Full circles October 18, 2007Posted by elizabethwong in Democracy, Event, Human Rights, Malaysia, Politics.
Tags: ISA, Mahathir Mohammad, Reformasi
I break my strict sabbatical to rejoice with my mates in Suaram today, when Malek Hussin, who was detained under the Internal Security Act 1960 (ISA) during the Reformasi period, won his civil suit against the police and the Government of Malaysia at the Kuala Lumpur High Court.
Malek’s lead counsel is R. Sivarasa🙂.
In a hard-hitting judgment, Justice Hisham Yunus essentially said, no person in Malaysia should be subject to torture, cruel and inhumane treatment in the hands of security personnel and that Malek’s detention was in bad faith.
Justice Hisham drove home this fundamental point: That the police must be above politics.
(I hope the Inspector-General of Police Musa Hassan comprehends this. Oui?)
It should be clear to everyone by now, why Malaysia remains one of the few recalcitrant states which refuses to sign the United Nations Convention Against Torture.
Or to put it bluntly, torture has become a useful tool to coerce confessions (real or imaginary), to obtain information (again, real or imaginary) or just for the heck of it.
The law enforcement agencies’ habitual use of torture and brutality, and with the government providing a shield of impunity, means there are fundamental flaws in the functioning of our criminal justice system.
At the same time one should note: – Many events, which transpired during the 22-year reign of former Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohammad – from the disgraceful dismantling of the independence of the judiciary, to arbitrary arrests, detention and torture of dissidents – have come a full circle. There’s little doubt more will follow.
Next on the list – the 20th anniversary of the ISA sweep of 1987, known as “Operasi Lallang”, on 27 October 2007.