I have the pleasure of working under Dr Devaraj, the father of Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj , for a few months in Penang General Hopsital in the late 70s.
The father is one of the most conscientious doctors that I have come across, and like father like son, Dr Jeyakumar has been doing good social work helping the poor and the downtrodden.
He is among the six arrested for reasons best known to the authorities. I said so because initially they were arrested for suspicion of trying to revive communism– of all reasons, this must be one of the most incomprehensible since communism is as good as dead in this 21st century– because of some Che Guevara T shirts which can be bought in many places not known to be communist.
Then, apparently, the power that be must have read my arguments in my article “debacle of Mishandling’. To paraphrase the relevant parts:
“This is no more the era of USSR or Mao Tse Tung’s China; the former has disintegrated into smaller states and the latter is now more capitalist than communist.
Who would want to revive communism, when these two giants communist states have tacitly admitted that their ideology is no longer workable, by opening their economies and adopting some capitalist practices.”
So in an about turn, the six are now said to be detained because they are key ‘movers’ for the 709 rally.
This makes no sense to me since the prime movers are the 60 odd NGOs that form Bersih . If there is no arrest against the leaders of these NGOs, why should action– what more detention without trial- be taken against these 6?
Not that I advocate the arrest of these leaders of the NGOs — I don’t– since in the first place, our Constitution has guaranteed the freedom of association and gathering. But for the sake of argument, if no action is taken against the heads of Bersih component, why should action be taken against the six? It is plain logic and common sense.
So if none of the Heads of NGOs are detained, then Dr Jeyakumar and the five others must be released unconditionally.
Yesterday and today, even MIC leaders are asking for the release of these six. Of course, this is not because suddenly the MIC leaders have found their conscience, but rather these calls are made because of the Indian votes.
MIC must have realised that if Dr Jeyakumar is still under detention when General Election is called, he would have made a lot of difference to the Indians votes, which are said to be flowing back to BN. Not only will Indian votes stop flowing back to the Big Brother, it will most probably go back in a big way to the opposition.
With the CHinese votes gone, and the young Malay voters resenting the BIg Brother, I do not know why someone would want to sabotage the Top Leader’s chance by detaining one of the most prominent Indian leaders in the country, and along with his arrest, 5 others who are with him.
There is really nothing to gain politically. The power that be should realise this and release the SIX immediately.