This is the new Malaysia where elected members of a ruling coalition party can be charged with terrorism for alleged links to the defunct Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) militant group.
Two Democratic Action Party assemblymen P Gunasekaran and G Saminathan were charged today for terrorism and they claimed trial to the charges under Section 130 of the Penal Code.
They were arrested three weeks ago in a surprise crackdown on sympathisers of the LTTE in Malaysia following reports of the presence of LTTE-linked groups in Malaysia.
Gunasekaran, the Seremban Jaya assemblyman, and Saminathan, who is Melaka’s Gadek assemblyman and a state exco member, were brought to the Ayer Keroh Sessions Court this morning together with businessman S Chandru after their arrests alongside nine others.
A DAP lawmaker Ramkarpal Singh represented the defendants and DAP veteran politician Lim Kit Siang and Human Resources Minister M Kula Segaran were present at the court hearing. The accused assemblymen were denied bail.
A total of 12 people were detained under the Security Offences ((Special Measures) Act 2012.
A video circulating on Facebook and posted by a group calling itself the “Malaysian Terrorist & Mission Threats Study Center” (in Malay, Pusat Kajian Ancaman Pengganas & Misionari Di Malaysia) shows a man speaking in Malay on his support for the banned Sri Lankan Tamil Tigers Liberation Front.
In the Facebook page, the video uncovers the existence of an ‘LTTE’ group in Malaysia. The man speaking in the video, Kalai Mugilan, is warning the police in Malaysia not to stop the activities of his group.
The man says in Malay that he is a Malaysian citizen who understands the laws and the ‘Rukun Negara’ or Pillars of the State and that he has the right to support the LTTE.
In the background in the video, there is a poster in Tamil with a picture of Velupillai Prabhakaran, the founder and leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam or LTTE, a militant organization that waged a war in Sri Lanka in its bid to create an independent Tamil state in the north and east of the country.