A child’s voice to abolish ISA

There was a report in the Star Online today that the daughter of a Hindraf leader wrote a letter to the Agong to ask that the ISA be abolished.

Daughter of Hindraf leader presents letter to palace

KUALA LUMPUR: A group of Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) supporters gathered at Istana Negara here Friday in solidarity for the abolishment of the Internal Security Act (ISA) and the release of its five members detained under the Act.

The group’s intent was penned in a letter purportedly written by Hindraf chairman P. Waythamoorthy’s five-year-old daughter Vwaishhnnari, who was accompanied by her aunt during the event.

The three-page letter, childishly written on yellow paper with stickers of comic character Garfield wearing a royal crown and wielding a scepter requested for the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong to urge Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to abolish the “draconian ISA”.

It read: “It is my humble request that you urge the Prime Minister to abolish the draconian ISA in your opening Royal Address in Parliament on April 29th and advise the Prime Minister to treat all Malaysians, especially the minority communities equally.

Thank you Your Highness and I would eagerly wait for your speech before the TV,” it further read.

Among other points raised in the letter included that “five of my uncles have been kept in jail without trial” and “many others are also held for very long, as the government claims they are JI members without proof“.

Vwaishhnnari remained shy and rarely spoke throughout the event as she was carried by her aunt M. Philomena, 48, a housewife.

“I passed this letter to the Chief Minister of Penang yesterday, noting him of the matter.

“I deeply feel my father’s absence and miss him dearly,” she said when approached by reporters.

Her father is currently in London in self-imposed exile.

The five-year-old later presented the letter to the palace. The letter was received by the senior private secretary of the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong.

She was accompanied by Kapar MP S. Manikavasagam, Teluk Intan MP M. Manogaran, Hindraf coordinator S. Jayathas and lawyer N. Surendran.

A squad of policemen closely monitored the 30-minute gathering which ended at noon.

Original article here.

*****

This ISA issue was not just born yesterday. There are a whole lot of other detainees currently in Kem Tahanan Kamunting for alleged crimes, that till this day, have found no proof, and seen no trial.

This child is the daughter of a Hindraf leader. Her main focus was for the safety and release of her “5 uncles”. But she did not miss out on mentioning the hordes of other detainees under the ISA. She is only 5. And it is very probable that she had an adult help her with the letter. But if a 5-year-old can be aware of such situations in Malaysia that need to be addressed, then why aren’t the majority of adults in Malaysia caring enough?

I’ve put up a link at the top right corner of this page, that leads to a website where people can sign an online petition to abolish the ISA, that would get sent to the UN Human Rights Commission. So far, no one has clicked it since I put it there almost one month ago. And it’s not like I don’t get traffic here. Okay, not much. But if every person who reads this blog, signs that petition, I think we would get at least an extra hundred, or two hundred signatures on that petition.

Or have we all just ceased to care?

I’ve listed the names of the detainees under ISA in a page, that’s also linked on the right hand side of this blog, but so far, not many have been interested enough to even look there. Or maybe it’s just not “boom” enough for people to take notice. It’s not the full list, but we should at least know some of the other people who are being held in Kem Tahanan Kamunting, before we keep on screaming for the release of the Hindraf 5. There are other people who are being held there too. And some of them have been there for the past 6 years!

When a child can take the trouble to write a letter that’s 3 pages long, and we can’t even just click and type in our names, then who are we to say that we are making this world a better place for our children to live in?

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