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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 39, Issue 3. 15th March [1976]

News from Malaysia

page 12

News from Malaysia

Juliet Chin, former President (73-74) and the [unclear: Honorary] General Secretary (74-75) of University of Singapore Student Union (USSU) was deported by the Singapore Government in December 1974 amidst social and economic unrest on both sides of the Causeway. On entering Malaysia she was immediately detained under the notorious Internal Security Act. The sinister collaboration and high handed tactic of the two regimes was widely condemned by all justice-loving people. After much publicity and pressure from both national and international bodies, she was finally released on the 11th December 1975.

Below is a statement by Juliet Chin after her release, published in the 'Singapore Undergrad'.

Sisters and brothers of USSU, friends and all peace-loving people,

1.I was arrested on the 11th December 1974 by the Malaysian regime and released on the 11 December 1975, after exactly one year of imprisonment.
2.The close collaboration between the Malaysian and Singapore governments is very evident from the manner of my arrest. I was arrested by the Singapore government and handed directly over to the Malaysian government which detained me without trial.
3.In arresting me, then Honorary General Secretary of USSU - Malaysia hopes to make an example of me to intimidate and repress all legitimate students activities, both local and abroad, but it is abundantly clear that they have failed miserably in their objective. On the contrary, Malaysian students here, in Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom and elsewhere have grown in consciousness and strength.
4.Their charges against me under the Internal Security Act and their labelling me as a subversive are totally unfounded. I have never subverted my country and my people to any foreign economic or military groups/powers. I have also never advocated nor perpetuated economic policies of production and distribution in my country, which today after 18 years of self-rule still leaves Poverty of the Masses as the main problem of my country.
5.I refute categorically their allegations as ridiculous in justifying detention under the Internal Security Act, they are also totally without substantiation.

Allegation 1 states:-

That you in June 1974, did send a telegram to a students organisation in London, requesting the students to protest over the arrest of the Malayan National Liberation Front (MNLF) elements in Singapore.

I refute: All telegrams are sent by USSU (University of Singapore Students' Union), yet the allegation states 'I' not 'USSU'. It is ironical that the ruling party should fail to understand this as it professes to operate on the same basis as USSU i.e. parliamentary democracy. Secondly, the allegation mentioned the MNLF, whilst in actuality, the telegram sent by USSU made no mention of the MNLF, support to stage protest demonstrations at the Malaysian High Commission in both countries over the eviction of the illegal squatters at Pasek Utara, Johore Bahur.

I refute: This allegation is absolutely false. Neither I in my personal capacity nor USSU ever contacted Malayan students bodies in New Zealand and Australia.


Allegation 3 states:-

That you and others have, on 19-20th October 1974, for the fulfilment of the common strategies propagated by the Communists United Front (CUF) screened biased film slides on the eviction exercises at Tasek Utara, in an attempt to unite all illegal squatters for concerted effort against the legal authority should the need arise.

I refute: I have no knowledge of the CUF or its common strategies, much less help to fulfil it. The fact is, that on 19th October 1974 I was invited by the residents of No.11, Jalan Tasom (the former squatters of Tasek Utara) to their Hari Raya celebration and subsequently to watch a slide show.

Failure to Produce Proof:

It should also be noted that the Advisory Board in April 1975 failed to produce the evidence to substantiate allegations (1) and (2).

The telegrams were nowhere to be found, which is natural as they are non existent. When my lawyer said that as there was no evidence against me, I should be freed, there was only silence. As for allegation 3, the evidence produced was a police report from Johore Bahru which read: Mr and others.....' I was never mentioned by name among the 'others' yet allegation 3 states 'You and others.....'

6.Today I am released Conditionally. The conditions read:
i)That she shall not address public meetings or hold office in or take part in the activities of or act as advisor to any trade unions or political party, or take part in any political activity other than voting in an election for which she is eligible to vote.
ii)That she shall not hold office in, become a member of, or take part in or act as advisor to any student society or association, or any cultural organisation or association.

