NGOs and Individuals Rally to Endorse Chandra's Statement

NGOs and Individuals Rally to Endorse Chandra's Statement

NGO's and individuals are rallying to endorse Dr Chandra Muzaffar's statement of 31 July 1999 titled "Confession and Conspiracy" (see below), for which he has been cited for contempt of court.NGOs that have endorsed Chandra's statement to date:

   2.Centre for Orang Asli Concerns
   3.Indigenous People's Development Centre
   4.International Movement for a Just World (JUST)
   5.Jawatankuasa Sokongan Peneroka Bandar (JSPB)
   6.Jamaah Islam Malaysia (JIM)
   7.Labour Resource Centre
   8.Parti Rakyat Malaysia
   9.Pusat KOMAS
  11.Urban Resource Unit
  12.Women's Development Collective

as well as dozens of individuals.

Add your NGOs or individual name to the list. Please FAX (rather than e-mail) your endorsements to Aliran at 04-658 5197 by 16 August 1999 ... every endorsement counts!!


A Reform Movement dedicated to Justice, Freedom and Solidarity
Listed on the roster of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations
103 Medan Penaga, 11600 Jelutong, Penang, Malaysia
Tel: 04-658 5251 Fax: 04-658 5197

Dear Friends

Joint Statement

As you are aware, Chandra is being cited for contempt of court. It may be the beginning of a process to silence critics. It is Chandra today; it may be you tomorrow; it might be my turn the day after.

History has shown that we all can be easily targeted individually, one by one, if we choose to do nothing. But we can halt that process if we rally together and act collectively.

It is in this context that I am appealing to you to be a joint signatory to the accompanying statement. Please endorse it, and try and persuade others to join us in the valiant effort to stop the rot.

Let us be motivated by what was written long ago:

In Germany, they first came for the Communists
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics
and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me
and by that time no one was left to speak up.

--- The Rev. Martin Niemoller, a pastor in the German Confessing Church who spent seven years in a concentration camp.

Please fax your endorsement to us at 04-658 5197 by 16 August 1999.

With warm regards


We Are Greatly Troubled

We, the undersigned concerned individuals and NGOs, are greatly troubled by the turn of events in this country. It is becoming a fashion these days either to cite for contempt of court or file mega defamation suits for any critical comment made in the larger interest of the nation and in the cause of justice.

All these actions, unfortunately, have the tendency, as envisaged, to silence critics and stifle honest criticism.

The latest victim in this unhealthy development is Dr Chandra Muzaffar, an eminent critic who has been championing social issues without fear or favour for more than two decades.

It is ironical that he is being cited for contempt for expressing his concerns for justice. What Dr Chandra has stated in writing is no different from what is being expressed by a large section of concerned Malaysians across the country. They are gravely disturbed by the system of justice and the role of the police as evidenced over the last year.

We share their sentiments. As Dr Chandra's statement reflects the perception of a large segment of thinking Malaysians, we, concerned NGOs, groups, and individuals, would like to endorse his statement of 31 July 1999 titled "Confession and Conspiracy" (below). Endorsements should be faxed to Aliran at 04-658 5197 by 16 August 1999.

Media Statement By Chandra Muzaffar

Confession & Conspiracy

The extensive coverage given to lurid details of Sukma Darmawan's alleged homosexual relationship with Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim shows that a section of the Malaysian media has sunk to an even more despicable and diabolical level. In their eagerness to please their political masters, certain newspapers have chosen to indulge in sheer pornography. When  pornography parades as journalism, it erodes the moral fibre of society.

If these newspapers had any notion of journalistic ethics, they would not have publicised Sukma's so-called confession.

One, it was a confession obtained under duress. There is ample evidence to show that Sukma was subjected to severe psychological torture and humiliation.

It was partly because of this that he was denied the most basic right of any person held in police custody: the right to counsel of his own choice. He was even denied access to his family.

Two, Sukma himself had in a sworn affadavit repudiated the so-called confession attributed to him. He had provided detailed information on how the confession was obtained and on the cruel and inhuman treatment meted out to him.

Three, Sukma's affadavit is consistent with the letter he wrote to Anwar Ibrahim, days after he was produced in court on 19 September 1998. In that letter he states categorically that "I was forced to make a confession and sign documents stating I had a homosextual relationship with you."

There is no doubt at all in the public mind that the confession was extracted from Sukma in order to destroy Anwar's political career. Using "confessions" to eliminate one's political opponents is one of those unscrupulous tactics that is often used by oppressive dictators. The Soviet dictator, Josef Stalin developed "confessions" into an art in the thirties in the course of the infamous 'show trials'. Mao Tse-Tung coerced his rivals to 'confess' to 'crimes against the people' which had never taken place.
Even in Malaysia, politicians such as Tan Sri Abdullah Ahmad, now special envoy to the United Nations, and journalists like Tan Sri Samad Ismail, a winner of the Magsaysay Award, have been forced 'to confess' on television to indulging in pro-communist activities in which they had never participated simply because it was all part of someone's political agenda.

This is why Sukma's so-called confession is bereft of any credibility. Malaysians know that it is part of the larger political conspiracy which is at the root of the Anwar crisis.

It is a shame that elements in the police force, in the Attorney-General's Chambers, in the Courts and in the media are prepared to be subservient tools in this massive conspiracy hatched by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and his cohorts.

Chandra Muzaffar
Deputy President
Keadilan Nasional (keADILan)
31 July 1999