Flashback: The 2001 ISA arrests


A timely reminder of the purported grounds used to arrest the reformasi activists under the ISA in 2001.

Human Rights Watch reported in 2004:

Invigorated by strong public support, Malaysian civil society and opposition political parties, including the newly formed KeADILan, or Justice Party, led by Anwar’s wife, Dr Wan Azizah Ismail, pressed vocally for Anwar’s release.

In response, Mahathir again turned to the ISA to cut short the public protests over Anwar’s continued detention in April 2001. Over a two-week period, the government hauled in ten high-profile activists, most of them members of KeADILan. Those arrested included human rights activist Badaruddin Ismail; Raja Petra Raja Kamaruddin, director of the Free Anwar Campaign website; social activist and former student leader Hishamuddin Rais; and senior KeADILan leaders N Gobalakrishnan, Tian Chua Chang, Mohamad Ezam Mohd Nor, Saari Sungib, Dr Badrul Amin Bahron, Abdul Ghani Haron, and Lokman Noor Adam.

The government claimed that the KeADILan activists were planning violent protests in order to overthrow the government, and were attempting to procure weapons and explosives. Despite the serious nature of the charges, the government produced no evidence to support its claim (Jasbat Singh, “Jailed Malaysian opposition activists await decision on renewal of detention orders,” Associated Press, May 30, 2003).

Does this sound familiar?

Then in 2001, ahead of the Bersih 2.0 rally, the Malaysian Insider reported:

Police find weapons, say points to Bersih
By Yow Hong Chieh
July 05, 2011
Latest Update: July 06, 2011 01:21 am

KUALA LUMPUR, July 5 — Police have uncovered three weapons stashes near Sogo shopping complex here which they said appears to be “a preparatory move” by Bersih supporters ahead of the July 9 rally.

So what happened to all these weapons and the investigations? Was anyone formally charged in court for procuring all these weapons?

Please help to support this blog if you can.

Read the commenting guidlelines for this blog.
Notify of

Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

sop by DICTATORIAL regimes to silence critics?


I pray they do it. Its just not 2001 anymore and the reaction is going to be different. They more they keep failing to understand how the world has changed, the clearer the change is.

Rich Daddy

I fear for more arrests come this year end demonstration. Is that “no pain no gain” mantra still works nowadays ??? Good luck to the participants 🙂

Smart GrandDaddy

From the moment we are born, we are seekers. Our culture obsessively promotes the pursuit of money, success and self-improvement. At the end of each activity-jammed day, though, we collapse into bed discouraged by everything we have not checked off on our to-do lists, in despair that whatever we have accomplished is never enough. Worse still, when our dreams become derailed by the inherent tragedies of life—job loss, financial peril, sickness, or the death of a loved one—we feel devastated by the pain and injustice of it all. So If we feel we should do something honourably right, do not… Read more »