That I should be released on conditions which contravenes the United Nations' Charter on Human Rights which the Malaysian regime claims to adhere to, reflects that there is no true and genuine freedom in my release, nor in my country.

It is also abundantly clear that I am released on the strength of pressure from courageous students on both sides of the Causeway and internationally and from the worlds peace-loving people.

The Straits Times Press on 13th December 1975 printed that a spokesman from the Ministry of Home Affairs said: I have been released because (1) I have shown a willingness to be rehabilitated. This is an Absolute Lie and a Low-Handed Tactic. The spokesman from the Ministry in making this unfounded statement is undoubtedly seeking to mutilate me, insinuating that I have been a deviant member of my society, that I have regretted and am now willing to be rehabilitated. This is utterly untrue.

[unclear: also] [unclear: mereasmgry] are being subjected to arbitrary arrest under the Internal Security Act, every day.

Today there is an urgent need for all students and peace-loving people to unite and work for:

The Release of all Political Prisoners.

A Society Based on Truth, Justice, Democracy and Respect for Human Rights.

Mara Students Defies Arbitrary Disciplinary Rules

Recently, MARA students peacefully went on a campus demonstration over the decision of the MIT (Mara Institute of Technology) Authorities to arbitrarily enforce the Institute's Disciplinary Rules which require boys, among other things, not to sport long hair, and the girls to be decently dressed. Union Secretary-General Syed Osman Mohamad questioned the necessity of the regulations when there were more important issues such as education opportunities for students, dropout rate, alleged waste of funds and the shortage of staff and lecturers. However, in a typical arbitrary fashion, the MIT Governing Council closed the Institute 'for indefinite period'. An estimated 5,000 students thereon barricaded themselves in the Shah Alam campus. In the ensuing 4-day 'occupation' of MIT, the government used various tactics to force the students to leave the campus. For example throughout the 4-days student struggle, the Authorities eventually cut off food, electricity and water supplies to the campus; lined the FRU (Federal Reserved Unit) threateningly against the students and at the same time warning them that they would not be registered if they did not leave the campus. In the end, the police went in and had the photographs of the last batch of students - 78 girls and 67 boys taken and personal particulars recorded.

Below we reprint some important extracts of the 4 days' incident:

Mahathir to MIT Students: Police will go in if you stay.

New Straits Times 9-1-76

Education Minister Dr Mahathir has ordered all MARA Institute of Technology students to vacate the Shah Alam campus tomorrow or the police will move in. He said that as far as possible the Government would like to avoid the use of force, and the students were being given a chance to leave the campus voluntarily.

Dr Mahathir also expressed full confidence in MIT's director, Datuk Lokman Musa, and in the way he was handling the situation.

Radio and Television Malaysia put the Minister's message across to the students on the campus, closed since yesterday until further notice, but only about 500 students heeded the Minister's call today.

The MIT students' union leader Encik Abdullah Baba denied today that the union had taken over contorl of the campus. He said the union was surprised at the decision to close the institue. The situation in the campus was peaceful and under control, he said. 'Security of the students is assured' Lecturers and staff can continue to work in the campus, except the director, Datuk Haji Lokman Musa.' he added.

Police, Field Force men are still manning roadblocks on the approach road to the campus and on the Federal Highway nearby.

My Daughters are determined to support their leaders

The Malay Mail 10-1-76

Twelve lecturers went into the MIT campus early this morning in a final effort to persuade the last group of 500 defiant students to leave, as eight truckloads of Federal Reserve unit men moved in and began camping a mile away.

The FRU men were stationed about a mile from the campus and are expected to move in to flush the students out if the attempt by the lecturers fails.

Some parents who went to the campus last night could not persuade their children to go home. One of the parents who walked out of the gate after meeting his two daughters in the hostels said: 'My daughters are determined to support their leaders.'

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