Shabery Cheek’s admission of ISA abuses – immediate release of Hindraf 5 and Inquiry Commission into 1987 Ops Lalang?

The present Umno Cabinet and leadership have admitted that in the past there had been gross abuses of the Internal Security Act (ISA) against dissent.

In a new series of attacks against former Umno President and Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad by Umno Ministers the new Information Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek said that during Mahathir’s leadership “many were detained under the ISA supposedly because they were a threat to national security when in actual fact they were a threat to his leadership…” in response to Mahathir’s charges that Umno leaders have become “yes-men”.

Shabery Cheek was clearly referring to the Operation Lalang mass ISA detentions in 1987, where 106 people were arrested, representing parliamentarians, politicians, civil/human rights leaders and social/religious activists.

Although a few low-level Umno, MCA and Gerakan political leaders were among the 106 persons detained in the initial crackdown of Operation Lalang in October 1987 – which included the closure of four newspapers – none of them were among the 40 who were formally served with two-year detention orders after the 60-day interrogative custody and dispatched to Kamunting Detention Centre – which included seven serving DAP MPs at the time, viz: Karpal Singh, Dr. Tan Seng Giaw, Lim Guan Eng, Lau Dak Kee, the late P. Patto, the late V. David and myself.

Is Shabery Cheek prepared to represent the present Barisan Nasional Cabinet and leadership to admit that the entire 1987 Ops Lalang ISA crackdown, both against the 106 persons initially detained as well as the 40 persons who were formally detained after the 60-day custody, had been a gross abuse of power by Mahathir, his Cabinet and government; extend a formal government apology to the victims of Operation Lalang – not only the ISA detainees and their families and the closure of the four newspapers but also to the country for promoting a “yes-men culture” for some three decades – and establish a commission of inquiry into the 1987 Operation Lalang to ensure that such gross abuses of power could not recur in Malaysia in future.

However, the most immediate and pressing question is why the new Abdullah Cabinet is not prepared to break from the bad habits of the past and stop using draconian laws like the ISA to clamp down on dissent and promote a “yes-men culture” by unconditionally releasing newly-elected Selangor DAP State Assemblyman for Kota Alam Shah A. Manoharan and four other Hindraf leaders, P. Uthayakumar, V. Ganabatirau, R. Kenghadharan and T. Vasantha Kumar from ISA detention.

The ISA detention of the Hindraf Five is the latest blatant example of the abuse of the ISA to detain persons not because they are a threat to national security but a threat to MIC and Barisan Nasional leadership as they refused to be “yes men” – as happened repeatedly in the past and now admitted by the Information Minister.

Is Shabery Cheek prepared to get the support of other Ministers to raise in the Cabinet on Wednesday for the immediate and unconditional release of the Hindraf Five under the ISA as well as for a Commission of Inquiry into the 1987 Operation Lalang on the mass ISA detentions and the closure of four newspapers to purge the country of the “yes-men culture”?

  1. #1 by AhStone on Saturday, 5 April 2008 - 12:43 pm

    ISA is nothing more than a weapon of mass destruction devised by UMNO. so many people have suffered from the injustice of ISA and the fact that the mullah refuses to withdraw it or at least revamp does tell a lot- whoever that opposes government thats where you will be – ISA. the one who should be put in ISA is all our current BN members for committing atrocious crimes. ISA should be a home for these not innocent people or people without trial

  2. #2 by LittleBird on Saturday, 5 April 2008 - 12:47 pm

    Finally, the admission is forthcoming but only for the sole reason to protect themselves AND NOT for the truth or justice.

  3. #3 by k1980 on Saturday, 5 April 2008 - 1:09 pm

    Despite having a cheeky name, Shaberry Cheek does not possess the cheek to thumb his cheeky nose at his masters, the former sleepy Internal Security minister and the present botak Home minister

  4. #4 by lopez on Saturday, 5 April 2008 - 1:31 pm

    how come it is always used against the opposition parties people,
    they are many more things that had threaten the man on the street, their spouse, and children….ordinary people like u and me, trapped in a system unique in its way but not indifferent from south africa and alike only thing the so called supremacy elite is not white skin but chockolan.

