Monday, May 16, 2011

VIDEO INSIDE : Charge or free ISA detainee

An anti-ISA movement urges the government to either charge the Singaporean businessman in court or to set him free.
KUALA LUMPUR : The government has been urged to immediately release or charge a Singaporean businessman detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for alleged links to terrorists in southern Philippines.

“He should be released immediately or tried in court,” said Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA(GMI) chairman Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh, referring to businessman Abdul Majid Kunji Mohammad (photo), 60.

He also said the home ministry should not go ahead with its plan to deport Majid back to Singapore.

“We are concerned that if sent back without a trial, he might be arrested under the ISA in Singapore too,” he told a press conference here today.

Syed Ibrahim also urged the police to allow Majid to meet with his family and lawyer as soon as possible.

Majid was arrested by a group of plainclothes Bukit Aman officers at his office in Setiawangsa on May 6.

According to GMI, when Majid’s wife repeatedly asked the officers why he was being handcuffed, they had replied that he was being arrested under the ISA.

Syed Ibrahim claimed that the officers, who did not provide any identification, said they had no proof of Majid’s offence but were acting based on a report lodged.

Majid’s wife, known only as Suriati, was supposed to attend the press conference but had backed out after being allegedly warned by the police’s Special Branch.

“She couldn’t make it because she was harassed by officers who told her not to come,” said Syed Ibrahim.

‘Mind-boggling accusation’
According to the GMI chairman, Majid, a textile trader, had been in Malaysia for more than 10 years. This version differed from the police’s claim that he had escaped from Singapore two years ago.

“He has eight children with his first wife (in Johor). He is a jovial and religious person.

“He was a lecturer with a university in Singapore and now has financial problems. The accusation that he is funding militants in the Philippines is therefore mind-boggling as Majid is almost bankrupt,” he said, adding that the information was from Suriati.

“Suriati had become very fearful especially after her husband’s arrest was published in the papers. She is sad because it is not true and even her family had believed it,” added GMI committee member Aliza Jaffar, who visited the Suriati, 34, last week.

Aliza said Suriati told her Majid was even lecturing at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia a day before he was arrested.

“We find it hard to believe that a person who can be hired as a lecturer in a local university can be accused of such things,” she added.

Syed Ibrahim said the government was supposedly reviewing the ISA but at the same time new detentions were still being carried out discretely.

On May 10, Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein confirmed Majid’s arrest, saying: “His ties and actions pose a very real and serious threat to national security.”

The minister also said that Majid was high on Singapore’s wanted list.

Teoh El Sen FMT

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