For the many questions and concerns that you have on my arrest on 11 dec 2007, I thank you.
Komas work on voters education. It is vital that citizens understand the importance of voting but this right to vote is only useful in a free and fair electoral system. This bill is clearly a sign of system not being free. I was there to represent komas as a member of the Bersih coalition.
As I woke up at 8am in bed:
I’m tired, been so much happenings, been up last night celebrating HR day with the communities, was was nice; been up Sunday night celebrating HR day at the Bar and then mourning the lack of it at night, wish I could sleep in today. But it must be the same for all the other activists waking up this morning too. Come mien, let’s just do this itsy bitsy part, which is to show up.
Walking to Pas HQ with Gaya:
wow, this is like a movie. Smuggling ourselves in VIP’s car to go into parliament. So exciting. Eventhough in actual fact, if we are really allowed the proper channel to get tru to our goverment, then we shouldn’t need to sneak in. all of us should have the right to stroll into parliament and meet the MPs that were serving us. But we could not, they were already detaining the group of people at the gate. But someone must make a point, the memo must be passed. Ridiculous bill amendments like this should not be passed without the people making noise!
when the delegation went through the checkpoint :
oh gosh, we did it, we went through. Ok any moment now, they are going to realized that and come nab us. Which they didn’t. good, we went in and did what we came for, hold a press conference and pass the memorandum to the MPs, unfortunately the BN mps didn’t join us although we also requested for their presence. They don’t meet us in parliament, they don’t meet us in public, I do wonder what proper channels they are talking about? They already control all of the mainstream mass media so where else can the rakyat tell their concerns?
when the first member of delegation got arrested as he walk out of the building:
wow, that’s fast, they are not even waiting for us to get out of the compound. I pretty much relented to the fact that we will follow the same fate. But the group still had some hope left, we wanted to try leaving with DAP mps. At that point Chin Huat already draft up our in-case-of-arrest press statement.
when I walk out of the building:
this is it. We can see them waiting around, the plainclothes policemen. They stop yeap and chin huat first, me and gaya knew then they would stop us too and they did. I think we broke the record for arrests within parliament ground. there wasn’t so much fear (as many of you asked) rather than a ridiculous sort of shock/ amusement that they would come to this extent. Fear was for me during the hindraf rally when the chemical laced water and gas vapors soak up my nose and eyes, and I couldn’t breath, choked and felt like dying for at least a full 10 mins. Fear was seeing big men in uniforms and batons and guns grouping around skinny impoverished old men and women shouting threats beating up young boys. (I refused to believe the taxpapers paid them to do this- go fucking catch Nurin’s perpetrator you basket! See if you got balls for that!) No this wasn’t fear, this was more a what-the-fuck amused. Even handing over memo in parliament can scare the shit out of them like this, I wonder what bad bad things they have done to feel so insecure.
when I was in the police van :
ok, should I call mother? My fellow arrestee think that it’s better, it would be worse if she found out from the news tomorrow. So I called, and the first thing I said was ‘ok, mum please call down when I tell…’ ‘don’t ask me to calm down!’ she almost scream back. But all was well, assured her I am ok. She told the rest of my family and my dad called, wondering if my friends were all small size, and if the police were huge and were going to beat us up. (I guess their Mesra campaign didn’t managed to change their long standing reputation.) He sms me after, ‘are you under ISB’. I replied ‘no.’ (actually they haven’t bothered to tell us what charge we are being taken under) and didn’t bother to correct the last alphabet because it is the thought that counts. the very friendly policewomen offered us drinks, they were very civil and nice and I’ve chatted with them. Asking them if they’ve always wanted to be cops. One, first 3 choices were doctor, architect and lawyer, which might had her on the opposite side of the fence today. But she has gotten this instead, she said it’s fate. I smile, thinking to myself how easy to blame fate. Wondering if she had known that freedom means choice, she would be standing with freedom instead.
In Ibupejabat Police Kontinjen:
They served us lunch upon arrival. Among the many detained, we were definitely one of most well treated bunch. Why can’t they be professional like this all the time indiscriminatingly? Some lawyers friends called: you folks are being denied access to lawyers so be prepared to sleep in remand tonight. All I could think of was – shit, if only I was wearing something more comfortable, formal stuff that the folks wear to parliament are never comfy. It was costumes for folks in cold weather. And it cost a bomb too. Not many rakyat can afford shirt, tie or coat, what a simple way to keep the poor out of parliament. I told gaya that we must insist of sleeping in the same lock up, trying hard not to imagine strange bedmates. I tried to draw courage from bad backpacker’s place I’ve been to but I know it will still be worse. The 7 of us sat around, waiting for them to take our statements, waiting for them to tell us what our charges are, waiting for the worst and hoping for the best.
2 hours later, the arresting officer came to tell us there have been a change of order and we will not be charged and will be released :
pleasantly surprised. ok, at least mum will be able to sleep tonight. They took our details, apologized profusely. Well, at least with us they were mesra and cepat, and they admitted that they memang tak betul. When i walk out of the police grounds into arms of friendly faces, I was relieved and happy. Happy that nothing horrible had happened (yet, there will always be a yet in a police state like ours). But I know that we should not be, it is like being happy eating plain rice as long as it has no worms, when we worked hard to get the meat and vegetables but they have been taken from us. No, what they did was still wrong, it was unlawful detention and is against human rights principles. We have to be vigilant to ensure that human rights violation, no matter how small, are not swept under the carpet to prevent worse ones from happening.
and it is already happening. Utaya kumar will be having strange bedmates, will not be wearing comfortable clothes, will not be able to speak to his family, his mother will not be able to sleep for at least 2 years (not mentioning the obvious physical and mental torture one faced in confinement)…nothing can ever prepare one for such cruelty.
The best way for you to make sure you never get ISAed is (no, no, pretend to be stupid won’t get you far, no, lick the right balls also might not guarantee, look at lingam), the best way to ensure you or your loved ones will never be treated that way is to help get rid on this act, once and for all. There are courts to try criminals. If you don’t think the justice system is good enough, well, let’s improve that, instead of implementing laws that really only benefit the head of state.
What we can do is make loud noise- dance, sing, paint, write, speak so that the people in the pretty parliament can hear us, that we are repulsed! Aghast! At the existence of such Act. That Internal Security Act is in itself a criminal, having it reside in our country belittle our justice system, belittle our lawyers, belittle you and me as voters. And we have to keep telling anyone, everyone, again and again until we are heard.
Or we can all migrate. 🙂 know of any country who wants 27hundred thousand people who erm prefer to hire maids rather than wash our own dishes?