    What hypocrisy…judge others and cannot accept judgment and criticism from others, easy get pissed off as if others do not how-to. Always jealousy of other people’s accomplishments, promote others who sell their souls to them, place them below a dummy to learn or get credit from his assistant.

    That old man started it all, he is the main culprit of 20 years of incompetent gomen, stupid educationist, dumb graduates, bias policies, and the whole damn lot.

    This the chief architect of the faults and discrepancies the simple malaysian possessed, all cronies exempted.

    Dont be mesmerized by a pair of tower built for no rational reason at all except make some architect famous and some business man richer at expense of our children futures and part of our future.

    Be all you can be fellow malaysians, but never at first class, because you are 20 years behind except the ministers children and cronies.

  5. #5 by drmaharajahrk on Saturday, 5 April 2008 - 1:43 pm

    Marina Mahathir speaks so much about the current leadership in the Rantings by MM blog. I wonder what are her views on her fathers mismanagement of Malaysia ?

    Marina, things were worse during your dad’s time. Had he been in power in 2004, the tsunami would have taken place much earlier. He smelled it and decided to resign.

    The prove to that was the over whelming victory for Pak Lah in 2004. That was a protest vote against Mahathir.

  6. #6 by mindamerdeka on Saturday, 5 April 2008 - 2:01 pm

    Mr LKS,

    Shabery adalah rakan saya di SDAR seremban.

    Beliau seorang yang sangat suka membaca dan memiliki sahsiah yang baik.

    Saya percaya, Shabery memiliki idealisma untuk mewujudkan iklim yang lebih terbuka dalam penyampaian maklumat kerana beliau adalah kelahiran generasi baru.

    Sejak beliau menjawat jawatan Menteri Penerangan, RTM sudah mula berubah dan maklumat daripada pelabagai pihak sudah boleh didengar atau ditonton melalui media milik kerajaan itu.

  7. #7 by darren sky on Saturday, 5 April 2008 - 2:06 pm

    BN should consider abolishing ISA soon for their own sake becos in 5 years time (or maybe 3 months time when the East Malaysian MP joins Pakatan) they will be the opposition .AND being out of power,knowing their characters ,definitely there will be street demo,protest etc THEN when the ISA being applied to them, only will they realise should have abolished it just before they got kicked out !!!

  8. #8 by strupper2003 on Saturday, 5 April 2008 - 2:20 pm

    YB Lim, try tabling a motion at the Dewan Rakay calling for the abolishment of the ISA and see how many BN’s MPs back the opposition.

  9. #9 by Libra2 on Saturday, 5 April 2008 - 2:34 pm

    Every single BN MP is responsible for the abuse of the ISA. Name me one among their ranks who spoke up against its abuse during Ops Lalang or call for its abolishment?
    They never spoke up for the victims of ISA.

  10. #10 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Saturday, 5 April 2008 - 2:35 pm

    Why does it take Shahbery Cheek and UMNO 20 years to discover the truth about Tu M?

    Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. No question that Tun M was also surrounded by ‘Yes- men’ too and all ‘ball-carriers’, as they say.

    Now, when voices within the government itself sees no security threat from Hindraf 5, how can Syed Hamid justify their continuing detention. AAB incarcerated them. AAB must have the balls to release them, plainly put! Syed Hamid is only a key holder. You don’t need brains for such a job. Besides, Tun M always thinks nuts of Syed H and has said so publicly, in not so endearing terms.

  11. #11 by darren sky on Saturday, 5 April 2008 - 2:40 pm

    strupper2003 Says:

    Today at 14: 20.50 (13 minutes ago)
    YB Lim, try tabling a motion at the Dewan Rakay calling for the abolishment of the ISA and see how many BN’s MPs back the opposition
    Yes and do it during the live telecast.And why the live telecast is 30 minutes only?So dissapointed.The BN is so chicken to show what MPs they have to the nation..

