No Deepavali celebrations in light of Sosma arrests

V Sivakumar

Modified 27 Oct 2019, 11:48 am

LETTER | As a member of Parliament and as a Malaysian, it greatly pains me that 12 citizens including two elected representatives are being subjected to such a draconian law as Sosma.

This law is akin to having the detainee punished before a verdict. It falls short of international standards of a fair trial. How are we considered a democracy if our people are not given a fair chance to defend themselves?

This year’s Deepavalli is a solemn and sombre one for the Malaysian Indian community, especially for the families of the detainees who have been maintaining a vigil at the police headquarters. The detainees were arrested for their suspected links to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Lawyers for Liberty director Melissa Sasidaran has also said that the government needed no reminder that Sosma can be abused and she further reiterated that oppressive laws cannot magically become acceptable laws simply because Pakatan Harapan is now in power.

Harapan, in its manifesto, has stood for justice for all, and was supposed to be a caring government. Laws like Sosma were supposed to be eradicated as their impact on society and families as well as the individual is inhumane.

As a reflection of the sombre and solemn feeling of the Indian community, I hereby will cancel all Deepavalli functions in my constituency organised by the Pusat Khidmat Parlimen Batu Gajah and I will not participate in any Deepavalli function to reflect and sympathise with the families of the detainees.

I hereby urge the Harapan government to seriously consider sympathising with the detainees' families and stand with the voters who voted for them to do the right thing.

The government should step in immediately to take corrective actions based on democratic principles by releasing the 12 detainees and giving them a fair trial.

The writer is MP for Batu Gajah.

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