Ops Lalang forum in Penang postponed indefinitely

Organisers have postponed indefinitely the forum where former PM Mahathir Mohamad will come face to face with those who were detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) in 1987.
Organisers have postponed indefinitely the forum where former PM Mahathir Mohamad will come face to face with those who were detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) in 1987.PHOTO: AFP

GEORGE TOWN (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Organisers have postponed indefinitely a forum where former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad will come face to face with more than 30 people who were detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) in 1987 when he was in power.

The Ops Lalang 30th anniversary forum was postponed because of the Tanjung Bungah landslide in Penang that killed 11 people on Oct 21 and the bus crash three days later which killed eight.

"Because of the incident in Tanjung Bungah and because of the accident in Juru, we decided to postpone the forum and dinner to another date which we will announce later," said state exco member Jagdeep Singh Deo from the opposition Democratic Action Party (DAP).

The forum and dinner was organised by the Penang government and panellists were to have included opposition leader Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang, Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah, Amanah president Mohamad Sabu and Pakatan Harapan legal bureau chief Gobind Singh Deo.

The event was to mark the 30th anniversary of the nationwide sweep which saw 106 people detained without trial under the then ISA on suspicion of causing political or racial instability on Oct 27, 1987.

Several former ISA detainees were invited to attend and would have come face-to-face with Dr Mahathir, who signed their detention orders as the then home minister.

Social activist and former detainee Meenakshi Raman knew the event was postponed, but admitted that she was "not really keen about the forum".

"Let's cross the bridge when we come to it," she said, adding that she will see if the event is organised again.

Other former detainees contacted declined to express their thoughts on the forum.