  12. #12 by Godson on Saturday, 5 April 2008 - 2:53 pm

    Oh No….please keep the ISA. We need it for the BN SUPP UMNO. Because these bunch of a$$ are heading to the ISA camp soon. Please keep it for them. They need it especially now.
    After they got kicked out these a$$ will create chaos. We need the ISA to keep BN SUPP UMNO a$$ under control. ISA camp will be their perfect future home meaning if they dont die from heart attack lah. They need a place to call home to cover their shame and ISA camp will be a perfect place for them.
    We can see it clearly now that they (BN SUPP UMNO) are marching towards the ISA camp that they have build for themselves. So why remove it? Its just a matter of time …….. .
    This is the law of nature. It will hit back. Dont worry……ok?
    Just keep it for the bn supp umno, please lah.
    And dont forget…the “yes man” need the ISA camp to stay also.

  13. #13 by Godfather on Saturday, 5 April 2008 - 3:30 pm

    You expect the cabinet to approve a royal commission of inquiry ? When half the cabinet were serving under Mahathir in 1987, including Big Ears ?

  14. #14 by Godfather on Saturday, 5 April 2008 - 3:32 pm

    What I mean is half the CURRENT cabinet….

  15. #15 by haveaview on Saturday, 5 April 2008 - 3:43 pm


    By that admission..of which the PAKATAN had been tellin so for years…TIME for them joining PAKATAN.. abandon the BARISAN..

    Also , like the blame on US’s policies for so many things..why not admit POLICY ERRORS too…

  16. #16 by yhsiew on Saturday, 5 April 2008 - 4:19 pm

    To play the ISA game fairly, PR should negotiate a deal with BN specifying that if BN abolishes the ISA, PR will not reinstate it if elected as the next federal government. However, if BN refuses to abolish the ISA, PR will not abolish it either (when holds power) and will not hesitate to apply the ISA on BN people.

  17. #17 by shortie kiasu on Saturday, 5 April 2008 - 6:06 pm

    During Mahathir’s rule, every body knows there were excesses committed by him and his administration, there were many abuses in every sphere of our lives under him, a dictator; nepotism cronism, corruption… an endless count. He now invites his pal Mugabe to reside in Malaysia to be near him, so that they can change notes on dictatorial deeds.

    Abuse of ISA was clear during his administartion for his own purpose and benefit to safegusrad his unassailable position as prime minister.

    If the government put ISA for referendum, it will receive big “NO” votes from the populace.

  18. #18 by cemerlang on Saturday, 5 April 2008 - 7:07 pm

    Oh g ! Barisan Nasional slapping its’ own face kerana Mu. No wonder there cannot be any no men. Only now they confess their wrong doings. Why ? Want another mandate ? It is illegal to Ikut Suka Aku and take the law into one own hands. If Datuk Samy Vellu cannot convince his own party to set the Hindraf leaders free, you think Datuk Cheek can kah ?

  19. #19 by chanjoe on Saturday, 5 April 2008 - 7:33 pm

    ISA should stay but amended to only deal with REAL terrorists and anti nationals given the present world situation where its always better to be on guard.

    However, deal with ISA by changing the deadly name to NSP for National Security Policy where past ACA guys, ex-Police, ex-AGs, ex-Corrupt judges, ex-ministers, etc etc to ensure no one ever succumb to corruption again.

    Are we to let those who acted against all oppositions when they were in office? No we must bring all who have committed crimes to book and slap the rebranded ISA on them to let them taste their own medicine.

    Yes you all may say we must be magnanimous but…crime must not be allow to go unpunished.

  20. #20 by negarawan on Saturday, 5 April 2008 - 10:05 pm

    Even after the clear signal given to UMNO in the recent GE, UMNO is still obstinate and going against the wishes of the rakyat. MCA and MIC are still acting like political eunuchs. FREE ALL THE HINDRAF DETAINEES NOW!!! These UMNO, MCA and MIC criminals must be tried in a tribunal if ever the Pakatan Rakyat governs the country. Let’s pray and hope that political crossovers will happen.

