Friday, 07-Dec-2001 4:07 PM
often have we heard someone say, "You are free to go?"
This is certainly music to the ears of any detainee longing for
in Malaysia you can be told, "You may go but you are not free."
This is exactly what has happened to Ustaz Dr Badrulamin Bahron,
the recently released Internal Security Act detainee.
Badrulamin was released from detention with a string of conditions
that practically place him under house arrest. He may not leave
the Gombak area without police approval. If he does, he will be
carted back to Kamunting faster than you can shout "Reformasi!"
Furthermore, he is to stay indoors between 10.00 p.m. and 6.00 a.m.
If he breaks this curfew, he will be re-arrested. And every Monday,
by 6.00 p.m, he is to report at the nearest police station and sign
the register book.
not all. Dr Badrulamin cannot hold office in any political party,
he cannot contest for any political position, he may not attend
or participate in any political activity, and he is not allowed
to give a talk in a public place. In short, the only political thingy
Dr Badrulamin may indulge in is to cast his vote in a general election.
question here is: are all these restrictions con-stitutional? Dr
Badrulamin has been released from detention but is virtually under
house arrest. Can the government do this?
Badrulamin has never been charged or convicted of any crime. He
was detained on suspicion that he was planning to commit a crime.
What the basis of this suspicion was and whether, in the first place,
there was any basis for the suspicion was never clarified.
has become very apparent that Dr Badrulamin is a victim of political
persecution and oppression. Maybe he should be made to wear an armband
to clearly identify him as a restricted resident just like what
the Nazis in Germany did to the Jews. Or should he be tattooed instead,
to permanently mark him as a danger to society?