Malaysian, December 19, 2005
A former Malaysian politician of Indian origin
has been on a hunger strike for the past three
weeks to protest against his exile to a remote
province by authorities for suspected links
with the underworld.
Balakrishnan Appala, a former branch leader
of the Malaysian Indian Congress -- the country's
largest ethnic Indian political party, is reported
to be in a frail and weak condition as he has
refused to eat for last three weeks.
The 36-year-old, who was sent to a remote area
in Kelantan state in April under the country's
emergency ordinance to deal with suspected drug
traffickers and mafia activists, claims that
he has not yet been formally charged with any
Under the order, Balakrishnan cannot leave
the district and must report to the police each
week. Reports quoting his brother said that
Balakrishnan preferred to die unless he was
set free by the authorities or charged in court
of any wrongdoing.
Balakrishnan went on hunger strike on November
30, but has been intermittently hospitalised
in the past week and given intravenous glucose.
A spokesman for a human rights group was quoted
by reports as saying that Balakrishnan was very
weak. His wife Rukamani Devi is also staging
a sit-in near the Internal security Ministry
Miscarriage of justice?:
PM Abdullah Ahmad Badawi should step
in to save two lives
I have visited both Balakrishnan Appala Naidu,
36, and his wife M Rakumani Devi in kelantan
Sunday evening together with DAP Selangor Committee
Members Purenthiran and Batumalai and some of
their family members.
Rakumani is currently admitted to the Jeli
General Hospital. She was sent there nine days
after she started hunger strike together with
her husband on 30 November, 2005. She told her
mother and brother that she would rather die
if the Prime Minister refuses to listen to their
grievances. She believes her husband is also
determined to do the same unless the PM steps
in. Her condition is very critical and the hospital
authority has so far unable to persuade her
to stop her hunger strike.
We have no choice but to proceed with our journey
to Kota Bharu where Balakrishnan was said to
have admitted to after he went unconscious on
10 December 2005. On our way, we were shocked
to hear from his brother A Thirumoorthy that
he was actually sent to the mental hospital
attached to the Kota Bharu General Hospital
. Thirumoorthy told me over the phone that the
police have claimed that his brother has gone
When we finally met up with Balakrishnan at
the mad cell, I could straight away
sense that the man behind the iron bars is mentally
stable. He is still able to maintain his cool
at a time when he was surrounded by several
other mental patients who were shouting away
at the top of their voices in the confined cell.
I immediately demanded that Balakrishnan be
released from the mad cell before
he really gone insane. I argued that the police
have no right to label a person as insane, and
the doctor has no right to go along with the
idea of the police. After a long argument and
discussion with the doctor in-charge, he finally
agreed to release him from the mad cell
as he too agreed that Balakrishnan is not insane
as claimed by the police.
We left the Kota Bharu GH shortly after Balakrishnan
was transferred there at around 10.30 pm. We
reached our homes in Petaling Jaya around 7
am in the morning (Monday).
I was just informed by Thirumoorthy that both
Balarishnan and Rakumani have not given up on
their hunger strikes. He said both of them would
prefer to die if justice was not served for
Balakrishnan has complained to me that her
wife has suffered two miscarriages over the
past two years due to the stress resultant from
his two wrongful detentions under the Emergency
He was detained by the police for his suspected
involvement in gangsterism after a series of
disputes and fights broke out between Balakrishnan
and another MiC branch leader in Rawang. He
has served 60 days under the first detention
He was again arrested and sent to Simpang Renggam
under the same charges. Nevertheless, he was
freed by the Johor High Court on 28 February
2004 but again arrested and immediately sent
to Kuala Balah near Jeli, kelantan for restricted
residence. He questioned why he was not given
the same treatment like Datuk Tee Yam. He also
claimed that he has contributed to the society
as a MiC branch chairman.
Thirumoorthy will be making a police report
on Wednesday morning at the Putrajaya police
station. He has also planned to bring his brothers
case to the Prime Minister office on the same
The couple has two girls. One of them is four
and the other is merely one and a half year-old.
We urge the Prime Minister to send his officials
to meet up with both Balakrishnan and Rakumani
Devi immediately in order to save their lives.
What is so difficult to listen to their grievances?
Would the govenment respect the court decision?
PRESS STATEMENT : 3 MARCH 2005
EO (HUNGER STRIKER) DETAINEE RELEASED BY COURT!
Balakrishnan Appala Naidu- the person who went
on a 15 day hunger strike in Simpang Renggam
in November last year has been ordered released
by the Johor Bharu High Court but family members
are worried that the Government would not respect
the court decision.
The Johor Bharu High Court Judge, Yang Arif
KP Gengadharan C.R.Nair, in an order dated 25th
February 2005 have declared as null and void
and cancelled the Detention Order under the
Emergency (Public Order and prevention of crime)
Ordinance 1969 of Bala Krishnan a/l Appala Naidu.
He further allowed the writ of Habeas Corpus
and called for the detainee to be released immediately.
Bala Krishnan was represented by Counsel R.R.Mahendran.
The court case went on for three days
23, 24th and 25th February 2005. The brother
of Bala Krishnan, Thirumoorthy a/l Appala Naidu
has yet to serve the Court Decision to the Simpang
Renggam Detention center to secure his brothers
release because he is worried that his brother
would be rearrested and there are rumours to
this effect. Thirumoorthy has since brought
up this issue to the attention of SUHAKAM Commissioner
Dato Siva Subramaniam, who assured him that
they would not be a rearrest. The family has
also written to the Prme Ministers Public
Complaint Bureau on 1st. March 2005 as they
are worried that Balakrishnan would be further
victimized. There are previously cases of other
detainees, who had been rearrested upon release.
SUARAM position has been any detention without
trial is a gross human rights violation and
we call upon the Government to respect the decision
of the court.