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  Media Statement (2) by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Wednesday, 16th April 2008: 

Abdullah should heed the plea of Kalaivanly and allow her son Uthayakumar to be admitted to the National Heart Institute or any private hospital because of his deteriorating health

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi should heed the plea of Hindraf leader P. Uthayakumar’s mother, K. Kalaivaniy, 64, to allow her son to be admitted to the National Heart Institute to deal with his deteriorating health.

Alternatively, Uthayakumar should be admitted to any private hospital of her choice as she is willing to bear the cost of the medical treatment and not burden the authorities with the medical bills.

It is not good enough for the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar to dismiss widespread concerns about Uthayakumar’s health claiming that there is no truth in claims that Internal Security Act (ISA) detainees at the Kamunting detention centre were being deprived of proper medical attention.

His assurance that ISA detainees will never be denied nor deprived of their right to receive proper medical treatment, is neither satisfactory nor acceptable as it is given from his air-conditioned office and has no relationship with what is actually happening in the detention centres to the detainees.

As a ISA detainee twice, I can speak with some authority that medical treatment for ISA detainees especially in sensitive cases like that of Uthayakumar, who is a diabetic with many grave complications, were often unsatisfactory.

Uthayakumar and the other four Hindraf leaders, newly-elected Selangor DAP State Assemblyman for Kota Alam Shah A. Manoharan V. Ganabatirau, R. Kenghadharan and T. Vasantha Kumar should have been released immediately and unconditionally after the March 8 “political tsunami” vindicating their cause for Makkal Sakti and an end to the long-standing marginalization of the Malaysian Indians in the country.

Every day the five Hindraf leaders are incarcerated under the ISA in Kamunting detention centre is a daily proof that Abdullah and his government have yet to fully get the message of the Malaysian voters in the March 8 “political tsunami” that the Barisan Nasional government should end its abuses of power and human right abuses to crack down on dissent.

Until their release, the Prime Minister must ensure that Uthayakumar and the other ISA detainees are given prompt and proper medical treatment, particularly for those suffering acute and sensitive ailments like Uthayakumar.

* Lim Kit Siang, MP for Ipoh Timor & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman


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