The man himself, blogger Sheih (photo courtesy of his blog)
People power is slowly but surely having an effect. Blogger Sheih Kickdefella has been released and he hasn’t wasted much time in updating his blog with an entry titled Sheih is back:
Hi folks, sorry for all the unreleased messages and comments. As you know, I have been away on holiday in Lokap Balai Polis Kota Bharu and Lokap Dang Wangi. I tried to check in at Pudu Prison but was turned away because not enough qualification.
I wish to thank all for the support and prayers.
The police have treated me well and most of the time, beyond the call of duty. I made lots of friends too.
A PC is arranged for me at 5.30pm today for me to bare all. Hehehe if any….
Till then, rest assured, I have kicked Dollah again as soon as I was released. You can ask the press.
The Malaysian Bar’s EGM, attended by 739 members, has unanimously called for the repeal of the ISA and all preventive detention laws and the release of all ISA detainees. It’s six-point resolution also condemns the show-cause letters issued to several newspapers. The resolution, also supported by the Bar’s four past presidents, will be handed to the Prime Minister on Monday.
Three special guests addressed the EGM: S. Pushpaneela (the wife of Hindraf leader M Manoharan), freed ISA detainee Teresa Kok, and Abolish ISA Movement (GMI) activist Norlaila Othman.
Pushpa together with her son took to the podium and thanked the Bar Council and the Malaysian Bar for their support and assistance. She also highlighted the challenges faced by her, her children and all family members of the ISA detainees. Although she was visibly upset, she still managed to express her relief that Teresa had been released and was glad that at least one person’s prayers had been answered. Pushpa received a standing ovation from the floor when she completed her very touching speech.
Teresa Kok then took to the stage to a rousing welcome. She started by saying “I’m back!” She briefly highlighted the circumstances of her arrest and the 3 areas of questioning she faced during her detention. She then described the conditions of her detention. She questioned the need to detain her to answer questions about the three issues when she could have easily answered such questions at the police station. She then highlighted the ramifications of her detention to her personally and to investment opportunities for the state of Selangor. She said that she had on the morning of her detention held a briefing for investors from China and she had told them that Malaysia was a peaceful nation.
“Can you believe it? A day after I told these investors that Malaysia was a peaceful nation, they read about my arrest”, said Teresa, who ended her speech by thanking the members of the Malaysian Bar for their support.
Norlaila Othman, fondly known by many members of the Bar as Kak Laila, then came forward to describe her plight as a wife of a detainee who has been held without trial for six years. She first said that her husband was very happy with the visits organised by the Malaysian Bar. She then expressed her gratitude to her personal friend, Edmund Bon, who had been assisting her ever since her husband was detained. She thanked Edmund and his team for all their assistance and support. Full report from the Malaysian Bar’s website here.
Probably mindful of the groundswell of public opinion against the ISA, Rais Yatim is now suggesting, ahem, a “cautious review” of the ISA.
All this is great news, but Malaysians will not rest easy until all ISA detainees have been released and until the ISA and all oppressive laws have been repealed.
Power to the people!