Monday, November 10, 2008

RPK’s First Speech Upon Release From ISA Detention At Seremban Vigil. (Updated with Video)

Benz emailed me this and requested me to share it with all of you out there. Thanks, Benz! My honour, indeed. Here goes...
I don’t want to say too much tonight. It’s been a very long two months. Err.. I haven’t eaten for two months (laughter from the crowd). I just wanna say thank you so much and err.. We’ll be keeping (pause). Hopefully we can keep fighting together and get ISA abolish, and I met many people inside there. Some have been errr..8 years. Up to 8 years in detention without any trial. They don’t know when they are going to be out. Errr… Some have been there 5…6 years and their family are suffering, because they are there and their family does not able to earn any income. Some of them like from Sabah. Their family are too poor to visit them. So…. some of them don’t even get any family visits for a few months. So…and err…
When I got release, they ask me, how long are we going to be here, I said, hopefully another month and you all are going to be out. And may be a new government and we have to make sure Anwar is going to be that Prime Minister by December (Yeahs and cheers from the crowd). People, about 70 80 people still under ISA. They said, “Kita sudah sini 8 tahun, keluarga pun dah beberapa bulan tak jumpa. Jangan lupa kita ehhh…” I’ve said (pause) ….. I’ve been here, I know what it’s like, This is my second ISA, not my first. I know what’s it like to be separated from your family and knowing that your family, you know is at home and don’t know whether they are eating or not? I know what it’s like, so I said, err.. I’ll deliver your message to the people outside.
Many people still do not know what, what ISA is all about. They will not get to meet you. But errr..I said, have faith. There are a lot of people out there, fighting for the ISA to be abolish and for you all to be free and send home to your families, and they said err…. “Tell all our people outside there, Kita sudah 8 tahun sini”. They don’t think they’re going to be freed unless ISA be abolish. “Please fight for us and pray for us” That’s was what they told me. There’s about 70 80 people there, hoping that one day, that is, they will going to be free to go back to their family. That’s basically the message from them to you, which they ask me to deliver.
It was quite sad, I met most of them, almost all of them. And all of them are nice people, as suppose to be terrorist and everything and err… When I met these people, I can’t understand how they can be terrorist. And errr… they always concern about me, they come to me, they wanna give me bread and give me biscuit and stuff like that you know? And err.. so I told them no. I’m OK. And errrr… and I said, look, you guys have been here 8 years, I’ve been here 2 months and you are so concern about me. You should be concern about yourself, you know? And they told me that you are our lead with the outside world, so we want you to get out of here and tell the people that there’s a lot of us here have been here for 8 years. So please help us come out.
And err… So that’s my message from them to you. Lets keep fighting on ISA, and errr… Abolish ISA. And err…What they says is true, if we have committed a crime, put us on trial and err… then if the court found us guilty, send us to jail. But if not….. if the government says, there is not enough evidence to put us on trial, then how can there be enough evidence to put us in ISA? It doesn’t make sense. I mean, there is enough evidence to send them for detention but there’s not enough evidence to charge them in court, which means there’s no evidence. And, you know? If you are charge and you are sentence to 2 years or 3 years jails, at least you know what's your future like. You can put a calender on your wall and you calculate the numbers of days and you know at this point of time you’ll be home. So you can deduct everyday of your sentence snd you ‘ll see the no. of days left getting less and less and you know I’m getting home soon. Under ISA the only calendar you have is the no. of days you are inside. You do not know how long you are in. Not knowing when you are going to go home. So, I mean, send us to jail, charge us for 3 years and we know when we are going home.
But the agony is, am I going to die here and know that what the longest ISA detainee is 30 years. Record so far, 30 years, longer than Mandela and that’s a Chinese man from Singapore was detain under the ISA in the 60’s. And err…by the time he was released…….. errr… he didn’t have a home to go to, no more friends left. They took away his citizenship, and they deport him to China and China didn’t want him because he’s not a china citizen, so he become stateless. And there are people who have been for 10 years, 15 years. They eat their meals in their beadroom. They only sees their bedroom. By the time they release them 15 years later, they go home. They do not know how to sit at the table to eat. So when they come to dinner time, they take their plate, go to their bedroom and sit on their bed and eat. That is the only way they can eat. So they become the prisoner for the rest of their lifes, they could not adjust back.
Did you see what ISA did? It’s not the physical thing, the beating. It’s the mental thing, and I think if they break it down mentally, not physically and errr When you come out from ISA after so long, you sort of you are a prisoner until you die, eventhough you are released. And that’s the sad part of ISA. I think that’s all I wanna say errr…. I don’t wanna turn it into a political speech. It’s not about politic, It’s about, I think giving people hope for the future and err… not taking away the hope. Everybody need hope, even people who had been diagnose of cancer and even if the doctor says there’s nothing we can do. Err…We can’t cure your cancer but if they hear from a friend, why don’t you go and see so and so, my friend went eventhough the doctor says theres no hope they were cured, and you will still go. Because there is hope and maybe something can be done. Take away a person hope, and you says forget about it, six months time you’re going to die. You will die, because hope has been taken.
A person who is under ISA, hope is removed. And when there is no more hope, you accept that. Then I heard, people that I spoke in the last 2 month. When I ask them, how is it like in ISA, they said. Not so bad, it’s OK-lah. They have accepted it that detention under ISA is their life, and that’s their future, so no need a future. Your future is here, and that all, that’s you’ll get, there(Kamunting). And I think once a person says, I’m OK. Err…And they accepted that as their life, that means they already more or less decided the fact that they’re no more a free person. And if they are free, it’s a bonus but they don’t expect to be free. And err… even criminal that been convicted have hope, but ISA detainees they don’t have hope. Err… the first thing you know, when I met one of the Hindraf guys. He said, “Do you know when you’re inside here, that’s the end err…you are on your own. Maybe you die-lah”. The Hindraf people have been only 11 months in the ISA, and after 11 months they already says, “Outside doesn’t care about us, we are on our own, we live or we die, it’s up to us”. And the longer they stay, the more they accept detention that something which is their future.
So, I think err… Think of those people inside there, I’m free, errr…. Well I’m still have a few more cases I have to face (laughter from the crowd). But those people there have given up hope. I think we need to give them hope. There’s life after ISA, it’s for them there, not me, yeah. Thank you. (Clap, clap…..clap from the crowd).





WTF said...

Thanks for posting this transcript, was not able to hear what RPK was saying during the vigil as his voice was very soft.

Saw a guy was holding some device (presumably recording RPK's speech), will be great if that recording can be posted too.

peng said...

We cannot continue to allow this cruel, heartless ACT to be enforced. It's not only the detainees who have lost hope but their families as well.

panca said...

It's tormenting, sick to the core. Those political corrupts should get "a 6-month familiarisation trip lodge" when the new government takes over before closing it down.

ISA is heinous! Life becomes meaningless because one's aim in life is lost.