Into The Depths

Moments in history leave their imprints on destiny. Actions translate into consequences.

I have often wondered what it is that was running through the minds of those who triggered Operasi Lalang on that fateful 27th of October 1987. They were about to trigger a chain of events that would put this nation on a collision course with its very foundations. They were about to cast the perspectives and attitudes of a generation of Malaysians who would in turn shape those of another.

Racialism, fear and loathing, supremacist beliefs; a belief in the right of might.

On October 27th, 1987, 106 persons were detained. They were mainly politicians and political activists. Their absence left a gash in our democracy through which ideals and principles were sucked out into nothingness.

In the General Election of 1986, the Opposition held 28 seats. Of these, the DAP held twenty-four seats. PAS held one.

Five DAP Members of Parliament, amongst them the then Leader of the Opposition, Mr Lim Kit Siang, the then Deputy Chairman of the party, Mr Karpal Singh, Mr Lim Guan Eng and the indomitable V David. Four DAP assemblymen were also detained and a host of civil society activists.

The opposition was emasculated.