KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 11 ― The government should either free the seven Malaysians detained for suspected links to defunct Sri Lankan terror group or charge them in court, DAP’s Lim Kit Siang said today.
The seasoned lawmaker said prosecution would enable the seven, two who are DAP lawmakers, a chance to defend themselves in court.
The Iskandar Puteri MP also reiterated his party’s stance that their arrest under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 is “beyond comprehension” as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has been dead the past 10 years since their leaders were killed or jailed in the Sri Lankan civil war.
Lim said “it is important that with the change of government on May 9, 2018, police mentality and strategy with regard to legitimate dissent and what constitutes a threat to national security must accordingly undergo the necessary changes”.
“This is the reason for the Pakatan Harapan (PH) pledge in its 14th General Election Manifesto for a repeal of repressive laws, in particular the draconian provisions in the Sosma Act 2012,” he added in a statement.
The security law allows for detention without trial up to 28 days.
He said that until Sosma is repealed, there should be checks against its possible abuse, and called for the parliamentary select committee on defence and home affairs to summon the police for an explanation.
“The Police should appear before this Select Committee to explain, in general, how the Police are to carry out its duties under the Pakatan Harapan Government with the PH commitment of an accountable and transparent administration and in particular on the current arrests and how the police will comply with the PH commitment not to abuse its powers under the draconian measures in repressive laws until they are repealed,” Lim said.
Federal police arrested DAP’s Seremban Jaya assemblyman P. Gunasekaran and the Gadek assemblyman G. Saminathan, and five others yesterday, believing they were attempting to revive the LTTE.
Lim said he believes Gunasekaran and Saminathan who is also a Melaka state executive councillor are fully committed to DAP’s principle of a peaceful democratic struggle and are against all forms of violence and terrorism.
He said he will visit their families in Seremban and Melaka respectively on Sunday.