PSM Arrests A Harbinger Of More Repressive Acts

A Hindu rights pressure group has expressed solidarity with Parti Sosialis Malaysia members who were recently detained under the Emergency Ordinance.

Hindraf Makkal Sakti national advisor N Ganesan (left) said the Umno-led government had executed the same action on its members following a rally in 2007, where its lawyers were detained under the Internal Security Act.

He added that July 2, the day of the detention under the draconian law, is another “black day” like Dec 13, 2007, when Hindraf lawyers were detained.

“Umno's gloves are coming off and they are again showing their real selves,” Ganesan told Malaysiakini. “They came after Hindraf for daring to challenge them. Today, they are going after PSM for the same reason."

The six detained include Sungai Siput MP Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj, who were among 30 people detained at the Sungai Dua toll plaza in Kepala Batas on June 25. They were initially arrested under Section 122 of the Penal Code for allegedly attempting to 'wage war' against the Agong.

After their remand order expired on June 30, they were re-arrested under Section 2 (1) of the EO. The police have alleged that the six are suspected to be involved with foreign elements and have subversive tendencies. The arrests are part of a nation-wide dragnet against campaigners of a mammoth rally, dubbed Bersih 2.0, planned for Saturday in Kuala Lumpur.

Organisers of the rally planned to submit a memorandum to the Agong to demand electoral reforms.

'In contravention of constitution'
Ganesan said Umno's action was in “absolute contravention” of the federal constitution and of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 10 of the federal constitution unequivocally states that every citizen has the right to freedom of speech and expression, to assemble peaceably and without arms and has the right to form associations. However, Malaysia is increasingly being run against the will of the people in “flagrant contravention” of the supreme document, said Ganesan.

He added that Umno is violating all the provisions for citizens' fundamental rights in that document and “they are doing it with impunity”. The inspector-general of police, home affairs minister and the prime minister are all “complicit in this and many other blatant violations” of the federal constitution against the wishes of the people. “Brute force is being applied to simply promote and protect the interests of Umno,” he said.

Ganesan said he suspects that these moves may be harbinger of more drastic repressive action in the coming days. In saying so, he urged the government to immediately release all the PSM activists detained and desist from further repressive acts in blatant violation of the constitution.

He added that the Umno government must abide by all the provisions of the constitution as the party is “not above the law”. “If Umno does not take heed of this call, the party bears responsibility for making Malaysia a lawless nation,” he stressed.

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