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Operation Lalang was one the most serious human rights violations in Malaysia. On 27 October 1987, the government led by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad arrested 107 politicians, activists, academics and educationalists under the Internal Security Act (ISA). Mahathir’s administration also revoked the publishing licenses of three newspapers The Star, Sin Chew Jit Poh and Watan.

Operation Lalang had a strong impact on the democratic institutions in Malaysia. It has eroded civil society and continued to repress freedom of speech by creating ‘white terror’.

December 10 is Human Rights Day. In order to address deteriorating human rights situation in Malaysia, it is necessary to understand the historical contexts of Operasi Lalang. In their struggles for democracy, Malaysians are subjected not only to the laws that allow for detention without trial, such as the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (SOSMA), the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA), the Prevention of Crime Act (POCA) and the National Security Council Act (NSCA), but also to the threat of enforced disappearance.

Four religious and social activists have been abducted or gone missing since November 2016. All of these disappearances remain unexplained despite various efforts that have been made for nearly a year.

Both Operasi Lalang that happened 30 years ago and recent cases of enforced disappearances mark the violent suppression of political dissent carried out by authorities and their attempts to cover up such incidents. We are obliged to understand the facts and publicly disclose comprehensive information to ensure that the government are held accountable.

Johor Yellow Flame (JYF), Persahabatan Semparuthi, the Teoh Beng Hock Trust for Democracy and the KL Operasi Lalang Commemoration Activities Working Committee will be organising a two-day event in conjunction with the 30th anniversary of Operasi Lalang. The event will be held on Dec 9 and 10 at the Engage Centre, Johor Bahru. This includes a public exhibition of Operasi Lalang and enforced disappearances, a sharing session by Operasi Lalang victims and family members, a forum on detention without trial, and a talk given by the Citizen Action Group on Enforced Disappearance (CAGED).

Event itinerary:

a) Exhibition of Operasi Lalang and Enforced Disappearance

Date: December 9th – 10th (Saturday & Sunday)
Time: Saturday 11 am – 7 pm; Sunday 10 am – 6 pm

b) Opening Ceremony and sharing session by the victims and family members – ‘The Unforgettable Past: How Operasi Lalang changed my life?’

Date: December 9th (Saturday)
Time: 1 – 3 pm
– Anne Munro-Kua (Book author, family member of the detainee under Operasi Lalang)
– Irene Xavier (Advisor and co-founder of Persatuan Sahabat Wanita, Selangor (PSWS), Operasi Lalang detainee)
– Dr Kua Kia Soong (SUARAM Advisor, former detainee under Operasi Lalang)
– Song Sing Kwee (Lawyer, former detainee under Operasi Lalang)

c) Public forum: ‘As an ordinary citizen, what should you know about detention without trial?’

Date: December 9th (Saturday)
Time: 3.30 – 5.30 pm
– Dr Kua Kia Soong (SUARAM Advisor, former detainee under Operasi Lalang)
– Teo Soh Lung (Lawyer, former detainee under Operation Spectrum (Singapore))
– Hishamuddin Rais (Social activist, former detainee under ISA and Sedition Act)

d) Documentary screening and sharing session: ‘What is enforced disappearance and why does it happen?’

Date: December 10th (Sunday)
Time: 1.30 – 3.30pm
– Thomas Fann (Engage chairperson, spokeperson of the Citizen Action Group on Enforced Disappearance (CAGED))

Start Date - End Date

Dec 09, 2017 - Dec 10, 2017

Start Time - End Time

11:00 am - 6:00 pm

Event Location

55-A, Jalan Molek 2/4, Taman Molek,, Johor Bahru, Johor 81100 Malaysia



Johor Yellow Flame

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