AG’s action to drop charges against LTTE 12 long overdue

Vijay47: After 140 days of unbelievable of fear and terror, the ‘LTTE 12’ are being released, the charges against them dropped – 140 days for the 12 of each morning’s awakening bringing them further horror of what possibly lies awaiting them, while for 12 families, continued intense anguish and heart-breaking bewilderment.

These 12 individuals and 12 families may not wish to ponder further now that freedom is at least at hand.

Yet with another shameful chapter in our history ending, another series of savage questions arise. But first, let us compliment the heroes of this episode of the gross abuse of law in Malaysia.

Obviously, the first corps of heroes are the 12 victims themselves and their families who refused to buckle under and insisted on their innocence now proven to be correct. Next would their lawyers as well as Penang Deputy Chief Minister P Ramasamy for their relentless pursuit of justice for the individuals whose only crime could be the race they were born into.

This sad story reeks with satanic villains aplenty. The worst, the dregs, would be the police force itself for bringing about the charges in the first place, lending further credibility to the fear that they seem guided by considerations other than the law.

What comfort can we aspire to claim when IGPs (inspector-generals of police) past and present seem inspired by their religion? Can we now hope that appropriate charges will be laid against them for depriving for 140 days 12 men all innocent of their liberty?

The Bar Council should be equally ashamed. They seem to have found their voice and fervour now that the baseless charges have been dropped.

Where were you, Bar president Abdul Fareed Abdul Ghafoor, when gross injustice was raging? Apart from some feeble protestations, you chose to hold your tongue when your role should have been to lead the fight from the vanguard. You will never count as a hero, you are another spineless opportunist.

Attorney-General Tommy Thomas, I hold you with great respect, admiration, and affection, perhaps much more than you could imagine. You have finally done the 12 and their families a great deserving service.

Yet, how could a man of your honour allow this travesty to occur? The very grounds for dismissal were grounds that were present ab initio. Why were they disregarded whilst the charges were being laid?

I am not at all heartened by the latest developments nor do I rejoice. I am only grievously alarmed by the depths into which this miserable Pakatan Harapan government has collapsed.

Pakatan4Life: It is very obvious from the start that forces associated with the deep state were behind the arrests of the LTTE 12.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam threat perception has been overblown for some other reasons. The political demonisation of the DAP by its political enemies might have coincided with the actions of the deep state to fling into action.

Let us not forget that the LTTE bogeyman episode would not have arisen without the arrival of the Indian fugitive preacher Zakir Naik. The move to neutralise the opposition to Zakir Naik could have activated the designs of the deep state and those powerful figures bent on producing a particular outcome.

If the European Union could delist LTTE some years ago for not posing a threat, and the US for not even naming LTTE as a source of potential threat or danger in the recently released country report on terrorism, the Malaysian government seems to be caught in a peculiar kind of entrapment that keeps LTTE “alive”.

Tamils in Malaysia or elsewhere might have fond memories of LTTE. They might have gatherings and war memorials in remembrance of the past, but such symbolic or nostalgic gatherings do not signify the revival of LTTE but slowly letting go of a period in Tamil political history.

Brochures, pamphlets and photographs of LTTE leaders do not mean that those arrested have links with LTTE, but there is no LTTE to have links with in the first place.

The annihilation of LTTE has changed the course of Tamil history in Sri Lanka, from one of armed struggle to one of democratic struggle, with the support of the international community. Whether the Tamils will obtain some form of autonomy or seek an independent state will all depend on their political strategy. However, one thing is certain, the armed struggle option is no more there.

Tamils, having endured more than 30 years of hardship and suffering under conditions of civil war, are not in a position to undergo another 30 years of intense struggle. Tamils are not in position to accept another armed struggle.

Tamil enthusiasm for identity and nationalism cannot be simply reduced to LTTE. The end of LTTE is not an end to Tamil nationalism but the beginning of another phase under particular circumstances of the post-war period.

So, what revival of LTTE are we talking about?

Anonymous 2043581479977820: Well done, AG. This is definitely a right decision.

So much time, energy and expense had been wasted on this, which I think most Malaysians knew was an irrational act by the authorities to arrest and charged these men for mere association with a defunct organisation in a foreign country.

Would anyone be held accountable for this debacle now? Twelve people have been denied their liberty for months because the dreaded Sosma (Security Offences [Special Measures] Act) was used when more appropriate Penal Code could have been preferred.

David Dass: This was late in the coming but better late than never. This was a prosecution that should never have been commenced.

The LTTE 12 have suffered a prolonged period of detention and denied bail because they were charged under a law designed for terrorists. The AG has said what needed to be said. This was a burning issue that needed to be put behind us. We are relieved.

Kim Quek: Even men-in-the-street knew right from the beginning that the LTTE arrests were absurd. The big question is: why did AG Thomas agree to it and even laid charges against them?

It is obvious that it was a political conspiracy, partially targeted at DAP. An important question now on the current discontinuation of the charges is: who initiated the current move – Thomas or his political master?

Is the freeing of these LTTE detainees also a politically-motivated move or just a conscientious decision by the AG – with or without agreement from his political master?

Ian2003: Finally, an action which is way overdue. The 12 have lost so much of their time. The government should compensate them for the wrongful arrests.

Those responsible for the misuse of authoritative power should now be investigated for element of mala fide, or at the very least, disciplinary action be taken against them.

Newday: My thoughts and best wishes go out to the LTTE 12, their families and close friends during this time of incarceration. Justice has been served? I’m not so sure about that.

The evidence was so flimsy right from the start, yet the Home Ministry, Malaysian Royal Police (PDRM) and the Anti-Terrorism Unit continued to pursue this with way too much vigour.

Indeed, questions remain – why were they charged in the first place? It can only be revenge madness by the far-right of our politics to divert from our number one terror threat Zakir Naik and his followers. Nothing else makes sense.

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Pakatan Harapan, this happened under your watch. You have a great responsibility to ensure that a travesty of justice like this never happens again.

You must weed out the extremists within; those who will do anything in their power to demonise others who are innocent and that includes the Home Ministry, PDRM, Special Branch and Jakim.

To those of the far-right that peddled this fairy tale in the first place, I really hope you are found, convicted and incarcerated. You know who you are.

Omar Iz: The AG mocks the act of charging people for alleged offences committed six years ago. It is “against public interest”, he says. So, one wonders what was the old man (Mahathir) thinking when he declared he was satisfied with “police’s reasoning”.

RR: It is the constant pressure of constructive and rational views that a few of us commentators, including prominent lawyers, put on the Home Ministry, police, AG and the judiciary on the LTTE 12 case that brought this episode to a just end.