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The Fruits of Weeds: Taking Justice at the Commemoration of the Twentieth Anniversary of Operasi Lalang in Malaysia

Lee, Julian C.H. (2008) The Fruits of Weeds: Taking Justice at the Commemoration of the Twentieth Anniversary of Operasi Lalang in Malaysia. Round Table: Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs, 97 (397). pp. 605-615. ISSN 1474-029X. (doi:10.1080/00358530802207435) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:14732)

Language: English

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On 27 October 2007, five Malaysian civil society organizations collaborated to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Operasi Lalang. This police operation was sanctioned by the government in 1987 and saw 107 Malaysians, mainly opposition party members and activists, detained without trial for as long as two years. Operasi Lalang is regarded by many critics of the Malaysian government as the most egregious deployment of the repressive Internal Security Act, under which these detentions were made. This article examines the social and political impacts of the Internal Security Act and Operasi Lalang before describing the commemoration which was styled as a court hearing with the Internal Security Act as the accused. Evident at the commemoration was a comprehensive loss of faith in the infrastructures of the state that are supposed to carry out justice and protect the citizenry from abuses of power. Thus the commemoration-cum-trial declared guilt and took justice, rather than seeking it through infrastructures of the Malaysian state.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/00358530802207435
Uncontrolled keywords: Malaysia, Internal Security Act, detention without trail, Operasi Lalang, ethnic politics, justice
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Depositing User: Julian Lee
Date Deposited: 18 Apr 2009 10:58 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 09:53 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Lee, Julian C.H..

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