Monthly Archives: August 2008

Whittington’s Cat notes for Panto Terror.

Punch and Judy. The grim and glum reality of opportunism is today more and more prevalent, more and more accessed, acquiesced, more or more or less bad, worse than before. We are confronted on all sides by both overt and covert ‘research’ groups, by think tanks and lobbyists, who have decided – in a climate of total war – that we need to attend to (the control of) the global public sphere. The tanksters are interested in ideas, in projects and in strategies, they are interested in the management of feelings, the orchestration of responses, they are interested in refining a certain clarity of message. They bring us bread and circuses – both stale.

Their boosterism says nothing. The climate they encourage thrives on the sentiment of abstract disengagement – alongside the promulgation of procedure and the ‘dictatorship of the secretariat’ – they persuade us that we abjure our interest or involvement in political questions because a) things are too complex and b) complexity needs to be controlled.

These people are sceptics who rail against scepticism. They present themselves as those who present answers, but the way they do so cynically narrows the space of answers to a tightly controlled furrow. The engagement they favour is disengagement except on their own studiously abstract terms. There is no room for the questioning of sceptics in their cynical world.

And then they sometimes claim they are for democracy – but not broadband democracy or open debate – rather a pay-per-view, programme management, narrowcasting, niche-market democracy. Their democracy excludes debate, questions, objections and alternatives. They have long ago vetoed the possibility of thinking outside the box, for there lies danger, difference, a multiplicity that cannot be corralled. The box must always have a brand mark, a slogan, a font or a strapline – sometimes just a colour (the colour is always drab).

They promote their insights as research, as scholarship, as traditional values and as wisdom – but they are faceless, passionless, automatons – going though the motions (jack boots are not far away, but they forgo them for frequent flyer miles and airport lounge privileges).

I do of course think there are more than two sides – the lines shift and the players change, sometimes swapping, sometimes double agents. But there are some, the best you can say of them is that while they are one of ‘them’, they do at least talk like ‘us’. We should carefully watch these ones especially.

Who are they? In fact they are us. Turn again Dick Whittington, Turn again.

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And why Dick Whittington? – see here for both the real and the Pantomime story, where a cloth-merchant adventurer pilfers some gold, travels to the orient to get rich, and returns to London to become Mayor. OK, this all happened 700 years ago, but the cat seems to have nine lives. These are notes for Pantomime Terror – inaugural on 30/09/08 (5.30, IGLT Goldsmiths).

Laura

Goldsmiths ‘Staff Hallmark’ newspaper noticed Laura King’s, and my, recent article on the excellent television series Battlestar Galactica, published in the second (print) issue of Stimulus Respond. You can click on the image  alongside here to read the Hallmark story, or click on the Stims link for our original article (the hallmark story has a little item on the previously mentioned nursery ‘expansion’ beneath – have a look and read between the frakking lines).

You can subscribe to Stimulus via here. See the preview here.

Update: We’ve just had a longer essay on BSG and colonialism accepted for a book in the US, but we’ve not yet done the proofs. We will soon. In the meantime, people are are breathless as if they’d been airlocked about the impending end to the series. See here (spoiler alert if you’ve not seen as far as S04e17).


Release – Graduate Student Conference, 02/09/08

Release!

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

10am – 6pm

Ben Pimlott Lecture Theatre

Graduate Student Conference

Centre for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths, University of London

Release! is the Centre for Cultural Studies’ annual MA students conference: a moment of friendly and relaxing interactivity. Everyone is invited to attend, participate and discuss about the latest outcomes of cultural research at Goldsmiths.

To release refers in this case to the act of unbinding or undoing – not as a denial of the path followed over the course of the degree, but as a turning point. The momentum of the flow of the activity is no longer inwards, but becomes released outwards; the solitude of reading, researching and writing is replaced by the joy of sharing and questioning.

Being Released! can be a physical activity of liberation from confinement, obligation or even pain. It can also be a device put into place to unfasten a mechanism.

Release! provides the opportunity to celebrate an activity that has reached its end…in order to be replaced by other activity.

We extend a warm invitation to all to join us next Tuesday, 2 September in the Ben Pimmlot Lecture Theatre, 10am – 6pm.

Later, party!

This is the Release! of our papers and our Release! party!


