Shylock mentality of Musa in wanting his “pound of flesh” most deplorable and call on Abdullah Badawi to intervene to direct reinstatement of the seven university students suspended for participation in a peaceful anti-ISA demonstration
by Lim Kit Siang
(Petaling Jaya, Saturday): It is shocking and most disappointing that there has been no sympathy, support or even empathy from any top Barisan Nasional leader for the plight of the seven university students suspended for participation in a peaceful anti-Internal Security Act (ISA) demonstration in June 2001.
The “ISA 7” - Rafzan Ramli, Helma Sanudin, Khairul Amal Mahmood, Ahmad Kamal Abdul Hamid, Wan Sanusi Wan Mohd Noor, Nik Noorhafizi Nik Ismail and Zulkifli Idris from Universiti Malaya, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia and Universiti Teknologi Mara – are charged with illegal assembly and their trial will resume tomorrow.
The demand by the Education Minister, Tan Sri Musa Mohamad for an apology from the seven as a condition for their reinstatement is reminiscent of Shylock in wanting his “pound of flesh” and is most unworthy of an Education Minister in a government professing commitment to a “caring society”.
DAP calls on the next Prime Minister-in-waiting, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to personally intervene in this protracted matter which had dragged out for more than two years depriving the seven of their fundamental right to education because of their prolonged suspension by the various universities.
Abdullah should direct the immediate reinstatement of the seven so that they could join the new university term which has just started and catch up on their interrupted studies, while the Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail should withdraw the charges against the seven.
The seven students have proven to be ahead of the establishment in their thinking and idealism in opposing the draconian ISA, which was recently castigated by Suhakam in its recent report recommending its repeal after an in-depth review of the detention-without-trial ISA.
The seven students have suffered enough with their two-year university suspensions and there should be an end to their vindictive persecution
for commendable manifestation of sound core values of justice in opposing the ISA by immediately reinstating them to the various universities to complete their interrupted studies.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman