Friday, August 11, 2006

Debate on Ops Lallang : more perspectives

I certainly still condemn the 1987/1988 Operation Lallang because it epitomised a gross violation of basic human rights. We can now blame it on Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad alone although he also blames it on the police. There is, of course, room for debate on who was actually and ultimately responsible for the obnoxious crackdown.

However, allow me to remind all those who are interested in the debate of civil liberty and human rights in Malaysia that it was unmistakably also Tun Dr. Mahathir who, very soon after he became the prime minister in 1981, ordered the releases of many ISA detainees incarcerated during Tun Hussein Onn's time. They included DAP's Chan Kok Kit and Chian Heng Kai who suffered for four years and nine months as the victims of the unjust and oppressive law independent Malaya/Malaysia has inherited from yersteryears' British colonialism. Heng Kai now lives in his hometown Muar and we met only a few weeks ago in Kuala Lumpur.

I also think it is time for Malaysians, including Parliamentary Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang, to also condemn the detentions without trials in the 1960s and 1970s of more opposition leaders and activists of the now destroyed Labour Party of Malaya and People's Party when the Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Abdul Razak and Tun Hussein Onn were in power. Let us not practise 'selective memory' while we accuse other of so doing.

Two or more wrongs do make a right but the history of detention without trial certainly did not begin with Operation Lallang or the assumption of the prime ministerial office by Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad in 1981.

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Ex-ISA detainee recalls mental torture

Torture under the ISA

Spore's communist 'threat' - was it real?

Five years later...ISA 6 reflect on their detention


Blogger The Malaysian. said...

Well said James. It should serve as a timely reminder to Lim Kit Siang.

11:54 PM  
Blogger perlisan said...

Yes, I agree with you, James. Lim Kit Siang's blog is good & very informative and is one of my favourite. But I do feel that sometimes LKS is bit biased and this is one good example.
Nobody is perfect and I sincerely hope LKS will improve on this.

8:40 PM  
Blogger simpang-kiri said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:49 AM  
Blogger simpang-kiri said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:51 AM  
Blogger simpang-kiri said...

Yes I agree with James as a matter of principle that any form of oppression should be condemned without reservation, be it in 1987 or any other year or time.

Apart from the links provided by you, can you recommend to me any books that have been written on the subject of Ops Lallang in 1987?

I've read 'Policing the Malaysian Police' edited by Kua Kia Soong and another book published by Strategic Info Research Development (SIRD) entitle 'Lawan Tetap Lawan : Kisah Perjuangan Rakyat Menuntut Keadilan'.

Both books mention Ops Lallang rather briefly. In Chapter two of 'Policing the Malaysian Police' under the title 'Torture Under the ISA' there are several eyewitness accounts from the Ops Lallang detainees on their experiences and the horrendous torture they had to endured.

I was too young and naive at that time to realised the impact of Ops Lallang towards our civil liberty and democracy, when the crackdown took place in 1987. In this sense, its quite a blessing in disguise when Mahathir mentioned Ops Lallang albeit he attempted to distort the facts.

This might commence a fresh outlook on the whole ordeal, since the debate on this subject had long been suppressed by the mainstream media, most evidently during Tun Mahathir's era.

Perhaps you can illuminate us more on this subject in your future entries, including the list of names of those who were detained at that time.


PS:-Excuse me for the multiple entries. Spelling errors that requires correction :)

9:10 AM  
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2:22 AM  

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