Release.ccsgold@googlemail.com

http://releaseconference.blogspot.com/

Bakun and other damn floods

My friends at Suaram have been vigilant where no-one else has. I wrote on Bakun dam, resettlement and anthropological complicity in the journal Left Curve years ago (see link at the end of this post), and I remain interested in the politics of dams in general (from Aswan to Narmada to the Snowy Mountains). That there be opportunist politicians and compromised anthropologists comes as no surprise, but that they think they can pass themselves off as do-gooders (or at best naive) is not something that should pass unremarked. That Bakun and Suaram activists keep working at this juncture no doubt needs more support than this, and of course it would be good to see more than calls for an economic rethink, more than an expose of the schemings of piggy pollies, and surely more than a solidarity blog post like this. But the first step is to be informed, and Dr Kua Kia Soong leads the way.

THE SARAWAK DAMS: MULTIPLE FOLLIES

By Dr Kua Kia Soong, Director of SUARAM, 22 August 2008

The recent announcement that the Sarawak government intends to build 12 more dams in Sarawak apart from the ill-fated Bakun dam is cause for concern. It is a cause for grave concern. Malaysian tax payers, Malaysian forests and Malaysian indigenous peoples will again be the main victims of this misconceived plan.

The stop starting since the damned project was first proposed in the seventies, the proposal and abandonment of the aluminium smelter, the upsizing and downsizing of the dam, the inclusion or exclusion of the undersea cable project are all symptomatic of a wanton disregard for planning. Let us remind Malaysians of the ludicrous inconsistencies of official policy on this damned project:

On Off On Off On

In 1980, the Bakun dam was proposed with a power generating capacity of 2400 MW even though the projected energy needs for the whole of Sarawak was only 200MW for 1990. The project was thus coupled with the proposal to build the world’s longest (650 km) undersea cable to transmit electricity to the peninsula. An aluminium smelter at Bintulu was also proposed to take up the surplus energy.

In 1986, the project was abandoned because of the economic recession although the then Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir announced just before the UN Conference on Environment & Development at Rio that this was “proof of Malaysia’s commitment to the environment” (NST, 13.6.90)

In 1993, with the upturn in the Malaysian economy, the Government once again announced the revival of the Bakun HEP project. To cushion the expected protests, the Energy Minister Samy Vellu gave Parliament a poetic description of a “series of cascading dams” and not one large dam as had been originally proposed. Before long, it was announced that the Bakun dam would be a massive 205-metre high concrete face rockfill dam, one of the highest dams of its kind in the world and it would flood an area the size of Singapore Island. The undersea cable was again part of the project. There was also a plan for an aluminium plant, a pulp and paper plant, the world’s biggest steel plant and a high-tension and high-voltage wire industry.

Then in 1997, with the onset of the Asian financial crisis the Bakun project was put on hold for the second time. But the scandal was, while the anthropologists in all the Malaysian universities were sound asleep, the Government proceeded to remove 10,000 indigenous peoples made up of fifteen different ethnic groups from their ancestral lands. All this happened while the project was on hold and Malaysians shouted “Malaysia Boleh!”

In 1999, after the economy had recovered, the Government again announced that the project would be resumed albeit on a smaller scale of 500MW capacity.

Before long in 2001, the 2400MW scale was once again proposed although the submarine cable had been shelved. Today we read reports about the government and companies still contemplating this hare-brained scheme which is now estimated to cost a whopping RM21 billion! Not only that, we now hear that the 12 more hydroelectric dams will be generating a total capacity of 7000MW by 2020 – an increase of 600 per cent from current capacity!

Who Pays?

Ultimately it will be the Malaysian consumers who pay for this expensive figment of the Chief Minister’s wild imagination. Enough tax payers’ money has been wasted – Sarawak Hidro has already spent some RM1.5 billion on the project. The human cost has been immeasurable – 10,000 indigenous peoples have been removed from their ancestral lands in 1998 even while the project had been shelved.

Improve the Efficiency of our Power Stations

If the Prime Minister really wants to know the state of the Malaysian energy industry, he should ask for independent audits on every power station in the country. These should preferably be done by reputable international audit authorities from outside Malaysia. We are told that TNB is now selling off property, power stations are not working at full capacity and that the electricity industry is hugely indebted.

Right now, the country is being fed conflicting reports about energy demand. There is supposed to be a 43% oversupply of electricity capacity in peninsula Malaysia. Experienced Bakun dam watchers will tell you such conflicting and mutually contradictory assertions have been used by the dam proponents to justify every flip flop of this misconceived project.

