Monday, 9 February 2015

Grandmas Arrested In Lahad Datu For Alleged SSKM Activity; Fourth Such Incident In Sabah

LAHAD DATU: Two grandmothers are among five people who were caught by police at a petrol station in Tungku while refuelling their car on Saturday evening.

Three patrol cars with several policemen inside cornered the vehicle and ordered the occupants out, after which they were handcuffed and escorted to the police cars and driven to Lahad Datu town where they were held for questioning.

It is believed that this is the fourth such incident in Sabah involving people who police claim are linked to Sabah Sarawak Keluar Malaysia (SSKM) movement but has yet to prove it.

Apart from last Sunday’s fiasco in Tuaran where nine people were detained for nine hours before being released on police bail, it is understood that similar arrests were made in Kota Marudu and Ranau previously but the incidences went unreported.

Former Chief Minister and Sabah Progressive Party president Datuk Seri Yong Teck Lee, who is also a lawyer, said he went to the police station upon being informed of the arrests.

“Apparently these police cars had been tailing them since they arrived in Lahad Datu a couple of days ago,” he said.

“I was told that they went to Lahad Datu to meet some people, but I am not so sure for what purpose,” added Yong who also happened to be ‘informed’ when nine people were arrested in Tuaran last Sunday, apparently for the same purpose.

Being a weekend, the five, aged between 22 and 59 were detained at the police station and on Sunday were taken before a magistrate who allowed a police application for an additional 48 hours on remand.

Yong was quoted by an online news portal as saying: “They were treated like criminals. All five, who have been linked to the so-called secession group, appeared tired, it was so pitiful.

“It was not like they were distributing pamphlets or signing petition at the time. They were at a petrol kiosk filling up the car.”

Yong said when he first met them they were handcuffed, with the two elderly women handcuffed to each other. He said the handcuffs were taken off when they were brought before the magistrate today for a remand order.

Police had requested for four days, but the court only granted two days, their remand ending on Feb 10.

Yong was also quoted as saying that they were told by the police that Inspector-General of Police (Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar) and Sabah Police Commissioner (Datuk Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman) wanted the five remanded to assist investigations under the Sedition Act and Printing Act.

He said that apart from the car, police also seized a few T-shirts with the “Hormati Perjanjian Malaysia 63” (Respect the 1963 Malaysia Agreement) written on it, and some leaflets.

A group of people had gathered outside the Lahad Datu police station, holding placards, demanding for the release of the five people.

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