  21. #21 by waterfrontcoolie on Saturday, 5 April 2008 - 10:49 pm

    AAB was given the chance to dismantle all the abuses of his predecessor after 2004; instead he pretended life could be carried on as usual! And this is his pay back time for not doing what he had promised to do, Malayisans believed him then.
    I believe it is never too late, admit your mistakes and act according your conscience. Starte dismantling all the wrongs of your predecessor and let the world and history be your judges! Great men who had done wrongs could always make changes by admitting the wrongs and make them right. Simple. By not doing anything you are doing injustice to yourself and the nation. And YOU REALLY HAVE NO IDEA, THEN JUST STEP DOWN, save the nation all the agonies!!!

  22. #22 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Saturday, 5 April 2008 - 11:05 pm

    Hello, Syed Hamid – again, MAlaysians must demand to know where is the security risk? Stop this bloody nonsense and this hellish incarceration of nice and simple folks who have children and families to take care of! Stop behaving like bloody fools. The people have spoke thru the GE 2008. Enough is enough.

    ISA detainee in hospital after fall

    KLANG: ISA detainee V. Ganabatirau, 34, is in the Taiping district hospital after falling and injuring his hands and neck.

    His wife, teacher V. Buvaneswary, 32, said her husband fell after he became dizzy on Friday.

    “They found his blood pressure was high after admission and the full medical report on his condition will be ready on Monday,” said Buvaneswary who visited Ganabatirau in the hospital with about 15 relatives Saturday.

    According to Buvaneswary, her husband had been very stressed due to allegations that he and other Hindraf leaders were linked to terrorists.

    “He never had a history of blood pressure and I believe that he became ill because he was not able to take those allegations any more,” said Buvaneswary.

    She said that she and her relatives were also upset to see Ganabatirau handcuffed to his bed with six police personnel standing watch over him.

    “It was a little too much for us, too,” said Buvaneswary.

  23. #23 by Joshua Tan Kok Hauw on Saturday, 5 April 2008 - 11:17 pm

    ISA has always been believed by BN leaders that it can sustain the stability of Malaysia. But, is it true? ISA was enacted on 1960,did ISA prevent the May 13 1969 tragedy from happening? It failed to do so.

    It is hoped that this draconian law be abolished with immediate effect. If BN leaders were to be arrested under ISA, how would they feel?

  24. #24 by kickbutt on Sunday, 6 April 2008 - 12:21 am

    “If BN leaders were to be arrested under ISA, how would they feel?”

    How would they feel?? I suppose they would feel depressed at the thought of having had to detain themselves.

  25. #25 by lakilompat on Sunday, 6 April 2008 - 1:05 pm

    There will never abolished ISA, even when opposition come to power, it is necessary to enable ruling govt. to exert some form of force control to subdue its political threats.

    Malaysian are blessed & lucky, look at Myanmmar, how the militants treat Aung San Suu Kyi (house arrest)? In certain country, they practice mass killing for its political leader.

  26. #26 by waterfrontcoolie on Sunday, 6 April 2008 - 6:20 pm

    The saddest news I heard from AAB this afternoon was that ‘ I don’t open file on anybody. I leave it to the ACA!!!’ When on earth does ACA open any file without the approval of the boss?
    Even when the previous boss ‘chased out ‘the ACA officer for having the audacity to investigate one of HIS senior officers, he left and didnot say a word, until he was forced to admit that fact in a court!!
    So AAB, the ball is in your court, don’t try to kick it out of the playing field, please. Otherwise, my respect is about to evaporate into the thin air!! Your actions and behaviours will only force all Malaysians to have one conclusion on your character! Need we say more? At 68, with another 5 years to show Malaysians and the world, you have to act NOW! History will judge harshly on you and your decendants for all your inactions and omissions of righteous decision.

  27. #27 by novice101 on Sunday, 6 April 2008 - 10:49 pm

    Now the Perkatan Rakyat has the number in parliament, why don’t it introduce a bill to abolish the ISA. Let the rakyat judge for themselves who, in the BN, want to discontinue with its abusive past and are prepared to be fair to the rakyat from now on.

