Saturday, March 17, 2007

Blatant Abuse Of Human Rights At Simpang Renggam Detention Centre.

It is indeed a terrible disgrace that such a horrendous situation exists at the infamous detention centre at Simpang Renggam. Yet our government doesn't seem to care at all. Why? Because all those inside come from the poor section of Malaysian society? Because a disproportionate number 0f them are Indians and therefore it is OK? The Cabinet conducted a sandiwara, dispatching that eternal Indian minister Samy Vellu along with two deputy ministers of the Internal Security Ministry to 'inquire' about the conditions there when reports started pouring in about serious human rights abuses. Lot was said and till now nothing has been done and I'm sure nothing worthwhile will ever come from that visit. Below is a brief report given to the Tamil Nesan newspaper and published in TheStar.

**More than 70 families handed over a memorandum to Suhakam on Thursday to look into the condition of detainees held under the Emergency Ordinance at the Simpang Renggam centre, said Tamil Nesan.

In the memorandum, the families alleged that there had been blatant abuse of the rights of the detainees.

Upon inquiring, they were promised that their relatives being detained would be released after two years. This never happened.

One family member, identified as Reena, alleged that her brother was sent to the centre for theft.

She said she was perplexed as the victim had said that her brother was not involved in the case.

Suhakam commissioner Datuk N. Sivasubramaniam said the memorandum would be discussed with the police.**
This abomination of a detention centre is run by the same government, which very proud of its track record, goes around the world preaching to other countries about human rights and even found cause for quarrel with the Americans over Guantanamo. The kerajaan while trying desperately to play a bigger role in world affairs despite our small size and lack of clout, by touting high sounding democratic principles, has in fact forsaken large sections of the population comprising the poor and deprived. Witness the brute force with which squatters are evicted and the rich accommodated in their place. Shameful.
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