DAP man asks police why IS fighters get trial but not LTTE suspects

Counter-terrorism police carry out an operation against suspected Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) sympathisers in Sungai Siput October 10, 2019. — Picture courtesy of PDRM
Counter-terrorism police carry out an operation against suspected Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) sympathisers in Sungai Siput October 10, 2019. — Picture courtesy of PDRM

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 14 — DAP leader Lim Lip Eng today questioned why the police plan to charge former Islamic State (IS) fighters now back in Malaysia, but have denied the 12 suspects with alleged ties to the now-defunct Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) the right to a fair trial.

The Kepong MP said Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter-Terrorism Division (E8) chief Deputy Comm Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay has seemingly applied a “different treatment” to the latter, by detaining the 12 suspects under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma).

In the case of the IS fighters, however, Lim said the police are already pressing charges, calling Ayob’s actions a “glaring double standard”.

“I support... Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay in wanting to charge the 40 Malaysians returning to Malaysia after being detained for suspected involvement in terrorism activities in Syria.

“Ayob Khan, however, applies a different treatment in his handling of suspected Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam’s (LTTE) Malaysian supporters,” Lim said in a statement issued this morning.

“Why is Ayob Khan showing glaring double standard and two-faced in his actions on the suspected Malaysian terrorists in Syria and the alleged LTTE supporters in Malaysia?

Bukit Aman’s counter-terrorism unit recently arrested 12 alleged Malaysian LTTE supporters under Sosma, a harsh law that allows for arbitrary detention of up to 28 days.

Human rights groups have criticised the government for ignoring international standards by retaining a law deemed repressive and draconian, which Pakatan Harapan (PH) government had pledged to repeal.

The police announced last week that two DAP state lawmakers from Negri Sembilan and Melaka are among the 12 suspects held.

PH leaders are seemingly split about the arrests. DAP leaders have stood by their party colleagues and insisted they are innocent, but other coalition members feel the police acted within their powers and that no transgression took place. 

In his most recent press conference, Ayob Khan said the police have evidence in the form of items and financial transactions to support the detention.

Lim, however, said the existence of such “strong” evidence should prompt the police to charge the 12 suspects in court immediately.

“Ayob Khan has to explain why he denied the latter the right to bail and to be a trial in a criminal court,” he said.

“Who made Ayob Khan judge and jury over suspected terrorism?”

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