    The rakyat also wants to judge if the PR intends to act or just wants to indulge in empty talks.

  28. #28 by novice101 on Monday, 7 April 2008 - 12:37 am

    AAB didn’t abolish the ISA in his last term because he realised how effective it could be to silence his opponents. He didn’t remove the restrictive yearly licence-renewal policy for the news media because he saw how easily he could get compliance from the newspapers. This shows AAB is not a democrat by choice!

    Mahathir now finds that he cannot take it for granted that what he says will not be contradicted. What is more damaging is the people who are now coming out to contradict him are people who were in his cabinets before. For these people to do so, means they are admitting their own share of the blame. Mahathir’s credibility has never been challenged to this extent before, he must be feeling the heat!

    The rakyat is waiting to see if this vocal damnation of Mahathir comes about because these people are doing it to secure a better hold of their positions in AAB’s cabinet or, is it a genuine expression of regret for the part they had played in the abusive and oppressive moves they committed hand-in-gloves with their former boss!

    AAB’s repeatedly acknowledges that he has heard the message of the rakyat, action should now accompany his words.

  29. #29 by Bigjoe on Monday, 7 April 2008 - 11:48 am

    What if Badawi now detain Dr. M under ISA? At least he would be consistent..

  30. #30 by lakilompat on Monday, 7 April 2008 - 3:11 pm

    Tun Dr. Mahathir is now very angry becos, Pak Lah regime treated him like a “pariah”

    Pak Lah is a wise leader, he didn’t talk much but when he speak it echoes like this “Saya Pantang Dicabar”

  31. #31 by kingkenny on Monday, 7 April 2008 - 5:01 pm

    When will they ever realize, that one day they too – the BN leaders will also like us – go to Hell. They advocate peace and justice in the name of our Creator – how dare?!!

    They have no fear for the Mighty One and of course, what are ‘we’ to them.

    My theory:

    Promises = Rakyat = Votes = Millions $$$ Contracts

    I hope very much that their smelly bank notes will turn to maggots and fill every veins in their bodies!

  32. #32 by kickbutt on Monday, 7 April 2008 - 7:33 pm

    “So AAB, the ball is in your court…”

    Telliing Badawi that the ball is now in his court would be like telling the man his ball was elsewhere before that – when he had none to begin with!

  33. #33 by wag-the-dog on Tuesday, 8 April 2008 - 2:20 pm

    Tun Dr. M Releases Statement Against Advise.

    This statement was released to local papers today. News has it that it was against advise from his lawyers as it will expose himself further.

    (The Sun) AS I had anticipated, my comment on (Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department) Datuk Zaid Ibrahim’s suggestion that the government should apologise for the action taken against Tun Salleh Abas would draw accusations against me for my alleged misdeeds during my tenure of office.

    Visit for details.

  34. #34 by richard.wong8 on Thursday, 10 April 2008 - 9:34 am

    ISA = Internal Self Act……just to protect them self from opposition digging out the truth.

  35. #35 by malar on Sunday, 13 April 2008 - 1:49 am

    YB Lim, please do not abolish ISA yet cos very soon like what Godson says, we need place for the BN people soon especially the MIC. Most probably the place would not be sufficient enough for MIC people because the whole lot is equally as bad as others in BN. They should taste the dose of their own medicine to know how it is. The governemnt does not want to release them just for one reason only. They blame the 5 for the change in indian votes. So in simple words BN is just taking revenge on them and branding them as national threat is just a lolipop story to console themselves and lick their wounds. MIC and BN want indians to remain slaves to their ideologies and live as 3rd class citizens forever.

  36. #36 by lakilompat on Tuesday, 22 April 2008 - 10:53 am

    “MIC and BN want indians to remain slaves to their ideologies and live as 3rd class citizens forever.”

    Sammy Vellu represent MIC, look at the failure of “MAIKA” shares.

    The Chinese still have something to be proud for their leader, like Gerakan, MCA, DAP. Who’s going to stand & speak on behalf of the Indian in Malayais?

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