Saturday, 18 October 2008

SUARAM Activist Under ISA

Pinky and the Brain (or lack thereof) are at it again.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again - One Is An Idiot, The Other's Insane

I suppose they've lost all credibility among the educated Malaysians that nothing matters anymore, except for votes from the sampah masyarakat of Malaysia.

So they make more arrests in the name of internal security.

A 26-year-old activist has been arrested under the Internal Security Act (ISA) tonight following a report she made accusing the police of abuse of power in yesterday’s controversial eviction of a squatter colony in Johor.

Cheng Lee Whee, a self-employed programmer who is a volunteer for human rights group Suaram, lodged the police report at the Permas Jaya police station in Johor Bharu at about 3pm yesterday.

The report was made in response to the forced eviction of squatters in Kampung Baru Plentong Tengah - a predominantly Malay village akin to Kuala Lumpur’s Kampung Baru - and the arrest of 27 individuals for attempting to stop the demolition of the settlement.

Cheng was summoned by inspector Azman Mustafa to the state police headquarters in Seri Alam at around 8pm so that her statement could be taken relating to her police report.

Four of her friends accompanied her to the police station, among them were Suaram Johor Bahru coordinator Nyam Kee Han, Parti Socialis Malaysia central committee member Choo Shinn Chei and Suaram volunteer See Siew Min. The three were arrested yesterday at the forced eviction.

At around 10.45pm, after Cheng had her statement recorded by the police, she was informed by Criminal Investigation Department chief DSP Mohd Nor Rasid that she had been arrested under section 28 of the ISA for "spreading false information".

Section 28 of the ISA involves the dissemination of false reports.

According to the section, "Any person who, by word of mouth or in writing or in any newspaper, periodical, book, circular or other printed publication or by any other means spreads false reports or makes false statements likely to cause public alarm, shall be guilty of an offence."

According to lawyers, section 28 does not empower the police to detain a suspect without trial. The suspect must be brought to court within 24 hours either to be charged or be further remanded to facilitate police investigation.

Of course, I'm wondering if the Brain (or lack thereof) will explain it all away as being for her own protection. It's entirely possible he could get original - and more ludicrous.


-naga- said...

Something fishy here...

This is what MT reported today:

"The woman is alleged to have lodged a false police report regarding the incident on Thursday, sent an e-mail to the Johor police website claiming that police abused their powers and used water cannon to disperse the crowd protesting the demolition."

1) Was there a water cannon there? Or is the police spinning her police report to make her look as if she is spreading lies?

2) If there was no water cannon i.e. no police abuse, then logically she wouldn't have gone to report yes?

3) If there was indeed water cannon used, then her police report is legitimate and the police must investigate her report first.

I am not sure, the whole affair is fishy.

Crankster said...

Even if she was spreading lies, is it worthy of detention under ISA? Especially since she had merely lodged a police report and not gone around stirring people up.

Somehow, when the ISA is invoked, those who are involved must be innocent.

Patricia said...

'Is it worthy of detention under ISA?' you ask.

Nothing is. If someone has done something against the law, there are sufficient laws under which to charge him or her. The ISA makes for lazy policing as there is no need to furnish evidence to prove a crime. How is that just?

I am sorry to hear of this. But I'm interested to see how it will be spinned. What a sad state of affairs we have descended into, haven't we, Crankster?


walla said...

One would think that forcibly evicting the squatters who are the public in the first place would have qualified more as causing the public alarm for which she is being detained.

Therefore the blue force concerned should have detained themselves under the Act and not the girl.

Otherwise, not only the rakyat here but the citizens of the world will be thinking we are the only country where concerned citizens are punished for showing concern and bravery to the extent of complaining to the very authorities who were the original cause of the public alarm in the first place.

ps: thanks Patricia and crankster; if weather's fine, hope to see you tomorrow. ;)

Crankster said...

Hahaha, you have a point, Pat. :) Yes, it's sad to think we became this way.

Walla - tomorrow??? What's happening?

-naga- said...

"is it worthy of detention under ISA?"

No, like Pat said, nothing is. ISA is just a convinient law used to jail whoever they don't like.

walla said...

no more rpk candlelight at 8pm a-mall?

zewt said...

just too many things to think about... sigh... did u hear more about the melamine scandal? sigh.... poor governance.

Crankster said...

Zewt, yes. It appears even locally manufactured stuff have been contaminated?