(Petaling Jaya, Sunday): Deputy
Home Minister, Datuk Chor Chee Heung should apologise for his deplorably
unfeeling, insensitive and offensive comments yesterday about the hunger strike
of the six ISA reformasi activists, Mohamad Ezam Mohamad Nor, Hishamuddin Rais,
Chua Tian Chang, Saari Sungib, Badrulamin Bahron and Lokman Noor Adam, which has
entered into its 12th day, protesting their anniversary
detention and demanding that they should be charged in open court or released
under the Internal Security Act.
alleged that the hunger strike of the six ISA detainees was a “blackmail”
and declared that the government would not succumb to them or pay them their
“ransom”. (Chinese press)
language and mentality is most shocking and reminds Malaysians of another
callous, unfeeling and insensitive episode in the recent history of a
neighbouring country, South Vietnam.
most enduring memory of the Vietnam War for most people was the
fateful day in early June, 1963, when
a 73-year-old Buddhist monk named Thich Quang Duc sat in a lotus position
on a busy Saigon street and, after having been soaked with gasoline by a fellow
monk, set himself on fire - and
this incredible act of protest against persecution of the Buddhists
galvanised Vietnamese and world opinion against the oppressive Ngo Dinh
Nhu, the sister-in-law of President Diem and virtual First Lady of South Vietnam
as Diem never got married,
mocked the self-immolation of Vietnamese Buddhist monks as “barbecue by
imported gasoline” and expressed her willingness to “provide the gasoline
for the next barbecue".
all, over 100 monks and nuns immolated themselves for peace during the Vietnam
is doing a Madam Nhu in his callous, unfeeling and insensitive comment about the
six ISA detainees trying to “blackmail” the government with their hunger
strike - when the hunger strike is the desperate final measure of the six
detainees to vindicate their fundamental human rights which are recognised
universally, i.e. the right to a public
trial for the serious charges of being involved in a militant plot for the
violent overthrow of the elected government to prove their innocence or to be
restored their personal liberties!
levelling of a new charge of “blackmail”
against the six ISA reformasi also invokes memory of another historical episode of callous,
unfeeling and insensitive response from the powers-that-be. Before the French Revolution, when the lower classes of France were starving and were demanding
for bread, the French Queen Marie Antoinette told the starving people to
should be ashamed of his callous, unfeeling and insensitive comments as well as
his refusal to sympathise or understand the plight of the six ISA detainees and
he should withdraw and apologise for the Madam Nhu remarks.
Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi should
dissociate himself from Chor’s callous, unfeeling and insensitive comments and
set up a high-powered task force to immediately resolve the 12-day hunger strike
of the ISA detainees.
more important, he should make sure that there are no hidden Madam Nhus and
Marie Antoinettes in the government as they make a total mockery of the Barisan
Nasional’s claim to be a caring government.