Deputy Minister Sivarasa Blames ‘Deep State’ for LTTE-Linked Arrests

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Deep-state elements within the police force and Attorney-General’s Chambers were behind the arrests of two state lawmakers under a controversial anti-terror law, said deputy minister Sivarasa Rasiah.

  • The arrests were never endorsed by the cabinet or any senior minister in the administration and presented as an accomplished fact by elements in the police
  • Decision to charge the 12 detainees occurred while A-G Tommy Thomas, who was appointed by PH, was overseas.
  • Also claims that the arrest of the DAP duo was in retaliation over the party’s criticism of Zakir Naik

The arrest of the two, along with 10 others for supposedly trying to revive a defunct Sri Lankan Tamil militant group, was aimed at politically damaging Pakatan Harapan, said the lawyer-turned-politician.

Sivarasa said their arrests under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) angered those who supported PH in the 14th general election.

The arrests were never endorsed by the cabinet or any senior minister in the administration and presented as a fait accompli by elements in the police, Sivarasa said.

The presence of the deep state, he said, is one of the biggest challenges facing PH in its efforts to reform key institutions.

The deep state refers to individuals or groups within the bureaucracy pursuing their own agenda which may be in conflict with the aims of an elected administration.

“The political damage from this is that it has upset significant numbers of Indian voters and some of our supporters of all races – Chinese and Malays,” Sivarasa told The Malaysian Insight.

“The effect of it is we saw in Tg Piai because (our supporters) said you promised to repeal draconian parts of Sosma and here you are using it on grounds that sound so frivolous, which is on the revival of LTTE (Liberation Tamil Tigers of Elam) which does not exist.”

PH suffered a crushing loss in the Tg Piai by-election when its candidate was defeated by 15,000 votes – the biggest loss for any ruling coalition.

“So, our supporters are upset and people who are doing this are intending to cause political damage to Pakatan. But they are inside the institutions, such as the police, and have loyalties to the old government.”

DAP state lawmakers P Gunasekaran from Negri Sembilan and G Saminathan from Malacca, along with 10 others were charged under Sosma last month.

They are accused of gathering funds and support to revive the LTTE.

Other PH politicians have claimed that the arrest of the DAP duo was in retaliation over the party’s criticism of controversial preacher Dr Zakir Naik.

LTTE was wiped out in a major Sri Lankan military operation in 2009, two decades after they waged an armed struggle for equal rights for the country’s Tamil community.

Sivarasa said the decision to charge the 12 detainees occurred while Attorney-General Tommy Thomas, who was appointed by PH, was overseas.

“The deep state exists in more than one institution. The AG was on holiday for two weeks. This is what I mean. Sometimes there is only so much one person can do.

Nazir Sufari/TMI

“If the authority to prosecute is already signed, it is hard to retract because there is backlash. So, you need to stop it before it happens. So, you see the deep state is multi-layered.”

Previously, PH also blamed deep-state elements for derailing efforts to sign on to the Rome Statute, which would have made Malaysia a member of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

To curtail the influence of these individuals, the administration is amending laws, such as Sosma, that could be abused, Sivarasa said.

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad himself instructed that amendments to Sosma be tabled at this sitting or at the latest, next March.

“He did that to cool things down,” he said, adding that the amendments will dilute Sosma’s power.

“Because right now, Sosma in its current form has huge powers which they have demonstrated to us.” – TMI