Show Us the Plan!

Apart from the economic cost and the wastage, how are investors supposed to plan for the long-term and medium term? What is the long-term plan for Bakun? Can Bakun compete with the rest of the world or for that matter, Indonesia?

Aluminium smelters to take up the bulk of Bakun electricity have been mentioned ever since the conception of the Bakun dam project because they are such a voracious consumer of energy. Even so, has there ever been any proper assessment of the market viability of such a project with the cheaper operating costs in China?

Does it matter that the co-owner of one of the smelters is none other than Cahaya Mata Sarawak (CMS) Bhd Group that is controlled by Chief Minister Taib’s family business interest?

Clearly, Bakun energy and Sarawak’s tin pot governance do not give confidence to investors. First it was Alcoa, and then Rio Tinto also had second thoughts about investing in Sarawak.

Damn the Dams

Concerned NGOs have all along called for the abandonment of this monstrous Bakun dam project because it is economically ill-conceived, socially disruptive and environmentally disastrous. The environmental destruction is evident many miles downstream since the whole Bakun area has been logged by those who have already been paid by Sarawak Hidro.

The social atrophy among the 10,000 displaced indigenous peoples at Sungei Asap resettlement scheme remains the wicked testimony of the Mahathir/Taib era. The empty promises and damned lives of the displaced peoples as forewarned by the Concerned NGOs in 1999 have now been borne out.

The economic viability of the Bakun dam project has been in doubt from the beginning and the new scheme to build 12 more dams merely represents multiple follies and a scandalous flaw in planning.

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This was from Suaram. The money shot is from a blog post a few days back noting that ‘some 2,000 people from 400 families living downstream of the RM6bil Bakun hydro-electric dam project site in Belaga district in central Sarawak had been served eviction notices by the State Land and Survey Department’.

On the Politics of large dams, see Patrick McCully’s book Silenced Rivers, and an old piece of mine on the Bakun scheme from Left Curve #23 1999 ‘Resettling Bakun: Consultancy, Anthropologists and Development’.

Dear John

I like to get random mail. Here’s one just out of the post bag:

Dear Professor Hutnyk,

I’m doing a feature for the October edition of Museums Journal about live music in museums, and the fashion for getting rock and pop bands in particular to play in museums. Recent examples include Duran Duran playing at The Louvre, British Sea Power playing at the Natural History Museum, and Simian Mobile Disco playing at American Museum of Natural History. I was wondering if you might be prepared to comment for the piece?

Specifically, it seems that there is an increasing divergence between what was once considered high and low or pop culture, and that where traditionally those people who might visit museums would not listen to popular music, now it is more acceptable that their cultural palette would include both – would you agree? If so, is the cause of the divergence due to changing tastes or the power of market forces, or both, or perhaps something else entirely?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Best wishes,
Patrick

My reply:

Hi Patrick

I’m not sure what you mean by an ‘increasing divergence between what was once considered high and low … culture’ since the example you offer, of pop music in museums, actually suggests a convergence doesn’t it? I think that is what you probably meant – and curiously enough, this is precisely the argument I think many people intentionally miss in the work of Theodor Adorno. As I argued in Critique of Exotica (Pluto 2000), the charge against Adorno is that he is elitist, but his point is rather different I think, in that he was saying that both Beethoven and mass cultural forms were both being turned into product for the ‘culture industry’. Henceforth all culture would be produced ‘as if’ it were industrial product. We can all see this today in the repetitive blinking of signs, and brands, and branded museums; in the ways galleries like Tate, the V&A, as well as the BFI, or any number of museums market themselves; and in the ugly boosterist (new-labourite) terminologies of ‘creative industries’ that some hope will provide London with the ability to side-step economic ruin after manufacturing moved elsewhere and we spent all the spare cash on the 2012 Olympics. In this context Adorno seems to have never been more relevant. Consider what is happening at museums – the restaurant, with laminate tables and mood lighting, the ubiquitous coffee outlet (Eat Me or Costly Coffee whatever they are called) and of course the bookshop. Mind you, I miss London‘s old great bookshops (Compendium, and other Leftwing bookshops – with only Haussman’s still flying the flags) but I do think the Tate Modern bookshop is a piece of utopia. So might Adorno – he himself has become a culture industry too of course. There are several new biographies since the 100th anniversary of his birth, many of them available for sale in the ‘critical theory’ section of Tate Bookshop, and elsewhere. The Detlef Claussen one is particularly good, but I also liked the Jager one..

