Keng Yaik’s ignominious turnabout to support ISA arrests solely based on hearsay without any hard evidence dishonourable and deplorable

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Penang, Sunday): The ignominious turnabout of the Gerakan President and Primary Industries Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Lim Keng Yaik to support the ISA arrests of the eight reformasi activists solely based on hearsay without any hard evidence is most dishonourable and deplorable.

Although he did not go as far as the three Penang Gerakan State Executive Councillors, Dr. Toh Kin Woon, Dr. Teng Hock Nam and Kee Phaik Chin to express their opposition to the use of the Internal Security Act (ISA), he did earlier express his reservations about the use of the detention-without-trial law which is a fundamental breach of human rights and the rule of law.

Suddenly, without any evidence, Keng Yaik has become a full convert to support the ISA detention of the eight, declaring: “The truth is that they were arrested for endangering the security of the country and not for political gains of anyone including the Barisan Nasional”.

Can Keng Yaik disclose where he discovered such a “truth” and what evidence are there to back his new “truth”?

With the ignominious turnabout, the MCA Deputy Home Minister, Datuk Chor Chee Heung  seems vindicated when he said that all Barisan Nasional members are in support of the ISA except several middle-rung leaders who were unsure of the provisions of ISA or should do more homework on it.

There is  a need for all rungs of the Gerakan leadership to make clear their stand on the ISA and all the other repressive and draconian laws which Suhakam has acknowledged violate all international norms of  human rights.

As Suhakam has called for the immediate release of the eight detained under the ISA, is Keng Yaik prepared to raise the Suhakam call at the Cabinet meeting for discussion on Wednesday?

*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman