Tuesday, April 5, 2011

ISA, A One-Armed Detainee, And A Relentless Surendran

Mr.Kadir Hashim has, since the age of 12, only had the use of one arm. Despite his disability, he was making an honest living for himself, by selling tom-yam near his house. With the income he eked out, he supported his aged mother and took care of her.

A few days ago, he was arrested under, of all laws, Malaysia's draconian ISA! He was arrested, according to the Malaysiakini report, by 10 plaincothes officers. 10 officers were dispatched, incredibly, to arrest a single one-armed man!

It was sad to see, on Malaysiakini video, the frustration and anger of his family members. The police have given no reason for his detention, other than vaguely alluding to, 'seditious activities'. Whatever reason they give, it is meaningless, because, under the foul ISA, it cannot be tested in court.

The family was supported, at the press conference, by Malaysia's movement against the ISA, the GMI. And they had legal representation from Lawyers For Liberty, in the form of Malaysia's quixotic human rights lawyer, Mr.N.Surendran. Notably missing, despite the fact that that Mr.Kadir Hashim and his family are clearly Malays, were those selective defenders of Malay rights, Perkasa.

Mr.Surendran described Mr.Kadir's arrest as a 'dissapearance into the night' as would more likely happen in North Korea or pre-protest Egypt. Kadir's lawyers enquiries, had been met, he said, with evasion and rudeness, by the police. They had been unable to get any information on Mr.Kadir other than that he is under arrest. To prove his point, he called the police right there and then! There ensued, captured on Malaysiakini video, an almost comedic confrontation between Mr.Surendran and a police ACP, Ms.Normah Ishak. Mr.Surendran was as relentless, as Ms.Normah was evasive!

And now for the odd bit. That phone conversation has now been edited out of the Malaysiakini video on their website. The rest of the video is still, at time of writing, on Malaysiakini. We have to wonder, whether Malaysiakini have now taken to censoring themselves.

Mr.Surendran has said he will be filing a writ of habeous corpus on Mr.Kadir Hashim and his family's behalf.

We can only hope it succeeds, and that he is safely returned to his family.

Note :
This incident shows, as Ms.Theresa Kok's detention showed, that the ISA is open to abuse. Whether in Malaysia, or Singapore, the ISA, must go.

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