People of Penang should be in the forefront in the campaign for justice, freedom, democracy and good governance

- DAP Public Forum on "Justice For All"

by Lim Kit Siang  

(Penang, Monday): The  DAP "Justice for All Campaign" is a  campaign arising from the injustices suffered by DAP Deputy Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Guan Eng, former Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Tenaganita director Irene Fernandez ,  Anwar’s counsel Zainul Zakaria and all Malaysians as a result of bad governance in the country.

We are in Penang tonight because we want the people of Penang to  be in the forefront in the "Justice For All" campaign, which  is simply about justice, freedom, democracy and good governance for all Malaysians.

If there is justice in Malaysia,  Guan Eng will not be languishing in jail for defending the  honour, human rights and women’s rights of an underaged 15-year-old girl victim of statutory rape against the powerful and mighty.

If there is justice in Malaysia, former Anwar would not be languishing in jail, denied of bail, and  assaulted in the very inner sanctum of the police high command in Bukit Aman when he was first arrested by the police and his "black eye" and other injuries would not have remained an "unsolved heinous crime without criminals" after more than four months.

If there is justice in Malaysia, the 22 million Malaysians will not be held to ransom by the highway concessionaires, many of them crony companies of the UMNO big-wigs, and become captive victims of unfair highway privatisation contracts, unfair highway tolls and unfair highway toll increases.

Last Wednesday, the "15-year-old girl" whose honour, human rights and women’s rights Guan Eng had defended and landed him in jail, made her first public appearance at the DAP forum on "Law and Justice" at the Federal Hotel, Kuala Lumpur to publicly plead for justice for Guan Eng.

She expressed her prayer that Guan Eng could be pardoned and return to society to continue his parliamentary role to speak up for the weak, defenceless and oppressed. She also signed a personal petition to the Yang di Pertuan Agong and the Yang di Pertua Negeri, Malacca seeking a pardon for Guan Eng.
Guan Eng is in  his sixth month of imprisonment  in Kajang Prison and Anwar Ibrahim his fifth month incarceration.  Both have lost 22 pounds.

Guan Eng  went into Kajang Prison on August 25 as a very healthy young Member of Parliament.  Now, he is suffering from multiple ailments in the Kajang Prison as its conditions do not meet minimum international standards, whether in terms of food, prison cell, imprisonment conditions or medical attention.

Guan Eng now  suffers from severe back-aches as a result of having to sleep on the cold and hard cement floor, without any mattress whatsoever, in the insect-infested cell.

He has   migraine which gives him  splitting headaches. He is also suffering from inflammation of his nose.  All these ailments ensure that Guan Eng cannot have proper sleep - ailments Guan Eng never complained of before his incarceration.

Guan Eng should receive specialist care and treatment and should be hospitalised either at the Kuala Lumpur General Hospital or the Universiti Hospital, but specialist attention has been denied him by the authorities.

For more than five months, the three young children of Guan Eng have not been able to touch and embrace their father.  This surely is not the mark of a caring society.

Let Malaysians stand up and cry out that this is not justice, that this is not a caring society, and demand immediate and  urgent prison reforms for even prisoners have the right to be treated as human beings.

For a start, all prisoners in the country should be allowed to touch and embrace their young  children.  This is a mark as to whether the government is really serious about promoting family values.


*Lim Kit Siang - Malaysian Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Democratic Action Party Secretary-General & Member of Parliament for Tanjong