Anti-terror law used to strike fear in Umno members, says Saifuddin


Source: The Malaysian Insider

Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah speaks during press conference protesting against the abuse of the Special Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Seth Akmal, October 7, 2015.

The detention of a former Umno man under an anti-terrorism law for speaking up against Datuk Seri Najib Razak and 1Malaysia Development Berhad is meant to strike fear in other members of the party, said Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.

Saifuddin, a former Umno Supreme Council member, said the Special Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) was used against former Batu Kawan Umno division vice-chairman Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan as he had been a politician from the ruling party.

Saifuddin also wondered if the preventive detention law would be used against Najib’s critic, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“I’m not saying that if he (Khairuddin) wasn’t from Umno, that he would not be subjected to Sosma.

“That he is from Umno and top leaders from Umno want to make sure he shuts his mouths to strike fear in Umno members. So that you guys better zip your mouth,” Saifuddin said today at a press conference organised by activists to condemn the abuse of Sosma.

“That’s why I said, if they are dare, arrest Dr Mahathir too. (But) I’m not suggesting that they do it,” he added.

Saifuddin said the Umno leadership “understood perfectly” that it was only the party that could bring down party president Najib, who is also the prime minister and finance minister.

“At this moment in time, in all practicality, it is Umno that can bring down the prime minister,” he said at the press conference, which he attended in his capacity as chairman of Akademi Belia.

He said what happened was also a signal to Umno members, who might have intentions to topple Najib.

“This is a way to intimidate Umno members from speaking up… intimidation to whoever… man on the street… regardless of who you are, you don’t speak up on issues like 1MDB or the RM2.6 billion,” Saifuddin said.

Khairuddin was rearrested on September 23 after he was released from remand under Section 124C of the Penal Code which deals with activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy.

This time, it was under Sections 124K and 124L of the Penal Code, which dealt with sabotage and attempting to sabotage the state, respectively.

Among the provisions under Sosma is that suspects can be detained for investigation for up to 29 days and can be denied bail after being charged.

Khairuddin first lodged a police report against the Finance Ministry owned 1MDB in December last year, and was subsequently sacked from Umno after being declared a bankrupt.

He then lodged reports with authorities in several countries including Hong Kong and Switzerland against the troubled firm.

The joint press statement by 38 groups also condemned the Royal Malayisan Police’s action in detaining Khairuddin under Sosma.

It said the decision to arrest Khairuddin again had undermined whatever progress Malaysia had made from the dark days of Operasi Lalang and showed the true colour of the police force. – October 7, 2015.