Kota Melaka MP Khoo Poay Tiong will raise the issue of the alleged torture and forced confessions of suspects charged with supporting the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), in Parliament when session resumes next week.
This is so the government can explain the situation as well as steps to be taken to address the allegation, as, Khoo said, the integrity of the police force is at stake.
He further called on Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Abdul Hamid Bador and Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to launch an immediate probe into the complaints.
The DAP lawmaker is referring to claims made by several of the accused at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court yesterday on mistreatment, torture and intimidation they allegedly suffered during their detention under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma).
“I will submit an urgent question on this issue to Parliament so that the minister can have an open platform to address the issue during the Minister’s Question Time (MQT) session next week.
“The minister must provide an explanation to Parliament, including what steps have been taken to correct the situation, so that the integrity of the police force is not further damaged,” he said in a statement today.
The allegations made by the accused - grocery shop owner B Subramaniam, 57, and scrap metal dealer A Kalaimughilan, 28 - were conveyed to judge Azura Alwi yesterday.
They were among 12 men, including two DAP state assemblypersons, detained by Bukit Aman in a crackdown against the now-defunct LTTE, earlier this month.
The separatist group, which fought against the Sri Lankan government for the independence of its Tamil-majority region, was defeated in 2009.
The Tamil cause in Sri Lanka receives sympathy from the Tamil diaspora, but the LTTE is considered by Malaysia to be a terrorist organisation.
Read more: Kiniguide - who were the LTTE?
The men were slapped with multiple charges under Section 130 of the Penal Code on Oct 29 and Oct 31 related to the support of the LTTE, as well as the possessing and displaying of materials related to the group.
In his statement, Khoo said the purported abuses were “symptomatic of a draconian law which gives arbitrary and wide-ranging powers to the police.”
“With their continuing detention, the detainees are at further risk of torture and mistreatment.
“[...] In fact, during the court trial in the past week, the detainees have been openly mistreated as they were handcuffed and escorted by fully-armed police clad in balaclava.
“Is this an attempt to stigmatise them as ‘terrorists’ in the eyes of the public?” he further questioned.
Khoo added that this case highlighted the need for the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC), which is being established.
“The police can also benefit from the IPCMC as it allows them to safeguard their reputation and professionalism from false and baseless accusations of any misconduct, unlike now where they have no avenue to clear their names in the public sphere.
“Nevertheless, in the absence of the IPCMC, I urge the IGP and home minister to launch an immediate investigation on the complaints and hold any wrongdoers accountable.”
The police and government have come under scrutiny for the use of Sosma in the LTTE case, especially as the controversial law was criticised by Pakatan Harapan prior to the 14th general election (GE14).
In its GE14 election manifesto, Harapan promised to repeal draconian provisions within Sosma.