PETALING JAYA: The DAP condemns terrorism in any form but wants the police to honour the spirit of an “accountable and transparent government” and not to have any “deep state” mentality reflecting the past kleptocratic government, says Lim Kit Siang.
The party advisor said he visited the families of Seremban Jaya assemblyman P. Gunasekaran and Gadek assemblyman G. Saminathan, who were arrested on Thursday (Oct 10) under the Security Offences Special Measures Act (Sosma) 2012, for investigation into terrorist activities in connection with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
"Under the previous administration, the definition of a threat to the security of the nation could mean any threat to the security of the incumbent prime minister or political party in power which had nothing to do with the security of the nation," he said, citing the example of attempts to restore the good name and dignity of the country by exposing the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal.
"This was why former Batu Kawan Umno deputy chief Khairuddin Abu Hassan was arrested under Sosma in 2015 and why Sosma was used in 2016 to arrest 15 Opposition leaders and prominent civil rights activists, including Maria Chin Abdullah, then Bersih chairman and now Petaling Jaya MP, in connection with the Bersih 5 rally on Nov 19,2016.
"The era when national security is the sole concern of the police is over as national security should be the concern of all patriotic Malaysians," he said in a statement on Sunday (Oct 13).
While the police have the professional and specific duty to safeguard the national security of the nation, it should not act as in the past when the phrase “national security” was abused not to protect national security, but for other motives and purposes, Lim said.
"This is why the police must act in a transparent and accountable fashion.
"Both assemblymen are long-time DAP members and would have imbibed the DAP’s core commitment to effect political change though peaceful, non-violent and democratic means and to eschew any resort to violence or any form of terrorism," he said.
Lim added that Gunasekaran has been in the party for 37 years and always supported the party’s 53-year commitment to carry out peaceful, non-violent and democratic change and to eschew violence in any form.
"In fact, Gunasekaran has stood in six elections and has been victorious on three occasions.
"I believe Gunasekaran and Saminathan are innocent of the terrorism charges. If the police have evidence otherwise, then charge them in court which will give them the opportunity to defend themselves," he said.
The police must be mindful of the background of the Pakatan Harapan pledge in its 14th General Election manifesto for the repeal of repressive laws, in particular the draconian provisions in Sosma, Lim added.
"Until the draconian provisions in Sosma are repealed, there must be effective checks and balances to ensure that the spirit of the Pakatan pledge of a New Malaysia is honoured and that there are no abuses of power concerning the draconian provisions in Sosma," he said.