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Malaysia: 40,000 demand `Abolish the Internal Security Act now!', hundreds arrested

By S. Arutchelvan

August 1, 2009 -- Parti Sosialis Malaysia -- The 40,000-strong mobilisation today in Kuala Lumpur and the thousands who did not make it because of police roadblocks gave a very clear and precise message to Malaysia's Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak: repeal the draconian Internal Security Act (ISA).

The pro-ISA gathering fizzled out or was drowned by the immense anti-ISA gathering led by the Abolish ISA Movement – a coalition of 83 organisation including Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM).

This has been the biggest ever gathering organised against the ISA since the draconian law was enacted 49 years ago. The police used chemical-laced tear gas on the peaceful and well organised crowd. More than 400 people were arrested, including scores of PSM supporters. The gathering, spearheaded by the Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS, Islamic Party of Malaysia) and other opposition parties, was the biggest opposition rally since the 2008 general election. The PSM and JERIT played prominent roles with the other parties in organising this huge gathering. It was a victory for the democratic movement and a blow to the government and the pro-ISA group.

The prime minister yesterday called on the anti-ISA protesters to give him ideas on how to improve this draconian law which his government said that they are in the process of amending. The message today was clear that the people want the ISA abolished.

 

The ISA has been used for the last five decades, by all the prime ministers, against democratic movements, the workers' movement, civil society and student movements to enable the government to cling to power. It was the deadliest weapon in its arsenal in the hands of the ruling party.

The PSM applauds the brave people who came to the streets today to make a point. A huge number of young people who participated in the rally were given hope that the strugggle ahead is bright.

ABOLISH THE ISA NOW !

[S. Arutchelvan is secretary general of the PSM.]

438 individuals arrested at the anti-ISA rally in KL

August 1, 2009 -- According to CPO KL, DCP Datuk Muhammad Sabtu Osman, the police have arrested 438 people at the anti-ISA rally in KL today and most of them are detained at Markas Pasukan Gerakan Am Cheras and a small group detained in Bukit Jalil Police Station.

From 2.30pm onwards, the police have been shooting tear gas and spraying chemical-laced water cannons towards the 10,000-strong crowd near Sogo shopping complex in Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman to force them to disperse.

Another 2,000-strong crowd that marched from Masjid Negara to Pasar Seni were surrounded by FRU and police at Dataran Merdeka. Tear gas and chemical-laced water cannons were also used during aggressive attempts at dispersing the crowd.

Those arrested include:

1. Sivarasa Rasiah (Member of Parliament of Subang), arrested near Sogo
2. Shahrul Iman Mohd Salleh, arrested at KL Sentral
3. Ikhwan Ikram, arrested at KL Sentral
4. Ahmad Adbul Wahab Abdul Rahman, arrested at KL Sentral
5. Kamal Nadhir Kadeni, arrested at KL Sentral
6. Abu Ubaidah Jalaluddin, arrested at KL Sentral
7. Mohammad Sholihin Mat Salleh, arrested at KL Sentral
8. Faizuddin Hazman Kadine, arrested at KL Sentral
9. Saad Musa, arrested at KL Sentral
10. Mohammad Helmi Hassan, arrested at KL Sentral
11. Mohammad Hafizuddin Mohd Ghazali, arrested at KL Sentral
12. Mohd Lokman Ahmad Mawi, arrested at KL Sentral
13. Mohd Fadzil Jan Jam, arrested at KL Sentral
14. Shamsul Anuar Nordin, arrested at KL Sentral
15. Mohd Marwan bin Husin, arrested at Masjid Negara
16. Aly Idham bin Alykallam, arrested at Masjid Negara
17. Bostaman Jumat bin Jaldi, arrested at Masjid Negara
18. Mohd Zulhilmi bin Mat Zin, arrested at Masjid Negara
19. Zulhelmi, arrested at Masjid Negara
20. Aiman Athirah Al Jundi, arrested in front of Pertama Kompleks
21. Norlaila Othman, arrested in front of Pertama Kompleks
22. Suhaib Mat Sah, arrested in front of Pertama Kompleks
23. Narshita Md Noor, arrested in front of Pertama Kompleks
24. Narshita Md Noor’s child (13years old), arrested in front of Pertama Kompleks
25. Salmah Ismail, arrested in front of Pertama Kompleks
26. Hayati Abdul Samad, arrested in front of Pertama Kompleks
27. Bhari, arrested in front of Pertama Kompleks
28. Vincent Chun Weng Sum (41) arrested at Bandaraya LRT station
29. Nurhazwani bt Hamid (20) arrested at Pasar Seni
30. Sitti Kasuma bt Rojan (22) arrested at Pasar Seni
31. Roslee Mohd Shariff (35) arrested at Bandaraya LRT station
32. Razalie, arrested at Masjid Negara
33. Ali Kasim, arrested at Masjid Negara
34. Abdul Majid, arrested at Masjid Negara

SUARAM condemns the use of tear gas and chemical-laced water cannons against the protesters. The police also used excessive and violent force against the protesters. The traffic in KL is in total lock down because of police roadblocks that are used to screen for protesters and to deny their right to assembly and freedom of expression which are guaranteed under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Federal Constitution of Malaysia.

