by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Thursday, 28.5.1987:
DAP cables the Prime Minister proposing an all party Parliamentary fact-finding delegation to Singapore on the arrest of 16 persons including 2 Malaysians under the Internal Security Act.
I have cabled the Prime Minister, Datuk Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, suggesting the sending of an all-party fact-finding delegation to Singapore over the arrest of 16 persons including 2 Malaysians for alleged clandestine communist activities.
My cable to Datuk Mahathir reads:
“YAB Datuk Mahathir Mohamed,
DAP’s 24 Members of Parliament and 37 State Assemblymen gravely concerned about the detention of 16 persons including two Malaysians under the Internal Security Act by the Singapore government for alleged clandestine communist activities. Suggest dispatch of an all party Malaysian Parliamentary fact-finding delegation to Singapore to investigate the detention and report back to Parliament for its meeting beginning June 29. Malaysia should set the example in Asean and South East Asia in violations of human rights wherever they occur.
Lim Kit Siang
Parliamentary Opposition Leader.”
The Malaysian all party Parliamentary delegation should have access to all persons in Singapore who could throw light on the detention including the highest Singapore officials for the violation of human rights in Singapore is the concern of all humanbeings as human rights know no national or territorial boundaries.
The Singapore government charges that the 16 persons detained, and in particular the church activities, are involved in a communist conspiracy to topple the elected system of government in Singapore are very flimsy and not credible.
In the past, both in Singapore and elsewhere, the use of the Internal Security Act to deprive persons of their liberty without trial indefinitely, has often been justified on alleged communist, pro communist, or communist united front links, when they were just mere figments of Special Branch imagination.
Public and international opinion now require a higher standard of proof than just a bald government statement of alleged subversive activities or tendencies, and this is best done by putting the persons detained on trial so that they are entitled to the fundamental right of self-defence.
2. Far Eastern Economic Review’s retraction and apology
As the Far Estern Economic Review has retracted and apologised for its report with regard to the sale of Limbang to Brunei, the government should accept the apology and let the matter rest there.
Malaysia’s reputation has been upheld with the apology and I do not think the government should resort to actions like banning the magazine or other proposals advocated by some circles and individuals for this will put Malaysia in a vindictive light.