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TheAge: Furore At Mahathir Plot Claim
By Mark Baker

6/8/2001 10:10 pm Mon

[Tangkapan terbaru terhadap pemimpin PAS dan anak TG Nik Aziz sendiri telah menggegarkan senario politik tanah-air dan mungkin juga seantero dunia. Ini bermakna Mahathir dan Abdullah Badawi telah tidak memperdulikan saranan Suhakam serta tidak menghormati implikasi keputusan Hakim Hishamudin mengenai kedudukkan ISA, kuasa polis dan perlembagaan.

Pembangkang tidak perlu melancarkan serangan militan kerana ceramah dan suara sahaja sudah cukup berkesan. Lagipun Mahathir sendiri akan menyebabkan Umno dan BN terbenam. Dia kerapkali memberikan markah percuma tanpa perlupun pembangkang mengangkat senjata ala tentera. Bukankah Kelantan dan Terengganu dulu tumpas dengan begitu aman tanpa sedikit pun kekacauan? Sebaliknya mesyuarat dalam parti MCA, Umno, MIC dan PPP sendiri asyik penuh dengan keganasan sehingga kekadang polis terpaksa dipanggil untuk meleraikan. Tetapi mesyuarat parti pembangkang semuanya berakhir dengan senyuman..... kerana yang penting ahli dan rakyat yang menang - bukan diri sendiri. - Editor]

Furore at Mahathir plot claim

Monday 6 August 2001

Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has sparked a political furore by accusing the country's biggest opposition party of being implicated in an alleged terrorist conspiracy by Islamic extremists.

Leaders of the moderate Islamic-based party Pas have accused Dr Mahathir of using desperate tactics to try to halt a rapid decline in support among traditional Malays for his leadership and for the ruling United Malays National Organisation.

Pas president Fadzil Mohamad Noor angrily denied any involvement by the party in extremist activity. "Don't involve Pas in this. It has nothing to do with the party."

Dr Mahathir claimed at the weekend that 10 people arrested since last Thursday under the Internal Security Act - which allows indefinite detention without trial - had been trained by Afghanistan's Taliban militia and were preparing a campaign of political and criminal violence.

He said some of the group were extremist members of Pas who believed political change in Malaysia was too slow and wanted to overthrow the government.

"These people have gone abroad, getting involved with the Taliban and accumulating weapons overseas, and now they have returned. We realised that they intended to use violence such as killing, robbing banks and exploding bombs," he said.

The 10 arrested include two members of the youth wing of Pas and the son of the chief minister of the Pas-led state of Kelantan, Nik Aziz Nik Mat.

Police claimed they were part of a group with more than 50 members that was behind a number of bombings, the murder of a provincial politician and a series of robberies over the past year.

But senior opposition leaders said no evidence had been produced to implicate those arrested in any criminal activity.

"If the government has evidence, they should be charged in court and put through an open trial and not detained under the ISA," Democratic Action Party leader Lim Kit Siang said.

Similar terrorist allegations were made in April when the security act was used to arrest a group of young leaders of the opposition Keadilan Party - headed by the wife of former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim, whose jailing two years ago on sex and corruption charges is seen to have triggered the decline in support for the government.

A judge released two of the detainees in June after accusing police of abusing their powers and saying no evidence had been produced to support claims they were plotting to topple the government. An appeal by six others who have been ordered detained without trial for two years will be heard this week.

The latest arrests coincide with a widening crackdown on political dissent, including a ban on all political rallies and meetings, which has led to a series of confrontations in recent days between police and opposition activists.

In a 32-page report released on Friday, Malaysia's government-appointed human rights commission, Suhakam, attacked growing restrictions on political freedom in Malaysia and called for an end to the ban on political gatherings.

"In the past three years, Malaysian civil society has strengthened and the demand for civil and political rights has become louder," it said. "It is imperative for the government to respond to the changing political climate and changing aspirations."