As the government comes under fire for using the soon-to-be abolished law to detain alleged terrorists, critics are told to let the police do their job.


PETALING JAYA: MCA today urged PAS and others not to politicise the recent arrest of 13 suspected terrorists in Tawau, Sabah, under the Internal Security Act (ISA).

MCA Youth secretary-general Chai Kim Sen said the Islamic party should allow the police to investigate the matter thoroughly, instead of “quickly jumping to the defence of these people”.

“It should be left to the police to decide whether the persons arrested are missionaries or terrorists,” Chai said in a statement.

He added that the police had a reason to believe that Tawau was being used as a transit point for weapons from the Philippines.

FMT reported yesterday that at least 10 people were arrested in Tawau under the ISA by a special team from the Bukit Aman federal police headquarters. No further information was given by the police on the arrest.

Inspector General of Police Ismail Omar today confirmed that 13 people, including seven Malaysians, were arrested under ISA in Tawau. He added that they were suspected to be Jemaah Islamiah members.

PAS supporters

Sabah PAS had reacted by stating that those arrested were either its members or supporters, and had called upon the police to release them immediately, or charge them in court.

It was reported in the local media that those arrested were suspected terrorists from Indonesia and the Philippines.

“If they are indeed missionaries and PAS members, how and why does PAS count foreign citizens as among its members?” asked Chai.

He also asked if it was possible for some Sabah PAS members to have been in contact with Islamic militants in Indonesia and the Philippines.

“The security of our country is at stake here… PAS and its allies in Pakatan Rakyat should not politicise the issue further by making up lies and distorting the truth,” he added.

Police, government under fire

Meanwhile, the Abolish ISA Movement (GMI) and Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) condemned the police and the government over the use of the ISA in Tawau.

They said the use of the ISA was regrettable as it contradicted with Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s announcement in September to abolish the preventive law.

“What is the rationale behind the detention? Is the prime minister trying to fool the people of Malaysia with his hypocritical attitude? The PM should be ashamed of this arrest,” they said in a statement today.

They also said that the allegations made against those arrested remained unclear although they were linked to terrorism.

They said according to their sources, those arrested include three teachers, one religious teacher and two newspaper distributors.

Similar sentiments were also expressed by Lawyers for Liberty, who demanded the immediate release of all ISA detainees and the immediate abolition of the draconian law.

By FMT Staff,17 November 2011