By the way, your example of Duran Duran is not the first but rather one in a long line that might be traced back – see the Horniman Museum for older examples (I guess all that ‘ethnic’ music started something huh – the aural in museums is often neglected when those spaces have such great resonance). Anyway, Duran Duran had the culinary wants of wild beasts – they take their name from Barbarella don’t they – so I guess they might have had a splash of Adorno on their cultural palette also.

In any case, I’m not sure I can help you for your article, but I think Teddy could. The Rottweiler is always worth a look.

all best
John

(Pic is Alaska – a dog at the Terriet Music Festival in Wales, duly commodified).

upcoming/incoming

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So a new term begins soon:

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My Inagaural Public Lecture as Professor is on 30th September, at 5.30 in the Ian Gulland Lecture Theatre. You need an invite card from the College, so email me if you wanna come. Its an hour, but then we move directly to refreshments in a place that is (I’m sure) smirkingly called the Senior Common Room. And on elsewhere after that too…

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My lecture course on Capital Volume One is on thursdays 11am-1pm from October 2nd for 11 weeks. (“Capitalism and Cultural Studies” for MAs and PhDs, with MA option seminars later in the afternoon). Again, email me for a course guide.

CU71012A Cultural Studies & Capitalism

Course Leader: Prof John Hutnyk

Time: Autumn, Thursday 11-1 pm

Room: RHB 143

Assessment: 5,000 word essay

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Also, I’ll be giving a talk in Malmö (26 October tbc?) on a topic parsed from a recent post on this blog, though its not my parsing – still, an attempt off the cuff might just work (and the necessity is not all mine).

AT HOME AWAY FROM HOME

In what ways does movement imply change? What happens when the artists, musicians and performers move across and against boundaries between nations, languages, cultures and genres? Can consideration of creativity in terms of transformation and movement generate new methods for the study of home and belonging; of globalisation, creolisation, hybridity and fusion; of political work, alliances and aspirations?

HÖRA HEMMA?

Innebär förflyttning alltid förändring, och isåfall; hur? Vad händer när artister och musiker rör sig över och på tvärs mot vedertagna gränser mellan nationer, språk, kulturer och genrer? Om man talar om kreativitetens villkor i ljuset av gränsöverskridanden, föds kanske också nya sätt att se på begrepp som hem- och tillhörighet, globalisering, det mångkulturella och det hybrida. Och kanske reser det frågor om skapandet av nya politiska samhörigheter.

Medverkande:

John Hutnyk with Dritero Kasapi and Saadia Hussein

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And (finally, for now) the Sonic Diaspora Laboratory, mentioned here is on from November 3rd through November 8th. Invite only for the whole thing, but some of the days will be public. More details will be posted in due course.

The Society of Dissonance

Notes for Sonic with Julian.

The sound of contemporary society within which the entrepreneurial mode of fabrication prevails, is one which flails about with immense clamour and commotion, the noise of each elementary moment now bereft of shape or form.

The Society of Racket, The Society of Din, The Society of Uproar or The Society of Dissonance – its clear as a bell that the spectacle has been drowned out by a cacophony of beats. It was never more or less the right time, but now might be when we need to be rethinking the visual/geographic biases of text-image based cultural comprehension, in order to sound out new critical questioning and evoke – metaphors at the ready – abstractly aural registers with which to practice politics. We think.

Such a politics would be echoed in the sonic reverberations of protest movements of old – the chants, songs, hubbub, the drums, critique, tone, the sirens, the roar, helicopters, loudspeakers, whistles and horns, and those mad(denning) anarcho drummers etc., – right through to the dominant ker-ching of cash register commerce. By way of the self-selecting sonic domination of ipod-wearing or mantra chanting devotees of the music promo, through to the resonances of self-criticism and interrogation as testimony to knowledge practices both emancipatory and oppressive. The stomp of marching jackboots or the anguished ‘NO’ of revolt – the lyrical romanticism of alternatives and the thud of hard cash. The rumble of tanks, the bang of car bombs, the doom doom doom of the bass drum; the tonality of critique trumps perverse property. New tools for thinking the border beyond geography, beyond the logic of the visual, beyond property and supremacy.

Add to Cross Border and Resonance Beyond Text.

