Saturday, July 30, 2011

PSM6: The end of the farce — The Malaysian Insider

July 30, 2011

JULY 30 — Just this once, please apologise.

Own up to this despicable mistake of arresting six innocent Malaysians and, maybe, the rest of their fellow citizens will move on and cut the police as well as the Najib administration some slack.

Just this once, drop the political posturing and say sorry to Sungai Siput MP Dr Michael Jeyakumar and his party colleagues, Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) deputy chairman M. Sarasvathy, central committee members Choo Chon Kai and M. Sugumaran, Sungai Siput branch secretary A. Letchumanan, and Youth chief R. Saratbabu.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had an opportunity to right a wrong yesterday but he chose to indulge in official talk, saying that the release of the six was according to due process.

The release was based on some “observations” by the police, said the PM.

One wonders whether these are the same powers of “observation” that led the authorities to accuse the PSM officials of attempting to wage war against the King and trying to revive communism.

All these allegations were bunkum and aimed at intimidating the people behind Bersih 2.0. In all likelihood, the PSM6 were made scapegoats because they belonged to a party with little heft or appeal.

Can anyone imagine the police putting PKR, DAP or PAS bigwigs under detention without trial these days? The outcry would be deafening in and out of the country.

But what Putrajaya did not count on was the sense of fairplay of Malaysians, and the refusal of the average citizen to accept that Dr Jeyakumar and the five were nothing more than social activists, men and women who work tirelessly for the poor and socially disadvantaged.

Their detention has been a terrible injustice, a major blot on the record of the Najib administration and the police.

An apology would have helped. The lack of it just reinforces the meanness of the whole episode.

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