13 July 2000
Press Statement:
Barisan Nasional Latest Witch Hunt
It is disturbing to see that the Government crackdown against the Al Ma置nah
group is turning into a political witch hunt to create fear in the society.
The Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir has not let off this opportunity
to attack the political dissidents against his autocratic rule. Not only
that the Prime Minister is insinuating the Al Ma置nah cult is linked to the
mainstream political party such as PAS, he also tries to intimidate the
Non-Muslim into staying loyal to the Barisan Nasional.
KeADILan condemns such sinister political maneuvers. There are still many
unresolved miseries and inconsistencies surrounding the case. The Government
needs to provide an honest and transparent account of the whole sequence of
events to the public. We fear that the mass arrest of the alleged Al Ma置nah
members is used as intimidation and persecution against legitimate
organizations or innocent individuals.
The draconian Internal Security Act (ISA) is again being justified as a tool
for national security. Individuals suspected linked with deviant cults are
now targeted victims of the ISA. KeADILan strongly opposes the detention of
alleged Al Ma置nah members under the ISA. At the same time, the Government
should not be evasive in investigating flaws within the security system.
Slacken security procedures in the camp and incompetence of the IGP had
resulted the deplorable death of two servicemen.
The use of ISA by the Barisan Nasional (BN) Government is not only a
violation of basic human rights. As the process of inquest conducted under
the ISA is non-transparent, we fear that the authorities may use this
pretext to cover up irregularities, loopholes or wrongdoings in the national
security system to avoid embarrassment.
So far, the authorities concerned is yet to make public the names of the
accused members of the Al Ma置nah group who are held under ISA. There have
been no statements from the police forces to assure that their safety and
dignity would be respected and that their interrogation would be free from
torture and violence.
From the tract records of police, ISA detainees have been subjected to all
forms of tortures, intimidation and humiliation throughout the process of
inquiries. We suspect many of the detainees would again victimized by the
authorities. We believe the existing Criminal Codes and the Firearm Act are
sufficient and appropriate to handle culprits in the arms heists incident.
People who are not connected to the incident should be released immediately
or charge them in open court.
It seems that the Government has conveniently widened the persecution
targets to legitimate political dissents. Evidently, the Prime Minister and
several other BN leaders are exploiting the situation to justify a larger
campaign against the opposition. However, the BN leadership should not
underestimate the intelligence of the people. The people could see through
the real intention of the Government痴 futile actions is nothing but to
divert public attention from widespread abuses of power in the government
and the mismanagement of the national economy.
Tian Chua
Vice President Parti KeADILan