Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Subramaniam speaks out

Finally, I read here that the Human Resource Minister, Dr S Subramaniam, has broken his silence on the detention of Sungai Siput Member of Parliament Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj and five others. It is, of course, unclear whether he was speaking on behalf of his political party or in his personal capacity.

Nevertheless, he is quoted as having urged the Inspector-General of Police and the Home Ministry to review their detention under the Emergency Ordinance (EO) and to charge them in court "as quickly as possible" if they had indeed committed chargeable offences. "The IGP and Home Ministry should review the continual arrest of Dr Jeyakumar and five others under the Emergency Ordinance.To date the police have not shown any convincing evidence that they were involved in an armed struggle to overthrow the government. There are also confusing signals that they were arrested because of their involvement in Bersih. They were, however, arrested much earlier than the Bersih event. Moreover many others involved in Bersih have not been arrested and those arrested have been released."

I am glad that Subra has spoken out, although his statement was couched in very careful language. Both he and Michael may be on opposite sides of the political divide but in some ways they are similar. Both are medical doctors and, more importantly, there is the old school tie that binds them. Michael was junior to Subra at the Penang Free School by one year.

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