15 on hunger strike over ISA
Fifteen Hindraf supporters launched a hunger strike on Sunday to demand the abolition of a tough security law which the government says is needed to combat terrorism, organisers said.
"The five-day hunger strike is to protest against the draconian Internal Security Act (ISA) and to demand all detainees are freed," S. Jayathas, coordinator of the rights group Hindraf which organised the strike, told AFP.
CORRUPTED BARISAN NASIONAL
"The hunger strike is also to demand the government end all injustices in Malaysia and stop discriminating against minority Indians."
The ISA, a relic of the British colonial era when it was used to fight a communist insurgency, allows for renewable two-year periods of detention without trial.
The government says it is a vital tool to fight terrorism, but rights groups say the law has been improperly used to silence government critics, and that detainees are mentally and physically tortured.
Rights groups say 70 people, mainly alleged Islamic militants, are being held under the ISA.
Hunger strikers to only take water
The protesters are staging their hunger strike at a small temple north of Kuala Lumpur.
Some of those taking part are relatives of five Hindu Rights Action Front (Hindraf) leaders, who are being held under the ISA.
The five, one of whom is a state lawmaker, were arrested after enraging the government last November by mounting a mass rally alleging discrimination against Malaysia's minority ethnic Indians.
Ethnic Indians make up less than eight percent of the 27-million-strong population of the mainly Muslim Malay country.
Jayathas said the protesters would only consume water during the strike. -- Malaysiakini
These bunch of jokers appears to have not learnt their lesson.
Hindraf or now disguised as 'Makkal Sakhti' appears to take cue from Tamil Nadu where numerous hunger strikes are held as a form of protest almost everyday.
It's quite funny that those held in India usually last a day, from 9am to 5pm and everyone goes back after that. Hindraf's hunger strike allows protesters to consume water. What 'hunger strike'?, they must be either joking or scared that the would not even last till the evening of the first day. They were also seen holding Gandhi's potraits. If they wish to emulate Gandhi, then they should not consume anything at all.
I think this is a first ever 'hunger' strike anywhere that allows protesters to consume water. Malaysia Book Of Records should have been there to record the moment of history made in our soil.
Hindaf's previous hunger strikes, reportedly in January and August met with poor support from their blood brothers, who had more important things, like job and family to take care rather than simply waste hours of their time.
The same is expected to happen this time, only 15 people are willing to participate. Whatever happened to thousands of their supporters!, I predict that the hunger strike will not last for days as expected.
Knowing well the characterictics of Hindraf supporters, I will not be surprised if participants run to nearest Indian restaurants for few servings of banana leave rice after a day.
I was at a Indian wedding last week, few of the staunch supporters spoke nothing of the hunger strike or Hindraf. One of them hosted the lavish wedding and another private bash at home, one has gone for a long holiday, one preparing for a birthday bash, while some came (few hundred kilometres) all the way from KL, put up a the nearest hotel to join the after dinner drinks.
This is maybe their version of "the result of years of discrimination, marginalisation, abject poverty and ethnic cleansing"..