Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Vigil in Kamunting: An endless struggle to bring injustice to an end

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Contributed by Fadiah Nadwa Binti Fikri (www.malaysianbar.org.my)
Monday, 09 June 2008 09:22pm

Vigil in Kamunting: An endless struggle to being injustice to an endDrizzling rain coincided with the spirit of justice as concerned Malaysians gathered in Kamunting on 7 June 2008 for a candlelight vigil against the draconian Internal Security Act (ISA).

The candlelight vigil which was organized by GMI (Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA) symbolized the struggle with the darkness brought by the inhumane ISA and the undying struggle to bring this flagrant injustice to an end.

All participants gathered at Masjid Jame’ at 7.50 pm before marching 1 km to the Kamunting Detention Camp. It was overwhelmingly heart warming to note that this noble cause transcended racial and religious boundaries as all peace loving Malaysians were united on that night for one cause, that is justice for our fellow Malaysians. All participants waited patiently at the mosque’s compound while waiting for their Muslim friends to finish their Maghrib prayers before proceeding with the walk to the Kamunting Detention Camp.

At 8 pm, the participants started marching with candles in their hands towards the Kamunting Detention Camp under close supervision of the PAS Unit Amal which was assigned to monitor the traffic and safety of all participants. Upon approaching the Detention Camp, the presence of Federal Reserve Unit Police Personnel was noted in front of the main entrance.

The Chairman of GMI, Mr, Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh, announced that the Police gave 15 minutes for the respective representatives of GMI to make their speeches. Mr Syed Ibrahim in his speech thanked the participants for having the courage to participate in the candlelight vigil and manifest their strong resistance to the unjust law of ISA. He also thanked the Selangor State Government for providing transportation for the ISA families and the Perak State Government for supporting the vigil. He also pointed out that all participants had proven to the Government that they were capable of holding a peaceful assembly in the exercise of their right to Freedom of Assembly as enshrined in the Federal Constitution.

Puan Norlaila Othman, the Director of the ‘Free ISA detainees which have been detained for more than six years’ campaign also thanked the participants for their relentless support and tireless effort to fight for this cause.

The peaceful vigil also noted the attendance of assemblymen Chang Lih Kang, Dr. Khalil Idham Lim Abdullah, Mohd Anuar Sidin, Yee Seu Kai, Abdul Yunus Jamhari, Sungai Siput parliamentarian Dr S. Jeyakumar and Perak senior executive councillor Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham.

The Islamic Party of Malaysia (PAS) women's wing secretary Aiman Athirah, Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) protem secretary general S. Arutchelvan, a number of bloggers and activists were also among those who participated in the vigil. The vigil ended peacefully at 9.30 pm.

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