Two politi­cians held

Two of them are DAP reps, two more to be nabbed to­day

The Star Malaysia - - Front Page -

WHO?

Assem­bly­man & an exco mem­ber

WHY?

Al­leged links to ter­ror group

NEXT?

An even big­ger name? The duo were among seven held for al­legedly fund­ing Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka.

KUALA LUMPUR: A 28-year-old in­surance agent who was al­legedly plan­ning to at­tack the Sri Lankan High Com­mis­sion here in Malaysia was among seven ar­rested for links to the Lib­er­a­tion Tigers of Tamil Ee­lam (LTTE) mil­i­tant group.

The ar­rests sent shock­waves through DAP be­cause two of the party’s as­sem­bly­men from Ne­gri Sem­bi­lan and Me­laka were among those nabbed, while it is re­li­ably learned that two more lead­ers from Pe­nang, one of them a high-rank­ing state of­fi­cial, will be ar­rested to­day.

Ac­cord­ing to a source in Ge­orge Town, the Pe­nang assem­bly­man, who is also an ex­ec­u­tive coun­cil­lor, is likely to be hauled up at his of­fice in Kom­tar this morn­ing while an­other law­maker is ex­pected to be ar­rested in But­ter­worth.

Mean­while Pe­nang Deputy Chief Min­is­ter II Dr P. Ra­masamy, who had been in­ves­ti­gated ear­lier for al­leged links to the LTTE, said he did not know whether he would be ar­rested or not.

“But I will face it,” he said. He added that the po­lice had not been in touch with him since he was first ques­tioned.

“I was cleared by the po­lice last year af­ter the ques­tion­ing.

“I told them that I was in­volved in the peace process, and I was talk­ing to both the LTTE and Sri Lankan gov­ern­ment, which was my scope of re­spon­si­bil­ity,” he added.

Ra­masamy said he was in­volved with the peace process since 2005 when he was a lec­turer with Univer­siti Ke­bangsaan Malaysia.

He was also part of a ne­go­ti­a­tion team es­tab­lished to find a peace­ful so­lu­tion to the con­flict be­tween the LTTE and the Sri Lankan gov­ern­ment.

Mean­while, spec­u­la­tion is that the sec­ond Pe­nang leader who may be ar­rested is Ba­gan Dalam assem­bly­man Sa­tees Mu­niandy, who said that he had also been ques­tioned by the po­lice sev­eral times over the LTTE.

“I at­tended a war re­mem­brance event for the vic­tims of the Sri Lanka war in But­ter­worth in 2014, which was or­gan­ised by a Tamil non-gov­ern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tion when I was a Se­berang Prai coun­cil­lor.

“I told the po­lice that I was there on in­vi­ta­tion as a mark of re­spect for the vic­tims of the war and had no links with LTTE,” he said.

Sa­tees added that he never sup­ported the LTTE but only sym­pa­thised with the vic­tims.

“They have ques­tioned me be­fore and I have told them that.

“If I am ar­rested, let it be,” he said.

How­ever, DAP sec­re­tary-gen­eral Lim Guan Eng re­port­edly said po­lice in­formed him that while more peo­ple would be ar­rested, no more lead­ers or as­sem­bly­men from DAP would be tar­geted.

He said the party would pro­vide a le­gal team to as­sist the two al­ready ar­rested, to be led by Bukit Gel­u­gor MP Ramkarpal Singh and Je­lu­tong MP RSN Rayer.

The two DAP as­sem­bly­men ar­rested yes­ter­day were Me­laka exco mem­ber G. Sam­i­nathan and Serem­ban Jaya assem­bly­man P. Gu­nasegaran.

Bukit Aman Counter Ter­ror­ism Divi­sion (E8) head Deputy Comm Datuk Ayob Khan said they con­ducted si­mul­ta­ne­ous oper­a­tions be­tween 9am and 2pm yes­ter­day.

“We ar­rested seven in raids in Kuala Lumpur, Se­lan­gor, Ne­gri Sem­bi­lan, Me­laka, Perak and Kedah.

“We have been mon­i­tor­ing the move­ments of the seven since Novem­ber last year be­fore we made the ar­rests,” he told re­porters at Bukit Aman here.

He said the as­sem­bly­men from Ne­gri Sem­bi­lan and Me­laka had at­tended an LTTE War­riors Day event in Me­laka on Nov 28 last year.

“The two were be­lieved to have been hand­ing out pam­phlets and other items linked to the LTTE.

“In Rawang we ar­rested a 28-year-old scrap metal dealer who is be­lieved to have been the or­gan­iser of the LTTE War­riors Day event.

“He was also one of the in­di­vid­u­als who at­tacked the Sri Lankan High Com­mis­sioner to Malaysia at the Kuala Lumpur In­ter­na­tional Air­port on Sept 4, 2016,” he said.

DCP Ayob said they ar­rested a 37-year-old taxi driver in Sun­gai Siput who had held se­cret meet­ings to re­cruit new mem­bers and spread LTTE pro­pa­ganda.

“He was also in­volved in the at­tack on the high com­mis­sioner in 2016.

“We ar­rested a 27-year-old tech­ni­cian in Kulim for sup­port­ing the LTTE and own­ing items con­nected to the group,” he said, adding that po­lice also ar­rested a 57-year-old restau­rant op­er­a­tor for sup­port­ing the LTTE on so­cial me­dia.

He said based on in­tel­li­gence and in­ves­ti­ga­tions, po­lice be­lieved that there was a plan to re­vive the LTTE.

“We have been in­ves­ti­gat­ing them since Novem­ber and we made the ar­rests as we have strong ev­i­dence.

“For now, the seven sus­pects have been de­tained un­der the Se­cu­rity Of­fences (Spe­cial Mea­sures) Act 2012 for 28 days for fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tions,” he said, adding that they would con­tinue to in­ves­ti­gate the group and its sup­port­ers here and did not rule out fur­ther ar­rests in fu­ture.

When asked whether any politi­cian from Pe­nang was also on the po­lice radar, DCP Ayob said po­lice would take ac­tion against any in­di­vid­ual in­volved in ter­ror­ist ac­tiv­i­ties re­gard­less of who they were.

He said he was aware of cer­tain par­ties equat­ing the acts of the LTTE in Sri Lanka to that of the Pales­tini­ans fight­ing for their homes, but they would con­tinue to take ac­tion against any­one who was in­volved in such ac­tiv­i­ties.

“I do not see this as a racist act. Why are cer­tain peo­ple la­belling us as racists now when we have steadily been tak­ing ac­tion against all in­di­vid­u­als linked to ter­ror­ist ac­tiv­i­ties from all races and re­li­gions?” he said.

Ra­masamy: ‘I was cleared by the po­lice last year af­ter the ques­tion­ing’.

Sa­tees: At­tended a war re­mem­brance event for the vic­tims of the Sri Lanka war.

Ayob: ‘The seven sus­pects have been de­tained un­der Sosma’.

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