Update: This statement was published in Malaysian Insider front page in toto this morning. Since it is now not available in front page, i will post the link.
This is my press statement today:
As head of Parti Gerakan Cheras, I strongly condemn using the archaic and draconian Internal Security Act to arrest the three citizens of Malaysia, namely raja Petra, Tan Hoon Cheng and Teresa Kok.
My members and I demand the immediate release of these three. If they have committed any wrong, they should be charged in court and not through detention without trial.
The three year suspension on the UMNO division chairman who had reportedly uttered certain seditious word, and the arrest of the reporter under ISA who reported what the division head has allegedly said, smacked of double standard and differential application of the law.
This is like warning the person who set the fire but arresting the one who reported the fire.
By doing so, the government is further eroding its own support base, just to appease the interest of certain quarters. And this is not the way to regain people’s hearts. On the contrary, whatever little respect that people may still have for the government would be totally lost.
Component parties which took part in the BN council meeting recently to demand action must be wondering why things have come to such as a stage; why mild action is taken against the powerful ’warlord’ and stern action against the other helpless reporter. They must be wondering what actually went wrong. Parties like Gerakan, which have demanded that government applies the laws of the country on those who uttered seditious remarks, must be surprised that instead, the whistle blower was being detained.
Members of these parties are asking what is happening? Is this what is perceived to be fair? Is this what true justice is? Even a child would have know better .
These parties must make a strong stand now. The future of the country is in the hands of leaders of these parties. They must demand the unconditional release of these people arrested under ISA, failing which, they will have no choice but to shift their support away from UMNO and quit BN.
As a grassroot member of Party Gerakan, I am calling upon the leaders of PGRM to make this one last stand and make this their mission to free these scapegoats from the draconian laws. Release the detainees or Gerakan to quit!
If the party fails to do this, then it would lose the little credibility that is still left, and I forewarn that there would be a great exodus of members out of the party