At least Abdullah was aware of the current spate of ISA arrests, unlike his state of ignorance in connection with the earlier ISA arrests against the reformasi activists in April!
However, despite the allegations by Abdullah, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Norian Mai, against the ten arrested under the ISA, accusing them of being implicated in a militant religious group with international terrorist links, no evidence has been produced about the existence of the militant group although heinous charges of murder, mayhem and robbery had been levelled against it.
Very serious allegations have been fed to the mainstream media about the KMM. New Straits Times today for instance quoted “sources” as saying that KMM members had been trained in Afghanistan in mountain warfare tactics commonly employed by guerilla fighters, involving the use of automatic rifles and rocket launchers and also in assembling homemade bombs.
The weapons which the militants handled were mainly Russian-made, including the famed Soviet AK-47 automatic rifles, hand grenades and automatic pistols.
The authorities have said that the KMM came to light after the botched Southern Bank robbery in Petaling Jaya on May 18, and the police said that the nine persons who were subsequently arrested were graduates in Islamic studies and business who were believed to have been indoctrinated and recruited into the Afghanistan-based mujahideen whilst studying in universities in Pakistan, Egypt and India.
When the police announced the arrest of the KMM nine in June, they were
implicated in 17 major criminal cases reported since 1998, including:
The government’s first and urgent duty is to prove the existence of Kumpulan Mujahidin Militant (KMM) responsible for murder, mayhem and robberies and convince Malaysians that it is not another ploy against the Opposition.
The police had ample time to gather evidence on the KMM and there is no reason why it could not establish to the satisfaction of Malaysians the existence of KMM as a militant and terrorist religious group.
The government must prove that it is not involved in another “frame-up” or “trumped-up” charges like those levelled against the University of Malaya Chinese Language Society officials in 1974 accusing them of taking part in the Communist Party of Malaya conspiracy to overthrow the existing social order when it claimed that stage props for a Chinese cultural concert “Spring Thunderstorm” were “arms” for the violent overthrow of the government-of-the-day or the recent ISA detention of reformasi activists for a militant plot for the violent overthrow of the elected government but for which the government has not been able to produce one iota of evidence to date.
The authorities have alleged that the KMM aims to destabilise the government through acts of terrorism, including agitating racial and religious sentiments.
The government can be assured of public support of any stern and severe action as Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or political opinion, are opposed to the use of terrorist or violent tactics to bring about political change in Malaysia’s plural society - but the government must discharge the onus of proof about the existence of the terrorist group, KMM, through a public trial and not by detention-without-trial laws which enables it to launch baseless attacks against legitimate political parties, which it had been wont to do in the past as well as recently.
If the government cannot produce proof to establish the existence of KMM and is not prepared to charge the ten persons, including Nik Adli Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz, the son of Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, in court for an open trial, they should be released from the ISA incarceration immediately and unconditionally.