Police Detention facilities in Southwark, Walworth Rd and Peckham

Our good friends at the Institute of Race Relations provided a link to this report recently released by the HM Inspectorate on Police Detention facilities in Southwark, Walworth Rd and Peckham. It condemns the condition of the holding cells (used for detaining a range of people on suspicion of offences or immigration irregularities, with Southwark almost wholly dedicated to immigration detainees) . The conditions as reported are disgusting. Yet the report reads bizarrely, mixing stunningly bland statements with atrocities – but overall the character of these human sinkholes cannot be hidden. Even the selected quotations from the survey at the end would suggest to anyone who has read Michael Otterman’s expose American Torture (Pluto Press) that there is also an English war crimes indictment to be written. The full report is available here.

There is lots of horrific stuff on conditions and procedures to read, but below I have excerpted only the quotes. The last one I guess is the (state of) exceptional good news!

Report on an inspection visit to police custody suites in Southwark Basic Command Unit
21 – 22 April 2008
by HM Inspectorate of Prisons and HM Inspectorate of Constabulary

Q38 Do you have any other comments about your time in police custody?
Example comments included:
“They called my solicitor to come, but got told to wait a few hours.” (Unknown)
“[I had to wait for a solicitor] god knows how long, over a day.” (Peckham)
“The police were intimidating and not professional and lacked any skills when dealing with
human beings.” (Walworth Road)
“Asked for clean clothes which were brought in, but not given. I had the same clothes on for
almost 48 hours.” (Walworth Road)
“There have been other times when ‘Lights were left on’. The officer in charge seemed to have
a personal conflict against me, saying he would get me ’25 Rothams’ then not and getting me to
sign a notebook with ‘No comment’ on it.” (Walworth Road)
“…the officer made a point of telling me how badly he wanted to keep me in the station and not
give me bail.” (Walworth Road)
“The pillow and blanket smelt of piss.” (Walworth Road)
“…they need to raise their hygiene standards.” (Peckham)
“I was surprised that everything was to the book, I’m used to getting a bashing.” (Walworth
Road)

Metropolitan Police, “Working Together for A Safer London” Performance Information Bureau: Borough Breakdown of Stop and Search under the Terrorism Act in March 2008, released 17/7/08

The Full Report Here, lets you compare Copper’s view of ethnicity with Victim’s declared ethnicity. I include this text with a nod to the Lewisham bus dragnet around the same time, as mentioned previously here.

Abolish Malaysian Detentions/Internal Security Act

I have written on this before, here, and now it really is time Malaysia decided to lead the world and abolish their outrageous ISA (holdover from the anti-communist Emergency, and legacy of British colonialism). Seriously guys, get rid of this embarrassment, even if it means getting rid of Badawi as well.

GERAKAN MANSUHKAN ISA

Press Statement: 1st August 2008

48 Years of ISA: We have had enough!

1st August marks 48 years of existence of the draconian and infamous law called the Internal Security Act (ISA). The ISA has its origin in the Emergency Regulations Ordinance 1948, which served its purpose and was subsequently repealed when the Emergency ended on 30th July, 1960. However, the power of detention without trial under Regulation 17 was subsequently transformed into Part II of the ISA.

In 1989, ISA detainees’ recourse to the courts of law was further curtailed when we dutifully followed our southern neighbor in ousting judicial review in matters concerning the minister’s power to detain any person under ISA. With the amendment, detainees can now only challenge the detention on procedural grounds.

Abuse and torture under ISA

Under the ISA, detainees are subject to an initial 60-day detention period in special police holding centers, allegedly for the purpose of investigation. No judicial order is required for such detentions. The locations of these holding centers are kept secret, and detainees are transported to and fro in blindfolds. Visits by family members are purely discretionary and, contrary to Article 5(3) of the Federal Constitution, detainees are denied access to lawyers. As a result, the ISA has morphed into a powerful instrument of fear and suppression.

There have been many reports of abuse and torture perpetrated on ISA detainees during their detention. Among them have been: continuous interrogation by Special Branch officers for long hours without any breaks; threat of indefinite detention if detainees fail to answer questions directed by the officers; detainees kept in a small dark room; being forced to drink their own urine etc. There have also been reports of the Police Special Branch (SB) officers hitting the detainees’ penis and inserting hard objects into their anuses. The physical abuse has often been accompanied by vulgar and obscene words.

