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Anwar appeals for cops to be given space, not pressure in LTTE probe

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PKR president Anwar Ibrahim (above) has disagreed with a backbencher's suggestion that the Parliamentary Select Committee on Defence and Home Affairs (PSC) look into the arrests of those accused of having links with the defunct Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

"My personal opinion is there is no need (for this). We should give the police space.

"The police should not have to face pressure. It is not necessary to question the police's investigation process," he told reporters at the Parliament lobby today.

On PAS' suggestion that the government table a White Paper on LTTE, Anwar said the matter was best referred to the cabinet.

The Port Dickson MP is the chair of the bi-partisan parliamentary caucus on reform and governance.

The suggestion for the PSC investigation was mooted by Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng (above).

The DAP lawmaker called for a committee meeting to discuss the use of the Special Offences (Security Measures) Act (Sosma), which allows the police to detain suspects for 28 days without trial, and not the arrests themselves.

Select committee chair Mansor Othman also agreed to call a meeting sometime this week.

Two lawmakers from Lim's party were arrested last week over the alleged LTTE links. Police have arrested a total of 12 people so far.

Apart from allegedly attempting to revive the movement, police also claimed that one suspect planned to attack the Sri Lankan High Commission in Kuala Lumpur.

Yesterday, Anwar said certain aspects and sections of Sosma should be amended and improved on for the benefit of all parties as the law has been deemed too harsh.

He also denied some former PKR members were also arrested with regard to the case.

“I have not received any report on current or former PKR members being involved or arrested by the police’s counter-terrorism division (E8),” he said.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian Bar urged the police to expedite its probe and not to unnecessarily detain the suspects for 28 days.

Kit Siang says committees formed to prevent abuse

In a statement later, DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang (below) underscored the importance of the select committees.

“While the police have the professional and specific duty to safeguard the national security of the nation, it should not act as in the past when the phrase 'national security' was abused not to protect national security, but for other motives and purposes.

“This is why the police must act in a transparent and accountable fashion.

“This is also why we have a Select Committee on Defence and Home Affairs, as national security is the responsibility of all Malaysians,” he added.

On the same note, Lim made it clear that DAP never proposed police investigation into the LTTE should stop because two of its elected representatives were arrested.

However, he said the era of national security being the sole concern of the police is over.

"National security should be the concern of all patriotic Malaysians and members of Parliament.

“The police must be mindful of the background for the Pakatan Harapan pledge for the repeal of repressive laws, in particular, the draconian provisions in Sosma.

“Until the draconian provisions in Sosma are repealed, there must be effective check and balance to ensure that the spirit of the Harapan pledge of a New Malaysia is honoured and that there are no abuses of power,” he added.

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