Call for the immediate release of Gunasekaran and Saminathan and the other five detained for suspected attempt to revive the LTTE or they should be charged in court to afford them a chance to defend themselves

As stated by the 16 Indian MPs and State Assembly representatives of Pakatan Harapan in a joint statement yesterday, the arrest of the two DAP State Assemblymen and five others for alleged links of LTTE by the police were beyond comprehension, as the LTTE as a Tamil liberation force was decimated in Sri Lanka with the end of the 26-year civil war in 2009, where the head of LTTE Vellupillai Prabhakaran was killed.

More than 10 years have elapsed and it is most ridiculous to envisage a revival of the LTTE from Malaysia, and involving DAP leaders.

For 53 years, the DAP has committed itself to a peaceful and non-violent democratic form of political struggle to bring about change, eschewing any violent form of struggle – let alone terrorism,.

I have myself twice been detained under the former Internal Security Act as a threat to national security and it is important that with the change of government on May 9, 2018, police mentality and strategy with regard to legitimate dissent and what constitutes threat to national security must accordingly undergo the necessary changes.

This is reason for the Pakatan Harapan pledge in its 14th General Election Manifesto for a repeal of repressive laws, in particular the draconian provisions in the SOSMA Act 2012.

Until this is done, there must be effective check and balance to ensure that the spirit of the Pakatan Harapan pledge of a New Malaysia is honoured and that there are no abuses of power when the draconian provisions in repressive laws are still in place.

For this reason, there should be immediate release of P. Gunasekaran, DAP Negri Sembilan State Assemblyman for Seremban Jaya; G. Saminathan, Malacca State Executive Councillor and Malacca State Assemblyman for Gadek and five others detained for suspected attempt to revive the LTTE or they should be charged in court to afford them a chance to defend themselves.

Parliament has set up a Select Committee on Defence and Home Affairs.

The Police should appear before this Select Committee to explain, in general, how the Police are to carry out its duties under the Pakatan Harapan Government with the PH commitment of an accountable and transparent administration and in particular on the current arrests and how the police will comply with the PH commitment not to abuse its powers under the draconian measures in repressive laws until they are repealed.

I believe that Gunasekaran and Saminathan are fully committed to the DAP principle of a peaceful democratic struggle, abhorring all forms of violence and terrorism.

I will visit the families of Gunasekaran and Saminathan in Seremban and Malacca respectively on Sunday.

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri