Sep 25, 2008

Tour of Kamunting Detention Camp

Extract a Report from Straits Times Singapore as reported by Reme Ahmad who was given a tour of the Kamunting Detention Camp.

IN May 2004, I was among a group of some 30 journalists who were allowed into the dreaded Kamunting detention camp in remote Perak. Kamunting is a high-security prison where Internal Security Act (ISA) detainees - who can be imprisoned without trial - are often held. In Malaysia, the terms ISA and Kamunting go together. If you are arrested under the ISA, you are often first brought to Bukit Aman (ironically, Hill of Peace in Malay) headquarters of the federal police, or the Police Remand Centre for interrogation, and then onwards to Kamunting.

The latest to hit the news with his transfer from Bukit Aman to Kamunting was blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin yesterday. He sadly joined the five leaders of the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) who were detained since December last year.

That 2004 visit was the first, and only time since, that journalists were allowed into the camp to see its living conditions. It was part of Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi's liberalisation policy - he had just won big-time in the March 2004 (yes, March 2004, not 2008) general elections and the government was full of confidence and promise. It had won 90 per cent of seats in Parliament - a record.

The visit was hosted by then-Deputy Home Minister Noh Omar who wanted to show journalists that the government had nothing to hide, despite the noise made then by the opposition, rights groups and families of the detainees that horrible things are happening inside.

I shivered as I looked around this Malaysian Alcatraz, with its trimmed lawns. This was a place where Clint Eastwood could escape from. The 114ha camp (about 140 football fields) had double security checks before anyone is allowed in or out. And if one could cut through one set of fence, there is another layer of fence to deal with.

For the Full Report go HERE.

3 comments:

Ted Torrence said...

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Anonymous said...

Hawkeye,
Please help to get RPK out of Kamunting.

ahoo said...

It is just so inhumane to have people in there ( Kamunting ). Desperate people do desperate things. Those that fear for their own shadow are the ones can simply charged others under ISA.

As in the case of RPK's, why throw him there if the charges are genuine ? Let him face the court and answer to all the charges that had been lodged against him. There are so many pending charges against him in courts, why silent him ? If he had ridiculed Islam, is it not the duty of the Islamic dept to charge him ? If he is a threat to the nation, answer the people, on what threat is the minister talking about ? You cannot simply charge someone just because his views differs from yours. Neither can you charge him just because you have the power at hand.

I personally doubted that RPK's is a threat to the nation as alleged but certainly to some in power that this man may cause irrepairable damages if allow his days in court and thus just sent him off to silence him.

Let us all pray the God will intervene for surely goodness and mercy will follow those that fear Him and not the govt of the day. They that sow evil will reap what they sow and justice will prevail.

Followers