Parliamentary select committee meets police, AGC, Home Ministry reps over Sosma arrests

Lim, a member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Defence and Home Affairs, said the meeting was to obtain an explanation for the use of the preventive detention law. ―  Picture by Hari Anggara
Lim, a member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Defence and Home Affairs, said the meeting was to obtain an explanation for the use of the preventive detention law. ― Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, , Oct 17 — Representatives from Bukit Aman, the Home Ministry and Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) were summoned to Parliament yesterday for an explanation on the arrest of 12 people under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma).

Lim Lip Eng, a member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Defence and Home Affairs, told news portal Malaysiakini the meeting was to obtain an explanation for the use of the preventive detention law that the ruling Pakatan Harapan had promised to abolish if it took power.

“We summoned the police to explain why they used Sosma to arrest 12 people with suspected ties to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

“Since the Pakatan Harapan government has promised to abolish the law, today the Bukit Aman Special Branch's Counter-Terrorism Division chief Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay, the Home Ministry, and the AGC came to report to us,” the Kepong MP was quoted saying.

Lim had requested an emergency meeting of the parliamentary committee on October 11, a day after police invoked Sosma to arrest two DAP state lawmakers and five others for alleged ties to the Sri Lankan terror group that died out in 2009. Five other people were subsequently arrested under the same law for investigation, bringing the total to 12.

The police’s invocation of Sosma for the arrests allows them to hold the suspects for infinitely renewable blocks of 28 days without trial at a time.

Lim declined to elaborate on the committee’s discussion during the closed door meeting, Malaysiakini reported, including whether or not it found the explanations satisfactory.

Other lawmakers present at the meeting were Nibong Tebal MP Datuk Mansor Othman, Labis MP Pang Hok Liong, Papar MP Ahmad Hassan and Tanjung Malim Chang Lih Kang.

Chang said the committee would monitor if the AGC would press charges against the suspects after the detention period ends.

Those summoned before the parliamentary panel included Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter-terrorism Division principal assistant director Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay, Home Ministry Security Division secretary Yusran Shah Mohd Yusof and AGC deputy commissioner for Law Revision and Law Reform II Farhana Rabidin.

Ayob Khan disclosed several days ago that financial transactions involving huge sums of money have been carried out, believed to activate the LTTE group in the country.

He said the financial transactions were detected in the accounts of those arrested.

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