Post-Vigil in Kamunting: Repeal the ISAPosted: June 9, 2008
The Vigil at Kamunting was yesterday. I wasn’t there, so am not able to write about it, but Haris from The People’s Parliament has a whole lot of pictures to show what happened yesterday. According to him, there were about 500 people who attended. Malaysiakini put it at 1,000 people. GMI President put the numbers at around 2,000.
But no matter the numbers, the fact remains that people turned up. Old and young. All Malaysians. All for one cause: Repeal the ISA, release the detainees, close down Kamunting.
I found this excerpt from The People’s Parliament quite touching:
As we walked back to the mosque from which the walk started, I chatted with Uncle Hiam and his wife, both from Menglembu.
Uncle Hiam was surprised that i had come all the way from Pahang for the vigil.
I replied that my brothers were in detention.
‘Sapa’, he asked.
I replied that all detainees were my brothers.
‘Itu betul. Kita semua orang Malaysia’.
Read all that Haris had to say, and see photos of the vigil here.
This was something for the whole of Malaysia. As Haris put it: One people, one nation, one cause.
Everyone who gathered there had only one thing in mind, and that is to show their support to repeal the ISA. To show their protest against detention without trial. To show that they care for Human Rights in Malaysia.
They didn’t have to personally know the ISA detainees. They just needed to know that the ISA is wrong.
I looked up in the StarOnline to see what they had to say about the vigil:
TAIPING: Family members and friends of Internal Security Act (ISA) detainees dispersed peacefully after staging a candlelight vigil outside the Kamunting detention camp near here.
Police allowed the large group to remain for 15 minutes under the watch of Federal Reserve Unit police personnel during the gathering organised by the Abolish ISA Movement at 8.30pm yesterday.
Perak senior executive councillor Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham was present to monitor the situation.
Ngeh, who is also state DAP chairman, said the state government’s stand was that every person had a universal right to a fair trial in a court of law, as opposed to unlawful detention.
And that’s the full article, which I got here.
I’m not too sure about the reason why they decided to say that “family members and friends of ISA detainees”. If they mean family and friends in the conventional sort of way, they they have downplayed the entire night.
There is no way in heaven or hell that 500/1,000/2,000 people could all be related, or friends of the 70+ ISA detainees.
They didn’t even report on the walk from the mosque to the detention camp, which was every bit as important as the vigil itself.
Am I being let down? Or have I just placed too high hopes on the wrong people?