KUALA SELANGOR: The arrest of 12 individuals linked with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) group was neither political nor racially motivated.
The arrests which included two DAP law makers were also not conducted hastily but was done on solid evidence and in making the arrests the police also drew advice from the Attorney-General’s Chambers, said Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador.
The nation’s top cop also defended the action taken by Bukit Aman’s Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division (E8) which he described as being consistent with the threats faced by the country.
“When we have the evidence, we consulted with the lawyers on whether we could take action.
“The LTTE case had been probed since last November and after the Anti-Terrorism Unit obtained the necessary evidence, only then it was decided that action should be taken.”
Hamid said he was disappointed that there were still quarters who said the arrests were politically motivated, irrespective whether they are pro or against the government.
“It (the arrests) were not politically linked and neither was there any pressure from any quarters to make the arrests or not to make the arrests. I am not involved and I do not make decisions according to my whims and fancies.
“I am confident that the action was based on sufficient evidence and I assure that they were not hastily arrested,” he said.
Hamid assured that the rights of those detained under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) would be preserved.
“They are given the right of legal representation as well as their family being allowed to visit them.
“The place they are detained is also equipped with CCTV and no space is provided for them to be tortured.
“Their each and every movement is also recorded in an official book. I do not want this (torture) to take place and they have their (respective) rights.
“If they are confident that they are not in the wrong, then they have all the right to take this matter to the courts,” he said after launching the Allied Ride at Dataran Puncak Alam here today.
In a separate matter, Hamid said they had called up and taken down statement from the 'Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) for Win Winism' writer.
He said they would probably call up one or two others in relation to their investigation into the case.
The comic book was a collaboration between Asian Comic Cultural Museum curator Hew Kuan Yau and local artist Chong Po Ling, also known as Tomato.
Hew, better known as ‘Superman Hew’, was a former DAP member. He quit the party in July 2016 after his Facebook post, claiming that South China Sea “belongs to Beijing” caused a stir.
Hew was appointed the Malaysia-China Business Council (MCBC) chairman in February this year.
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in a statement today said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was never involved in the publication of the comic book.
“In the said comic book, there is a picture of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad with notes stating that the comic book was a gift from him (Dr Mahathir) to (President of China) Xi Jinping during their meeting on the sidelines of the Belt and Road Summit and Forum in Beijing in April this year.
“The Prime Minister’s Office would like to state that this book was not an official gift during the said meeting and it was brought without going through proper procedures and channels,” the statement read.
According to the statement, Dr Mahathir had never given permission for his picture to be used for any purpose whatsoever, or for the comic book to be distributed in schools.
The Home Ministry also said that it was investigating the unapproved distribution of the comic book claimed to carry elements of propaganda and believed to have been distributed to National Type Schools, and warned that stern action would be taken against those behind its distribution.