PSM detainee: ‘The police made me sing… twice’
July 29, 2011
“They saw my pictures with a microphone in hand and they saw me on our party website so they said to me, ‘Sugu, you must be a very good singer, the best singer in PSM ... so you must sing for us,’” he told an audience at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Chamber Hall (KLSCAH) tonight.
The group, who had gathered to listen to stories of the six leaders’ experiences while under detention, was left in stitches.
Sugumaran said he tried to keep the situation light-hearted so he obliged the police and sang two songs for them, both in Tamil.
Both tunes, he said, were plucked from movies and contained specific messages he wanted to direct to the police.
“The first one said, ‘When I ask you a question, you must answer me.’ Then they told me I must sing to them a song about a struggle so the second song was about calling the people to stand up and fight,” he told reporters later.
Sugumaran also revealed that the police had forced him to recall activities spanning nearly 30 years of his career in activism.
They had wanted to prove a similarity between PSM and Malayan Communist Party (MCP), he claimed.
“They said, ‘Look, PSM’s chairman is Nasir Hashim, a Malay. And yet, the entire party is full of Indians. MCP was led by Rashid Maidin and the others were all Chinese. That was how they inferred that PSM was promoting communism,” he said.
PSM deputy chairman M. Sarasvathy said she was also accused of lying when she denied that her party was funded by foreigners.
“Then, they linked us to communism. The cop said that he has been around for 32 years and he knew what communism was about, that socialism leads to communism.
“I told him, ‘You are behind the times. This is the 21st century socialism.’ Then he went off,” she said.
Sugumaran and Sarasvathy, along with Sungai Siput MP Dr Michael Jeyakumar, central committee member Choo Chon Kai, Sungai Siput branch secretary A. Letchumanan and Youth chief R. Saratbabu, were picked up in Penang on June 25 along with 24 others during the widespread pre-Bersih clampdown, and were later slapped with accusations that they were attempting to revive communism and wage war against the King.
On July 2, they were placed under the Emergency Ordinance, a preventive law allowing for 60-days detention without trial, which was enacted in 1969 as a temporary measure in response to the May 13 race riots.