Friday, December 21, 2007

ISA arrests of Hindraf 5 -- Operation Lalang II in the making?

ISA Arrests of HINDRAF 5 – Operation Lalang II in the Making?

Published December 21st, 2007 in Announcement and ISA.
ISA Arrests of HINDRAF 5 – Operation Lalang II in the Making?
Date: 21st December 2007 (Friday)
Time: 7.30pm
Venue: KL Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall

The distinguished panel of speakers will include:

YB Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader
YB M Kulasegaran, MP for Ipoh Barat
YB Fong Kui Lun, MP for Bukit Bintang
Sdr Lim Guan Eng, DAP Secretary-General
Sdr A Sivanesan, DAP Central Executive Committee Member
Other speakers to be confirmed

Background info. on Lalang I

Operation Lalang (Weeding Operation; also referred to as Ops Lalang) was carried out on October 27, 1987 by the Malaysian police to crack down on opposition leaders and social activists. The operation saw the infamous arrest of 106 persons under the Internal Security Act (ISA) and the revoking of the publishing licenses of two dailies, The Star and the Sin Chew Jit Poh and two weeklies, The Sunday Star and Watan...

Although most of the detainees were released either conditionally or unconditionally, 40 were issued detention order of two years. Included were Lim Kit Siang and Karpal Singh plus five other party colleagues, a number of PAS members and many social activists...

The leading Malaysian English daily, The Star, was closed down for a few months. In the weeks prior to Operation Lalang, The Star had continuously provided transparent news coverage about the Opposition's point of view. This construed treason as far as the UMNO government was concerned, and they were shut down under Malaysia's repressive sedition laws. The Star resumed publication months later under a completely different management that was installed by UMNO. Most of the previous staff of The Star were laid off or otherwise threatened with prison and ISA. From that point onwards, The Star, as well as many other media outlets in Malaysia, became government-controlled mouthpieces with an obvious pro-government slant. These media outlets were also noticeably whitewashing all of the UMNO government's wrongdoings and corruption. All the cover-up and whitewashing by the mass media became more obvious towards the late-90's, when another power struggle within UMNO (the Mahathir vs Anwar episode) revealed the extent of corruption and crimes among the UMNO executive that have never been revealed or reported.

Amendments were also made to the Police Act making it practically impossible to hold any political meeting, including a party's annual general meeting, without a police permit. An illegal meeting could earn the person concerned a fine of RM10,000 and a jail term of one year. Even more ridiculous, an assembly of more than five people in a public area is considered an "illegal assembly" and could not be held without a police permit. This law was intentionally made to be so restrictive in order to give the police arbitrary rights to detain any group in public by citing it is an illegal assembly.

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