I wanted to jump and yell with delight when the news broke that the PSM 6 had been freed.
But it’s kinda hard to do that when you are in a packed bus during a five-hour journey to KL.
SMSes started flooding in.
I contacted Kumar’s wife Rani and she sounded overjoyed. She said the six had been released unconditionally.
Then I called Kumar. And you know what? He sounded the same and as calm as ever, though of course the joy was palpable. “It’s good to be out,” he said, in what must be the understatement of the year.
Syabas to all of you who played a part in securing the release: those who attended vigils, those who signed petitions, those who attended forums, those who wore yellow, those who left comments …
Of course, Kumar’s decision to go on hunger strike must have played a big part too. And so too the decision by party members in Sungai Siput to join in the hunger strike in solidarity. And then there was the large vigil planned for tonight in KL.
Who knows when the tipping point was reached that prompted the decision to release them. The point is every action we took – no matter how big or small – had an impact. And in the end, the momentum to secure their release snowballed irresistibly and could no longer be ignored.
Now, all charges levelled on the other PSM 24, whose case is scheduled for October in Butterworth, must also be dropped. The authorities should also issue a public apology to the PSM 31 for wrongful arrest.
And finally, all detention without trial laws must be repealed – NOW! – so that we may never ever have to go through this ordeal again.
Syabas, rakyat Malaysia. Hidup, hidup! Hidup rakyat!