An opposition MP has blasted Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi's refusal to explain the use of the draconian Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) on Bersih chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah as "irresponsible".
Zahid yesterday dodged questions on Maria's detention under the Act meant for high-level security threats, saying the question was an "operational matter" that should be directed at the attorney-general (AG) and the inspector-general of police (IGP).
"It is irresponsible for Zahid to try to avoid all explanation by claiming that the arrest is an ' operational' matter.
"The home minister is answerable for all actions of the police force, including 'operational' matters.
"Maria's detention is a matter of national concern, and has made international news.
"We are thus entitled to demand answers from the home minister, and he is obliged to answer," said Padang Serai MP N Surendran in a statement today.
Maria was detained along with a number of other civil society leaders in a preemptive crackdown on the eve of Bersih 5, that saw 40,000 rally in Kuala Lumpur for electoral and democratic reforms on Saturday.
Sosma allows for an extended detention period of up to 28 days upon approval from the courts for security offences, and has presently landed Maria under solitary confinement.
The crackdown continued through to yesterday with a number of opposition leaders being detained and remanded.
[More to follow]-Mkini