Syed Hamid: ISA detainee “no more a threat”

KUALA LUMPUR, June 23 — A Sri Lankan businessman jailed four years ago for allegedly supplying nuclear weapon components to Libya has been freed and is no longer a threat to national security, a Cabinet minister said today.

The case of Buhary Seyed Abu Tahir drew additional attention because he was alleged to have deceived a company partly owned by Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s son to procure the components.

Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar said Tahir will remain under police watch, and indicated that he would not be allowed to leave Malaysia.

“For the time being he is here,” he told reporters.

Tahir, who is a Malaysian permanent resident, was released June 6. He was taken into custody in May 2004 under the Internal Security Act, which allows indefinite detention without trial.

Confirming the report, Syed Hamid said: “He is not a (security) threat. The recommendation is for him to be released but he is a subject for us to watch over.”

I think we have investigated what we need to investigate,” he said, adding that foreign governments and security agencies also conducted their probes.

“All over the world people who have been involved in this (investigation) have taken necessary action at the local level, so there is no necessity to hold him,” he said without elaborating. He did not say if this meant that the investigations found Tahir innocent.

Full article here.

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When I found out previously that BSA Tahir was released from ISA detention, I asked WHY he was released, and HOW the Home Minister came up with the “fact” that he is no longer a threat to national security. I wrote about it here.

Like I’ve said, I have nothing against releasing the detainee, but with this article, I think the whole issue was dodgy to begin with, and Syed Hamid Albar is not making it any easier to understand how they came up with the decision to release him.

He says that is was under “recommendation” that BSA Tahir should be released. Under whose recommendation? Who carried out the investigations? What were the results of the investigation?

He says he THINKS that they have investigated what they need to. He THINKS? So he’s not sure about it? So if and when he THINKS that the investigations have not be thorough enough, he can recall BSA Tahir back into the Kamunting Detention Camp?

He THINKS?

He says there is no necessity to hold him. I’ll assume that he meant to add “anymore” to the end of that sentence. But he didn’t say whether the investigations cleared him of whatever he was detained for. Did the reporters ask? I don’t know. But I would assume that if the investigations found him innocent, that some form of explanation and compensation should be due his way. If the investigations found him involved in the nuclear thing in any way, surely they would also want to inform us about it.

But nothing is being said, other than that he is “no longer a threat to national security”.

You know, us Malaysians are not tofu. If someone is a threat to national security, we would very much want to know about it. Because he/she is a threat to US! To the people of Malaysia! We want to know who. We want to know if it’s true. And we want to see it proven.

Because of the mere existence of ISA, people get detained because someone THINKS he/she is a threat to national security. We don’t get to ask about it, because. Period. All the detainees under ISA are “alleged ….”. WHY? Because they are in detention without trial. No one needs to prove them guilty, or innocent. And then, one of those “alleged …” can be released because someone THINKS he/she is no more a threat to national security. WHY? Because that someone THINKS he is no more a threat. Period.

BSA Tahir is now released from ISA detention, because the Home Minister THINKS that they have investigated what they need to, and he says that BSA Tahir is no more a threat. Was he innocent? We don’t know. Will we ever know? I don’t think so.



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