27 Oktober 1987, bermulanya Ops Lalang

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27 Oktober 1987

Pada hari 27 Oktober 1987  telah bermula operasi penangkapan beramai-ramai yang melibatkan 106 orang aktivis-aktivis sosial dan pemimpin-pemimpin politik pembangkang yang dikenali sebagai "Operasi Lalang".

"Operasi Lalang" merupakan operasi penangkapan ISA kedua terbesar dalam sejarah selepas operasi penangkapan selepas peristiwa 13 Mei.

Dalam penerangan yang dikeluarkan oleh Kerajaan, "isu-isu sensitif" yang telah dibangkitkan oleh pihak-pihak tertentu telah mewujudkan situasi "ketegangan kaum" yang terpaksa dibendung oleh Kerajaan melalui operasi penangkapan ini.

Perdana Menteri, Dr Mahathir Mohamed telah berkata operasi ini bertujuan untuk "memastikan kestaliban dan keamanan negara".

Operasi ini turut mengakibatkan pembatalan lesen penerbitan untuk akhbar-akhbar The Star, The Sunday Star, Watan dan Sin Chew Jit Poh.

Di bawah ini kami kongsikan laporan berita yang telah diterbitkan dalam akhbar The Star sehari selepas Operasi Lalang.

“DETAINED"

"KUALA LUMPUR, Tuesday — At east 15 people — including Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang, Aliran president Dr Chandra Muzaffar, an MCA Senator, and four MPs — were detained by police, some apparently under the Internal Security Act (ISA), in a massive sweep of arrest starting at about 2am today.

"Three of them, including two DAP elected representatives, were confirmed to have been arrested under the ISA. Until late this evening, however, police declined to confirm if the others had been indeed been detained and if they were being detained under the ISA.

"Others detained were Chinese educationist Lim Fong Seng; MCA vice-president and Perak MCA chief Chan Kit Chee; MCA Youth national vice-chairmen and Federal Territory MCA Youth chief Senator Tan Chai Ho;

"DAP leaders Karpal Singh, Puchong MP V. David, Rasah MP Hu Sepang, Mr Lim’s son and Kota Melaka MP Guan Eng, and Durian Daun Assemblyman Kerk Kim Hock; Mr Tan Ka Kheng and Miss Chee Heng Leng (both lectureres at University Pertanian Malaysia); Mr Leow Teong Beng of the Selangor Chinese School Committees Association; former Tapah Assemblyman Lee Chan Fai; and Miss Meenakshi Raman, legal adviser of the Consumer Association of Penang.

"The arrests began at 2am when Mr Tan Ka Kheng, who is also a vice-president of the Environmental Protection Society of Malaysia (EPSM), was arrested at his rented room in a house in SS4 in Petaling Jaya.

"A four man Special Branch team led by ASP Amir Awal knocked on the door of the house at 2am. Mr Tan, 35, opened the door himself. Police spent some two hours searching Mr Tan’s room before escorting him to the Bukit Aman Federal Police headquarters.
"One hour later, at 3am, police picked up Miss Chee Heng Leng, from her house about 200 metres from Mr Tan’s house.

"Mr Lim Guan Eng and Mr Kerk were next. They were arrested at the Jalan Bandar police station here about 11am where they had been summoned “to record a statement” in connection with a police report they had lodged.

"They arrived at the police station accompanied by lawyer and DAP member Wee Choo Keong. The two escorted into a room while Mr Wee was told to wait outside.

"Shortly after, Guan Eng came out and told Mr Wee that “this will take some time” and that he (Mr Wee) could go back to the office. When Mr Wee had left, Guan Eng and Mr Kerk were arrested.

"Later this afternoon, Mr Lim Kit Siang called Deputy Home Minister Datuk Megat Junid Megat Ayob at his office after the latter had left Parliament House. The Deputy Minister thereupon confirmed the arrest of Guan Eng and Mr Kerk under the ISA.

"As for Senator Tan, police picked him up at 3:30pm at his Kepong office. At about the same time, Mr Leow was aslo detained.
"Mr Lim Kit Siang raised the matter in the Dewan Rakyat after Question Time.

"Datuk Megat Junid later told reporters outside the House that Guan Eng was “being held in connection with some investigations.”
"Soon after Question Time, which ended at 3:30pm, the 23 DAP MPs held an emergency meeting, lasting two hours, in the committee room at Parliament House. Mr Lim and several of his colleagues then went to visit Guan Eng at the Jalan Bandar police station.

"When they arrived there, they were told that only three of them could enter. A police inspector identified the three as Mr Lim, Mr Karpal Singh and Mr Hu Sepang. They were then arrested.

"At about 8:45pm, police took Mr Chan Kit Chee into custody while he was having dinner with a party colleague at the Hotel Merlin coffeehouse here.

"In PENANG, seven policemen and three inspectors went to Dr Chandra’s house at 6:45pm and detained the Aliran president.
"Dr Chandra’s wife, Puan Mariam Hashim, said the policemen told her husband that he was being detained under the ISA.

"At about the same time, CAP researcher Meenakshi Raman — a lawyer who was one of the defines counsel in the Thean Teik estate case and is also among the lawyers representing Bukit Merah residents in their suit against Asian Rare Earth (ARE) — was taken into custody while she was on her way home from the CAP office in Gurney Drive.

"In IPOH, Mr Lee Chan Fai was arrested at his home at about 6pm. His wife said that he was taken away by police. However, when she and the family lawyer went to the Ipoh police station they were told that Mr Lee was not there.

"Until Press time, police had not released a statement confirming the circumstances of the arrests. Datuk Megat Junid could not be contacted for comment."

THE STAR, 28 October 1987


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