Bersih 2.0 chair Maria Chin Abdullah doesn’t deserve to be detained under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma), or let alone be put in solitary confinement, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.
The former prime minister said the activist did not commit any act of terrorism that justified the government’s usage of the anti-terrorism law against her.
“Sosma is not meant for any detention [for] political differences, it is meant for terrorism or terrorism suspects, or people who may want to commit some act of terror. I cannot imagine Maria committing any terror act.
“It is true she is very vocal; she has led Bersih for a long time but she’s not even a member of a political party. All she wanted is [to demand] for a clean government,” he told a press conference at the Perdana Leadership Foundation here.
He said Maria’s case was unique as she was placed in solitary confinement even before she was brought to court.
“People can say during my time, people were detained and perhaps confined in solitary confinement but those were different cases, nobody has been arrested and immediately thrown into the cell.
“This is unique because Maria has not been charged, has not been placed before the court,” he said, adding that it was wrong to use Sosma for political reasons.
Dr Mahathir also cited then de facto law minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz’s remarks in Parliament in 2012, who had stated that Sosma would not be used against political dissidents.
“The law doesn’t apply to Maria. She is not a terrorist threatening the security of this country.
“It is not a security situation, (she) cannot be charged under Sosma,” Dr Mahathir said.
Dr Mahathir, who made his second Bersih appearance on Saturday, has continued his support for Bersih 2.0 by attending a candlelight vigil for Maria last night.
Maria’s family earlier today submitted a habeas corpus application to the Kuala Lumpur High Court, asking it to compel the police to release her from a 28-day detention order.
Police detained Maria on November 18 under Section 124C of the Penal Code that criminalises the attempt to commit activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy, and invoked Sosma for the arrest.
Sosma permits the police to hold individuals for up to 28 days without trial.
Source : MELATI A. JALIL@The Malay Mail Online