GEORGE TOWN: The seven people arrested for their alleged links to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) militant group should be charged under the Penal Code, says Penang Deputy Chief Minister II Dr P. Ramasamy .
He said they should not be detained under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma) 2012 for 28 days.
“The police should show evidence and bring them to court.
“Use the Penal Code on them, where they would have a chance to defend themselves.
“The Penal Code provides bail, legal representation and evidence which could be scrutinised in a court of law.
“Sosma and the Sedition Act are draconian laws which have yet to be repealed by the Pakatan Harapan government, ” Ramasamy said when met at his office at Komtar.
On Thursday, Melaka exco member G. Saminathan and Seremban Jaya assemblyman P. Gunasegaran were among seven people nabbed for their alleged links to the LTTE in simultaneous operations launched by the Bukit Aman Counter-Terrorism Division (E8).
Press members swarmed Ramasamy’s office on the 52nd floor of Komtar yesterday amid rife speculation that he and Bagan Dalam assemblyman Satees Muniandy would be picked up in the morning.
However, there was no sign of any E8 operation at the building housing the state administration.
Ramasamy said he was not aware of the activities of Saminathan and Gunasegaran prior to their arrests.
“All I know is they attended a war memorial for war victims in Melaka last year, which is not tantamount to a crime.
“Is it a crime to attend a war memorial for war victims or be sympathetic to the Rohingya, Tamilians and Hamas?” he said.
He added that there were no attempts to revive the defunct LTTE in Malaysia.
Ramasamy, who is also Penang DAP vice-chairman, added that he was mulling over filing a defamatory suit against PAS’ Kuala Nerus MP Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali who had called for his arrest.
Khairuddin, in an interview with an online portal, said Ramasamy had provoked the Tamils to confront the government and he should be arrested and investigated under Sosma.
In Kuala Lumpur, Opposition chief Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said DAP should not interfere with police investigations after its secretary-general Lim Guan Eng claimed that the police had assured him that there would be no more arrests of its party leaders over alleged connections with the LTTE.
“The Opposition bloc expresses dissatisfaction over Lim’s statement, which is seen as interfering with police matters, ” he told a press conference at the Parliament lobby.Ismail Sabri, who is also Bera MP, said “investigations and arrests must continue even if high-ranking government officials are involved”.
The Opposition, he added, also expressed regret over remarks comparing the LTTE to the Palestinian people who fought for their own land.
Gerakan president Datuk Dr Dominic Lau urged the police to take stern action against anyone who broke the law, especially those involved in terrorism.
On the arrests of the two DAP assemblymen, Lau expressed worry that the LTTE might have penetrated a Malaysian political party.
“This is a very serious issue, ” he said.
Meanwhile, former Bersih chairman Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan questioned the move by the authorities to use Sosma to detain the two assemblymen.
“I’m quite shocked. The basis has been given, but I don’t see why it has to be Sosma.
“There is no need to use it. I’m appalled that this is happening under this government, ” she was quoted as saying by online portals after attending a forum yesterday.
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