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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Jeyakumar: Too ‘politically costly’ for BN to continue holding us


July 29, 2011

Dr Jeyakumar (C) said tonight that mounting pressure from the public had led to the release of the PSM 6. — Picture by Choo Choy May
KUALA LUMPUR, July 29 — Sungai Siput MP Dr Michael Jeyakumar asserted tonight that the order to release all Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) detainees had been a political decision and not because the “police had come to their senses”.

“They (Barisan Nasional) were losing so much popularity and support from the people that it just became too politically costly for them to keep holding us,” he told reporters after addressing a crowd of supporters at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH).

The first-term lawmaker also disagreed with Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s claim earlier this evening that the release order had been in accordance with the rule of law and that the decision had been made by the police based on their “observations”.

He was hugged by his mother upon arrival at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall this evening. — Picture by Choo Choy May
“No, it was definitely because of pressure from the public. After over one month, there was no sign that public support for us was abating; in fact, it was going to escalate. People walking, people fasting all over the place .... it was getting too big for them,” he continued.

Najib, added Dr Jeyakumar, had made a “smart move” to allow the release of the six before things worsened for the BN government.

“It was not because the police came to their senses or they became honest and professional. They were not,” he said.

He insisted that the police were bent on keeping the PSM 6 detained as a way to scare other Malaysians from voicing their dissent.

“But it did not work. The people were brave and it was because of them that I am free today,” he said.

When asked for his plans in the coming days, Dr Jeyakumar said he may consider taking legal action against the authorities for his “unlawful” detention.

“But we are just out and we have to sit down and discuss it,” he said.

Dr Jeyakumar’s and five others — PSM deputy chairman M. Sarasvathy, central committee members Choo Chon Kai and M. Sugumaran, Sungai Siput branch secretary A. Letchumanan and Youth chief R. Saratbabu — were released from their detention at 5.30pm this afternoon.

The six were picked up in Penang on June 25 along with 24 others during the widespread pre-Bersih clampdown, and were later slapped with accusations that they were attempting to revive communism and wage a war against the King.

On July 2, they were placed under the Emergency Ordinance, a preventive law allowing for 60-days detention without trial, which was enacted in 1969 as a temporary measure in response to the May 13 race riots.

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