Internal Security Act detainee M. Manoharan was given an hour’s grant to visit his 11-year-old daughter Shivaranjini after she was admitted into hospital for breathing difficulties.
She was sent to the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre at 1.15am on Thursday after she started gasping for breath when she learnt that her father would not be released from detention due to the denial of his habeas corpus appeal recently.
Manoharan, who is also the Kota Alam Shah assemblyman, arrived at the centre accompanied by Special Branch officers at the ward at 2.50pm.
“I was informed about my daughter after my wife (S. Pushpaneela) contacted the authorities at the Kamunting detention centre at about 10.30pm on Thursday,” he said when met at the paediatric ward Friday.
“I did not sleep well at night as I was very worried about her,” added Manoharan, who made a get-well-soon card for Shivaranjini out of paper, flowers and a few feathers while in detention.
He said his daughter was very close to him and cried each time she had to say goodbye at the end of the family’s weekly visits to the Kamunting detention camp where he is being held.
“Last year in December, she came to the detention camp all by herself by bus just to visit me. I was shocked but very touched to see her,” said Manoharan.
Asked how she felt about seeing her father at the ward, Shivaranjini said she felt happy that he was there but sad at the same time because he still had to return to the camp.
Manoharan said his next habeas corpus hearing on Feb 17 would be based on the grounds that he was a representative elected by his constituency and therefore was not a threat to national security.
“If I was chosen by the people even while I was being detained, how can I be a threat?” he said, adding that he was still passionate about serving the rakyat (people).
He said his wife was currently shouldering the responsibility of overseeing his constituency while he is under arrest.
He also hoped the authorities would allow him to attend the next state assembly seating on March 10 as he deserved the right to raise questions in the interest of the public as an assemblyman.
Also present at the ward was Seri Kembangan assemblyman Ean Yong Hian Wah.