Even with the crackdown of the police on this Anti-ISA rally, it is still a massive success as around 20,000 people have attended and voiced out their dissatisfaction on Najib Razak’s government, and that the draconian Internal Security Act (ISA) should not just be reviewed, but abolished.

We demand that the police release all arrested individuals immediately and unconditionally. We also demand that the police stop harassing the Malaysian people from exercising their rights to assembly and stop the assault on freedom of expression.

Released by, Wong Chai Yi, SUARAM Coordinator

Urgent action needed:

Please write protest letters to the government and the police to express your strongest condemnation of the arrests and the ongoing denial of rights of expression. Please also demand the Malaysian government for the immediate and unconditional release the three activists.

Your protest letters should be sent to:

1. OCPD Asst Comm Ahmad Amir Mohd Hashim
IPD Cheras
Polis Diraja Malaysia
56100 Kuala Lumpur
No. Tel : 03-92842222, 03-92843403, 03-92845398
No. Fax : 03-92879479

2. Inspector-General of Police
Tan Sri Musa Hassan
Ibu Pejabat Polis Diraja Malaysia,
50560 Bukit Aman,
Kuala Lumpur , Malaysia .
Tel: +603 2262 6015
Fax: +603 2272 5613

3. Dato' Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak,
Prime Minister of Malaysia,
Prime Minister's Office,
Main Block, Perdana Putra Building ,
Federal Government Administrative Centre,
62502 Putrajaya , MALAYSIA
Tel : 603-8888 8000
Fax : 603-8888 3444
E-Mail: ppm@pmo.gov.my

SAMPLE LETTER

[Letterhead of your organisation]

Prime Minister Dato' Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak,
Prime Minister's Office,
Main Block, Perdana Putra Building ,
Federal Government Administrative Centre,
62502 Putrajaya , MALAYSIA
Tel : 603-8888 8000
Fax : 603-8888 3444

E-mail: ppm@pmo.gov.my

Dear Sir,

Re: Release the Individuals Arrested During Anti-ISA Rally

I am writing to you, once again, to express my outrage and my strongest condemnation over your government’s ongoing crackdown on freedom of expression.

I am appalled by your government and the police’s latest actions and view this as yet another attempt by your government to intimidate Malaysian citizens from exercising their freedom to express their views.

I demand that the 300 individuals should be released immediately and unconditionally. I further demand that your government stops the assault on freedom of expression.

I strongly urge you, once again, to stop bringing shame to Malaysia. I would like to remind you that freedom of expression and assembly is guaranteed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as the Federal Constitution of Malaysia.

Yours sincerely,

[Name]

SUARA RAKYAT MALAYSIA
Address: 433 A, 1st Floor, Jalan 5/46, 46000 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.
Telephone: +6 03 7784 3525 Fax: +6 03 7784 3526
Email: suaram@suaram.net Web: www.suaram.net 

Comments

Socialist Alliance (Australia) protest letter to Malaysian PM

Prime Minister of Malaysia,
Prime Minister's Office,
Main Block, Perdana Putra Building ,
Federal Government Administrative Centre,
62502 Putrajaya , MALAYSIA

Re: Release the Individuals Arrested During Anti-ISA Rally


Dear Sir,
We are writing to you on behalf of the Australian Socialist Alliance to express our outrage and deep concern over your government’s ongoing crackdown
on freedom of expression.

We were concerned by your government and the police’s latest actions in arresting hundreds of demonstartors at an August 1 protest against the Internal Security Act and find it difficult not to view this as an attempt by your government to prevent Malaysian citizens from exercising their freedom to express their views.

We urge that any persons still in custody from this protest action be released immediately and unconditionally. We further urge that your government not repeat such
assaults on freedom of expression and assembly, which are guaranteed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as the Federal Constitution of Malaysia.

Yours sincerely,

Bea Bleile, Margarita Windisch, Dick Nichols
National Coordinator
Socialist Alliance (Australia)

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