Taiping (Malaysia), May 9 : Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leader M. Manoharan created history by becoming Malysia's first state assemblyman to be sworn in while detained under the Internal Security Act.
Manoharan became third Internal Security Act (ISA) detainee to be sworn in as an elected representative.
The 46-year-old DAP leader and Hindraf legal adviser was sworn in before Selangor State Assembly Speaker Teng Chang Khim at the Kamunting detention centre at 9 a.m. on Thursday.
In 1978, ISA detainees Chian Heng Kai and Chan Kok Kit were sworn in as DAP Members of Parliament at the detention centre in Kamunting, the NSt Online reported.
Manoharan has been detained since December 13, 2007, together with P. Uthayakumar, V. Ganabatirau, K. Vasantha Kumar and R. Kengadharan, who are also linked to the Hindraf rally on November 25 last year.
"I will continue to fight all forms of discrimination and marginalisation against any community and raise public interest for justice and equality but I am sad that I have to serve my voters while in detention," he said in a hand-written statement read by his wife S. Pushpaneela after the swearing-in ceremony.
DAP national chairman Karpal Singh was allowed into the centre for the swearing-in.
Both Karpal and Teng urged the government to release Manoharan so that he would be able to serve his constituents.
During the March 8 general election, Manoharan had one of the highest majorities for a Selangor state assemblyman, polling 12,699 votes against Barisan Nasional candidate Ching Su Chen who received 5,515 votes.