KUALA LUMPUR: Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak reminded Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad Monday that there had been many cases in which individuals were arrested, charged and convicted for telling the truth during his tenure as prime minister.
He was responding to Dr Mahathir’s press conference on the detention of former UMNO branch leader Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan and his lawyer Matthias Chang under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (SOSMA) 2012.
Dr Mahathir said this was an abuse and disrespect of the law and the only crime the two had committed was to tell the truth.
Salleh said: “Dr Mahathir of all the people should know that the truth is subjective and just because one tells the truth does not mean one has not broken any laws.”
“Dr Mahathir must be reminded of many cases during his time when people who told the truth were arrested, charged and convicted for the crime of telling the truth,” he said in his latest posting in www.sskeruak.blogspot.my.
Citing the case of opposition figure Marina Yusoff as an example, Salleh said she was convicted and sentenced under the Sedition Act in 2000 for telling the truth and the judge ruled that just because she told the truth did not mean she was not guilty of a crime.
“During Dr Mahathir’s term as prime minister he used the Internal Security Act on dissidents and critics of the government where there was no trial.
“In 2001, ten of (former opposition leader Datuk Seri) Anwar Ibrahim’s supporters were detained without trial on allegations that they were terrorists,” he said.
Salleh added that six of them were detained for two years and the court later ruled that they were not terrorists and that their detention was illegal.
“At least Khairuddin and Matthias are being allowed a trial where they can defend themselves and if they are not guilty will be freed,” he said.
Salleh said let their trial determine whether what Khairuddin and Matthias said is the truth.
Khairuddin, 53, who is former UMNO Batu Kawan division vice chief, and Chang, 65, were charged in the Magistrate’s Court here today with attempting to sabotage the country’s banking and financial services.
Both were charged under Section 124L of the Penal Code (Act 547) and are currently being held under the SOSMA, which does not allow bail.