Monday, 21 April 2008

Kempen Bebaskan Tahanan ISA di Pulau Pinang-19/4/08

Saya kongsikan berita yang saya dapati dari sebuah blog..InsyaAllah, kebangkitan rakyat dapat memberi harapan baru kepada mangsa-mangsa ISA.

5 state govts back call for ISA detainees' release, Guan Eng tells Makkal Sakthi crowd

Sun, 20/04/2008 - 11:29 — puvan

For one moment, it looked as if the general election campaign was not yet over. The orange shirts were back in numbers. A similar crowd had packed the Penang Chinese Town Hall in the run-up to the general election.

Makkal Sakthi is still alive and kicking - and the newfound sense of solidarity has not abated one bit.

But how was Hindraf, the organiser, able to get a permit so easily for this gathering? Well, I suppose it helps if your star speaker is the Penang Chief Minister! Not that permits should be required for such gatherings. A couple of uniformed cops sat in the audience, a couple more outside the hall.

Syed Ibrahim, the Chairman of the Abolish ISA Movement (GMI), gave a run-down on why the ISA had to be abolished. Also on stage was human rights lawyer Latheefa Koya. It has been a long time since I had seen such a huge crowd enthusiastically calling for the release of ISA detainees. In between, cries of Makkal Sakthi! and Valga! (Long live people power!) pierced the air.

How times have changed. If we want to look at it from a racial point of view, you had a Malay activist addressing a largely Indian crowd at the Chinese Town Hall!

I don't think I have seen so many people queuing up to sign petitions calling for the release of ISA detainees. Some of these detainees have been held for more than six years! Where previously people would have been afraid or reluctant to sign such petitions, tonight there was no such fear. People were distributing all sorts of anti-ISA literature. Amazing! It can't be too long before the ISA is totally abolished.

It was an especially meaningful occasion for Guan Eng. Tonight was exactly 19 years to the day since he was released from ISA detention in 1989.

Guan Eng delighted the audience in the packed hall when he told them, "You are not alone in your call for the release of ISA detainees. You have five state governments backing this call and I will take this message to Parliament!" he said to loud applause. He told the crowd that the huge swing in their votes had made a big difference in the general election this time.

People rose to their feet to cheer when a petition calling for the release of the ISA detainees was later handed over to the Chief Minister.

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