I was interviewed by a reporter from Singapore Straits Times yesterday on the possibility of releasing the 5 Hindraf leaders from ISA detention. She suggested that PM may not want to do because the decision to release them may 'anger' the Malay community.
Quoted in the article:
Observers say the government risks continued Indian anger if the Hindraf chiefs are not freed, but it could lose Malay votes for being soft on street 'troublemakers' if they are. (This is not my stand.)
'What the government needs to do is to allow for the rule of law and give them a fair trial. If they cannot pinpoint a particular offence, they should be released,' said political analyst Khoo Kay Peng.
Hindraf is seen negatively by Malays because it pushes for equal rights.
I disagreed with her suggestion. It is without a doubt the government is not above the law and the same goes to any community. It is not for the Malay community to decide if the 5 Hindraf leaders should be detained without trial or not.
What is abvious the police must charge the detainees in court as soon as possible so that justice can be meted out. However, we do not see this forthcoming. Hence, the government is wrong to insist that the leaders have terrorist links and are a danger to the society. A government who can put people behind bars without the need for solid evidence is more dangerous.
The Malay community should not be dragged into this issue. UMNO and the Malay community are not synonymous. I have met some Malay students in London who are quite sympathetic to the cause of the Indian community. Not all Malays are against equal rights. A Malay friend who works as a special officer to one of UMNO top leaders told me, "The problem with us Malays is the ketuanan issue."
It is time we view this issue through a non-racial lenses.