Wednesday, 2 January 2008

First post for 2008

This is the first piece of news that caught my attention in 2008 from

S'porean artist on 5-day fast to protest Hindraf 5 detention

SINGAPORE: As scores of Singaporeans greeted the New Year with feasting and revelry, one was marking it by beginning a five-day fast outside the Malaysian High Commission here.

In a statement to the media, local artist and activist Seelan Palay, 23, said he was fasting in his "personal capacity" to call for world pressure to be brought on the Malaysian government to release five Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leaders, known as "Hindraf 5".

They have been detained in Kuala Lumpur since Dec 13 under Malaysia's Internal Security Act.

"Each day of my fast is in dedication to each of the five detainees," the activist said in his statement, which has been reproduced on several blogs.

Mr Palay, who plans to ingest nothing but water until Friday 9am, is no stranger to controversy. He was arrested during the International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings here in 2006 for trying to distribute a fact sheet.

When TODAY dropped by on Tuesday, Mr Palay was seated on a stool under a tree opposite the entrance to the High Commission. Looking a little tired but in good spirits, he said he had been moved to act when he witnessed firsthand the protests in Kuala Lumpur. He was filming the rallies on Nov 25.

He said he would try to hand his statement to the Malaysian High Commissioner today. On Monday, the High Commission staff had taken photos and a video of him, he said.

"The police asked me for a permit, warned me and told me to disperse. But I am only fasting, why should I need a permit? They said it was under some public entertainment licensing law, and I said I was not here to entertain anyone," said Mr Palay.

The police told TODAY that it was looking into the matter.

Mr Palay said news of his actions has reached some Malaysians, who visited or called him. Singapore Democratic Party assistant secretary-general John Tan, too, paid Mr Palay a visit. When asked, Mr Tan said he was there to "offer support" and "keep (Mr Palay) company".

More on Seelan Palay's Hunger Strike:

1 comment:

Singapore Indian Voice said...

Hey Lilian, Seelan Palay here. Thank you for sharing this information.

You look familiar, I wonder if I met you at one of the WP events..

Thank you for visiting