, to healing the divisions which became evident during the campaign. That will mean developing new and concrete initiatives, not just rhetoric, that bring our people together and ensure that no one is left behind as Malaysia prospers, whether they are ethnic Malays, Chinese or Indians.”

Abdullah is right. The Prime Minister’s fatal mistake in his first administration was that his many sweet-sounding pledges which created the feel-good euphoria resulting in his unprecedented landslide victory of over 91 per cent parliamentary seats in the 2004 general election were pure rhetoric but not backed up with any significant or meaningful action.

Is it going to be rhetoric and more rhetoric in his second premiership or is Abdullah going to start implementing his many pledges of reform of the past four years?

One immediate test faced by Abdullah as to whether he is starting to genuinely listen to the people to start the process of “national healing” after the political tsunami of the March 8 general election is the continued unjust, arbitrary and undemocratic detention of the DAP Selangor State Assemblyman for Kota Alam Shah M. Manoharan and the other four Hindraf leaders P. Uthayakumar, V. Ganabatirau, R. Kenghadharan and T. Vasantha Kumar under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for spearheading a national campaign against the marginalization of the Malaysian Indians causing them to become a new underclass in Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »