Release Manoharan, Uthayakumar, Vasanthakumar under ISA or “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now” is just a joke

DAP Selangor State Assemblyman for Kota Alam Shah M. Manoharan is considering resigning his seat as he feels guilty at being unable to serve his voters from Kamunting Detention Centre, where he had been incarcerated for the past 17 months.

I can understand Manoharan’s deep frustrations, helplessness and burning sense of injustice, as he is a victim of the draconian and tyrannical Internal Security Act and deprived of his personal liberty not for any crime he had committed but for his mission to uplift the Indians from the “new underclass” in Malaysia to take their rightful and equal place under the Malaysian sun.

Furthermore, he is prevented from serving the voters of Kota Alam Shah who had elected him as their State Assemblyman in the past 14 months, although he had tried and exhausted all avenues to seek release from ISA detention, making three habeas corpus applications, barrage of letters to the powers-that-be (to former Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, thrice to now Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and eigth times to former Home Minister, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar, two letters to the Sultan of Selangor), as well as attending the meetings of the ISA advisory board – all to no purpose.

When he became Prime Minister exactly a month ago, he announced to the nation that he would start on a new page on the country’s draconian laws, particularly the ISA. Why were only two of the five Hindraf leaders, R. Kenghadharan and V. Ganabatirau released, and under the most restrictive and undemocratic conditions?

Clearly, the release of Kenghadharan and Ganabatirau was not because there was a change of heart on the part of the Prime Minister that the grievances raised by Hindraf were legitimate and long-outstanding, and that draconian laws like the ISA should be phased out, but mere public relations gambits to give the new Prime Minister a good public image.

I call on Najib to immediately and unconditionally release the three Hindraf leaders, Manoharan, P. Uthayakumar and T. Vasanthakumar under ISA detention or his slogan of “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now” will be swiftly be reduced to a joke.

What credibility, for instance, can Najib’s slogan of “1Malaysia. People First” command among the marginalised Indian community when their spokesmen, the three Hindraf leaders, continue to be in unjust and wrongful detention under the Internal Security Act?

Equally important, what have been done in the past 14 months since the political tsunami of the March 8 general election last year by the Barisan Nasional federal government to address the long-standing political, economic, educational, social, cultural and religious grievances of the Indian community which had given birth to the remarkable Makkal Sakti phenomenon?

In the past 14 months, Pakatan Rakyat state governments scored new breakthroughs for the Malaysian Indians when an Indian was appointed Deputy Chief Minister in Penang and another Indian made the Speaker in Perak – appointments which the MIC dared not even dream of asking in 52 years of “power sharing” since Merdeka, despite claiming to be the third most important political party in the Barisan Nasional!

Today’s MIC is a great shame and sham. In Perak, for instance, MIC could only think of how to benefit from the breakthrough achieved by Pakatan Rakyat state government, which is why the only thing which concerns Perak MIC now is to get former MIC Sungkai assemblyman Datuk R. Ganesan to be the new Perak State Assembly Speaker to replace V. Sivakumar.

Perak MIC also dare not speak up and dissociate itself from the administration of usurper Perak Mentri Besar Zambry Abdul Kadir and his exco which is going against the Cabinet ruling on the unilateral Islamic conversion of Indira Ghandi’s three children, even preventing Indira getting back her year-old baby daughter Prasana Diksa despite the Ipoh High Court interim custody order in favour of the mother.

If the MIC is a principled and honourable political party, its leaders should take a courageous political stand that the most honourable solution to resolve the Perak constitutional and political crisis is to dissolve the Perak State Assembly and to hold new state-wide general election.

But then, MIC leaders in Perak and Malaysia know that all the MIC candidates in such a new general election will be totally wiped out!

Manoharan has said that he will decide whether to resign as the Kota Alam Shah Assemblyman after his meeting with DAP National Chairman Karpal Singh on May 19.

Monoharan must weigh all the pros and cons of the issue, in particular to balance his deep sense of frustration with the public hopes and expectations when the voters elected him knowing that he was and will continue under incarceration, when making the decision as to whether there is going to be a seventh by-election after the March general election last year.

I assure S. Pushpaneela that I will give full support whatever final decision Manoharan takes on whether to resign from the Selangor State Assembly.

[Speech (2) by at the DAP Public Forum at Hotel Excelsior, Ipoh on Saturday, 2nd May 2009]

  1. #1 by dawsheng on Sunday, 3 May 2009 - 11:41 am

    Najib, are you not afraid of losing another by-election?

  2. #2 by alberttye on Sunday, 3 May 2009 - 12:18 pm

    I think Manoharan is right in considering to relinguish his state asseembly seat.

    He has no choice as the people in Kota alam shah needs a ADUN to service them.

    Blame it on the Umnoputra’s way of suppressing the people who must show a stronger anger against the Ketuanan Melayu diciples.

  3. #3 by limkamput on Sunday, 3 May 2009 - 2:03 pm

    If M. Manoharan resigns, may I appeal to DAP to allow his wife S. Pushpaneela to stand as the PR candidates for Kota Alam. I think this is only the decent and proper thing to do for him and for the cause.

  4. #4 by negarawan on Sunday, 3 May 2009 - 2:19 pm

    It must be tough for Manahoran’s wife to manage the family and act as defacto ADUN for Kota Alam. I hope that Manoharan and wife will be able to rought it out until the ISA term expires in several months time. He has many more years to serve Kota Alam, assuming he will be released after 2 years. The support from Selangor PR towards Mano’s wife and family will be very helpful during this tough period.

    So far, the so-called “1Malaysia” slogan is only working for one race and one religion in Malaysia, sad to say. I guess UMNO has a hidden meaning to the slogan.

  5. #5 by monsterball on Sunday, 3 May 2009 - 3:02 pm

    PR politicians are practicing the right attitudes.
    Fail…just resign …and resign also to protect the party.
    Such noble and dignifying acts…..much to be admired.
    Have you ever see any BN minister resigned in these 30 years…….failing as a minister?
    Samy Vellu should have gone long long ago…..including Lin Liong Sik…and few UMNO ministers behind bars now for corruptions.
    Just look at how present government leaders …showing youngsters….by examples.
    Lie…acting…twisting and turning……be cunning….do not ever admit your mistakes……show off…brag….and the list goes on.
    I am glad….few PR victims are rejected from resigning…as to succeed working against UMNO government… is next to impossible…unless lives are sacrificed.
    And still….not guaranteed success.
    That’s is so important to embrace Mahatma Gandhi’s non violence with disobedience ….to shame the devil.
    And that is making them mad… day by day. UMNO is looking for reasons to create fear and tensions..two important factors to gt elected again.
    Be calm….be careful. Talk bravely…..but do not act in the streets……unless organized by our PR leaders.

  6. #6 by frankyapp on Sunday, 3 May 2009 - 3:52 pm

    Yeah great monsterball , another excellent example is Raymond Tan,resigned from Sapp after it left the Sabah/BN but still hold on to the deputy chief minister post.Now his second boss Dpm MY,another of it’s kind tells the rakyat not to pressure Tan to resign.Recently MY said ” all malaysian will not be marginalised “If that the case ,why then still detain Yb Manoharan .Why not just release him and match your statement.

  7. #7 by imranj78 on Sunday, 3 May 2009 - 4:57 pm

    Why did DAP agree on putting Manoharan to run during the election in the first place when they knew he will not be able to effectively serve his constituents due to his imprisonment? DAP was using Manoharan’s position as a big political pawn in their game (rather then putting the rakyat’s needs first) and now they are crying wolf? Come on DAP, I think it’s time you stop milking Manoharan and Hindraf for your own benefit!

    I do agree with you on one thing though. The government should charge all the ISA detainees. If not let them go. Indefinite detention without trial is inhumane.

  8. #8 by Loh on Sunday, 3 May 2009 - 5:32 pm

    If the country accepts that elected representative are to serve his constituency and made minister where appropriate it is not right for the government to deny voters their right to have the elected representative serve them?

    ISA was to prevent crime, and when the state does not have enough evidence to charge ordinary private citizens, the ISA detainees lost their freedoms. The state might have a little justification that since it would cost too much of resources to clear of convict the detainee, and only the detained individuals are involved. It was wrong nonetheless. But when an elected representative is detained, it is not only the right of freedom of the detainee that was involved, but the right for representation of the voters are involved. It is now the issue of the democratic principle that is at stake.

    When vast amount of government funds are spent at elections to ensure that the people elect who they want, the government does not have the excuse to lock away elected representative for lack of evidence. The elected representative should be charged in court. There is no two way about the issue. To lock away elected representative only shows that the government would not allow him to have his say in the Legislative Assembly. So the ruling government can only be said to be afraid of elected representative exposing government wrong doings by locking elected representative under ISA if they are in the opposition. If the elected representative is from the ruling party, then locking him up prevents his contribution and thus weaken the performance of the ruling party. These are political consideration, and it would be a misuse of the ISA to lock elected representative in its name.

    BN used ISA to instil fear on people who would expose government wrong. That shows that BN has not grown out of its lazy means at government. Najib chose to make a show of releasing a few ISA detainees on becoming PM. It remains a show without sincerity.

  9. #9 by frankyapp on Sunday, 3 May 2009 - 5:34 pm

    Imranj78,similarly are you also questioning the Kota Alam Shah voters for electing manoharan in the first place ?. Do you know the Umno/Bn government is marginalising the raykat of KAS by not releasing their elected YB. ?.Did the umno/bn ever thought of putting the rakyat’s interest first after the election ,you may also ask ?. How can you put your blame on DAP and Hindraf because of the self-fish interest of Umno/Bn ?.Since you say “indefinite detention without trial is inhumance ” you should be very sympathetic to Dap/Hindraf . You should blame the culprit Umno/Bn.

  10. #10 by imranj78 on Sunday, 3 May 2009 - 6:03 pm

    DAP could have fielded anyone at Kota Alam Shah and would have still won due to the political situation at that time. The rakyat at KAS exercised their right to choose someone from DAP as their rep. The question is why did DAP chose someone who they very well know would not be able to serve the constituents effectively due to his imprisonment?? It is unwise and wrong for DAP to presume that the government would release Manoharan if he was elected (and I am sure DAP was very well aware of the fact that their rep would have to do his job from behind bars). Hence DAP was using the political sympathy people had for Manoharan and Hindraf to their advantage and cunningly benefited from it. Now that it is obvious that their plan was not `rakyat friendly’ they are crying wolf and again cunningly trying to put the fault onto the government when in fact they knew this would happen and could have been avoided by them in the first place!

  11. #11 by c730427 on Sunday, 3 May 2009 - 9:18 pm

    Lets face the truth! UMNO-BN govt will never abolish ISA as this is their ultimate weapon to arrest anyone. Only the Rakyat can abolish and write new law. The greatest power to upheld our constitution is in our hands but we never vote correctly!

  12. #12 by eglonet on Sunday, 3 May 2009 - 10:44 pm

    hello bro imranj
    if yu asked me – dap did the correct choose mano for contest in 2008…let rakyat to decide…wheather want to choose isa detainee or not..this showed that people decided that he is innocent…umno / bn.. should take this rakyat decision to realese him to serve people…but bn yang degil..and never respect the makkal choice…they still keeping him in the jail…so he decided to quit after he realise…..althoug the rakyat ask goverment to realease voting him..but our bn goverment no bother what rakyat want…bn should learn….a lot…still behave like childish…

  13. #13 by lopez on Sunday, 3 May 2009 - 11:41 pm

    let the fan fair begins, sidikit sidikit menjadi bukit,

    let the storm gather speed and momentum , it is timely and GE 13 tells all.

    Selective ,,,,why everything has to be selective as in never ending story.

    if noah ark need to be built , who decides who gets on board…time to get closer with the end club

    and go to holland ka

  14. #14 by Bigjoe on Monday, 4 May 2009 - 8:44 am

    I wouldn’t call it a joke. Najib is a joke but 1Malaysia is much worst, its irresponsibility – entitlement at its worst – don’t have to do anything and think you deserve something still..

    He made it but but there is no substance in it. he does not clarify it and others have to sort it out. Its irresponsible leadership – staying away from the problem when those that count on you need you to step up. Its what singaporean call it ‘siam’ i.e., avoid.

  15. #15 by Ken G on Monday, 4 May 2009 - 12:45 pm

    DAP did not do any wrong by fielding Manoharan even though he was in ISA detention as the voters had a choice whether to vote for him or not. The fact that Manoharan won validated DAP’s choice.

    Of course at that time no one knew how long Mano will be unjustly imprisoned. It’s easy to say with perfect hindsight that DAP was wrong to field a candidate who cannot physically serve his constituency.

    The real culprit is the Umno govt to keep Mano in detention for no reason other than to assuage their own insecurity.

    Now that 14 long months have passed with no freedom in sight, Mano is doing the proper thing to offer his resignation. It could also be a desperate gambit to win his freedom but nobody should belittle him for that. Remember that Mano will be giving up his assemblyman pay of RM10,000 a month by resigning which his family probably depends on to survive.

    And let me say that in a by-election, BN has no chance of winning this seat. Just give a walkover and get lost!

  16. #16 by taiking on Monday, 4 May 2009 - 1:35 pm

    Why? Those fellas are under protection what. Why release them from protection? I dont understand. These. All too deep for me lah. Beh tahan liao. Deep. V deep.

  17. #17 by Ken G on Monday, 4 May 2009 - 2:10 pm

    If it is a gambit to win his freedom, I must say it’s pretty unlikely to succeed. BN will just save face in a by-election by allowing a walkover. Manoharan is likely to end up losing his seat, his assemblyman pay and be banned from contesting for 5 years and still be in detention.

    On the other hand, it is probably an honourable and selfless act by Mano to resign and make way for another who can better serve the constituency. Kudos to him!

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