In a recent case, Sanjeev Kumar Krishnan (25) is now confined to a wheelchair as he has become partially paralyzed as a result of torture while under ISA detention, having lost the function of his left leg and hand. In another case, when the daughter of a current detainee, Shahrial Sirin, was hospitalized in serious condition, authorities delayed permission for him to visit her; by the time he was finally brought to the hospital his daughter had already died.

The Use of ISA under Abdullah Badawi

Since Abdullah Badawi came to power in 2003, the ISA has continued to be used in the same way in the name of “national security”, on people ranging from persons allegedly spreading rumours through SMS, to political dissidents and alleged “terrorists.” In 2007, the government continued its tactic of creating a climate of fear through the use of the ISA, threatening to invoke it upon bloggers who allegedly wrote inflammatory statements and upon those who participated in street demonstrations. This was stepped up in the run-up to the 2008 general election, and has continued to this date to prop up the ruling party’s weakened hold to the power.

Based on GMI’s monitoring, as of 30th June 2008, there were 64 detainees in the Kamunting Detention Camp. Most of them are alleged members of “religious extremist groups” including the Jemaah Islamiah (JI), while another significant number comprises those allegedly involved in counterfeiting currency or falsifying documents, and also THE 5 Hindu Rights Action Force (HINDRAF)  activists. To date, none of the detainees has been charged with any offence in an open court. More than half of them are into their second detention order and out of that number, 24 are serving their sixth years detention and seven of them namely Yazid bin Suffat, Suhaimi bin Mokhtar, Shahrial @ Syahrial bin Sirin , Abdullah bin Daud , Abdullah Minyak bin Silam , Mat Sah bin Mohd Satray and Shamsuddin bin Sulaiman  are serving their seven year of detention.

We have a vast array of laws which provide an adequate legal frame-work to deal with threats against national security, counterfeiting currency or falsifying documents which do not by contravene universally accepted principles of justice and human rights. Why, therefore, is the ISA still needed?

GMI, in existence for more than seven years, has succeeded, through its many programmes, in raising public awareness about the injustice and cruelty of the ISA. It has also been able to put continuous pressure on the government by campaigning at home and abroad. As part of an intensive programme to campaign against the seventh year of detention of a number of current detainees, GMI has produced several publications and pamphlets which have been distributed throughout the country. A candle-light vigil was held outside the Kamunting detention camp on the eve of the sixth anniversary of the longest-standing detentions, and more recently a large public gathering was held in a stadium in Shah Alam.

Since the March 8 general election, with 82 Members Parliament and five states under its controls, the Pakatan Rakyat (People’s Alliance) representatives have shown commitment to free the detainees and repeal the ISA. Several of State Governments concerned have also provided the much needed aid to the detainees’ families. GMI welcomes these commitment and measures taken by the Pakatan Rakyat governments.

GMI is encouraged by the growing public and international support for its campaign and resolves to continue with its work until its aims are achieved. In the following months, GMI will continue to focus on raising public awareness through exhibitions, petition on-line and signature campaigns. Specifically as one of the campaign against 48 years of the draconian ISA, a program open to public, called “Malam Seni ‘Tanpa Bicara'” will be held on the 2nd August 2008 in Bazar Melawati, Taman Melawati, Hulu Kelang, Selangor.

Finally, GMI once more urges the Government of Malaysia:

  • To immediately and unconditionally release all persons presently detained without trial, or prosecute them in a public and fair trial.
  • To immediately repeal all laws which allow for detention without trial, such as the ISA, Emergency Ordinance (EO) and Dangerous Drugs Act (DDA).
  • To immediately close all detention camps where detainees are held without trial.
  • To apologize to all detainees – past and present – held without trial, and provide compensation for their suffering, anguish and the injustice perpetrated upon them.
  • To investigate all complaints and cases of victimization, torture, cruel, degrading and inhuman treatment, tyranny and abuse of power in relation to past and present ISA detentions, and to prosecute the perpetrators by establishing a Royal Commission of Inquiry for the said purpose.

● To immediately debate SUHAKAM’s reports in Parliament and implement its recommendations to repeal ISA and other restricted laws.

  • To commit to a monthly dialogue session on human rights issues with representatives of SUHAKAM, the Attorney-General’s Chambers, non-governmental organizations, human rights groups and the Bar Council.
  • To recognize, respect and restore the inherent powers of the Judiciary as an independent check on the powers of the Executive and police, including repealing laws which have ousted the judicial review of Executive actions or decisions.

Abolish ISA!

Release all ISA Detainees!

Close down KEMTA!

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