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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Lawyer Jonson Chong on his arrest, Jan 26

This piece was lifted from Malaysiakini's Letters page today. Such action has become the norm in our everyday lives, while rape cases, robbery, and snatch thefts reach epic proportions. Ridiculous, no?

(Pic: Elizabeth Wong)

Why was I arrested?
Jonson Chong | Jan 30, 08 3:51pm

I refer to the Malaysiakini report Two nights in a police lock-up.
I was arrested at 4:30 pm on Jan 26, at a food court in the vicinity of Jalan Yap Kwan Seng, Kuala Lumpur.

I was released unconditionally from Pudu Jail (now known as Balai Polis Jalan Hang Tuah) at approximately 10:30 pm on Jan 27 after a magistrate rejected a remand application by the police to further detain me, a lawyer, and nine other people, including PKR’s Tian Chua and PAS’ Dr Hatta Ramli.

Obviously, I was annoyed that I was arrested whilst I was trying to ask the police why they wanted to arrest Tian Chua and Hatta, especially when they were merely having drinks and talking to journalists at that time. I knew that the over-zealous Special Branch personnel arbitrarily decided to arrest me because I questioned their actions.

I was amazed by how lightly police officers deal with the constitutional liberty of a citizen, not to mention a lawyer, who is otherwise also known as an ‘officer of the court’. I should highlight here also that I was not informed of the grounds of my arrest at any point of time, whether during my arrest, detention and subsequent ‘investigation’.

Luckily, sense, or maybe conscience, prevailed over the magistrate who heard the remand application against the ten of us who had the same investigating officer.

To the amazement of everyone, including the lawyers who defended all of us, the magistrate said that she was releasing us (unconditionally) because she did not find any evidence to show that the ten of us were linked to the Protes assembly that day.

By the time we walked out of Pudu Jail, I was deprived of 30 precious hours of freedom. Why? All because I acted to question the arbitrary arrest of two Malaysian citizens who happened to be leaders in their respective political parties.

Politics aside, it is high time all Malaysians take a good look at what is happening to our country. Do we want to let this go on? When are we going to make a stand and say ‘no more’?


Samuel Goh Kim Eng said...

Let's salute the fair magistrate
With enough guts to demonstrate
Her wisdom and conscience to illustrate
Innocent folks we must not ever frustrate

(C) Samuel Goh Kim Eng - 300108
Wed. 30th Jan. 2008.

Sharing said...

Where are proper procedures and human Rights?
Are they in the minds of the Police who are supposed to guard the Laws?
Or, they can even challenge anyone they afraid of or at their wish to retain?
Luckily, there is still a judge to say something!
But, how come only after 36hours!
Should Penal Code be initiated so Laws can really be acted on anyone being Outlaws!!