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Framing The Fight Against Terror: Order Versus Liberty in the Mainstream and Alternative Media
Unformatted Document Text:  ICA-6-10348 9 Malaysiakini, but not NST, reported detainees’ statements challenging the government’s allegations: A suspected member of the Malaysian Mujahidin Group (KMM) told the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) inquiry today that he could never be part of the militant group simply because it does not exist. Universiti Teknologi Mara lecturer Abdullah Daud, 48, told the three- member panel that no mention of the KMM was ever made during his initial 60-day detention. “The accusations against me in the detention order was my involvement with the KMM. Even after my repeated denials, I was still labelled as a KMM member nonetheless. There is no such thing as the KMM,” said Abdullah who was detained on March 1 this year. (Leong, 2002) Another witness, Abdullah Minyak Silam, also claimed to have been wrongly accused. He added that the police also threatened him verbally if he did not admit to being part of the KMM. “They said that they would arrest my wife and have my child sent to an orphanage,” Abdullah said. (Leong, 2002a) Political motives While the government claimed to be acting in the interest of national security, an alternative theory was that its actions were politically motivated. According to this theory, the government was exploiting the war on terrorism to crack down on political dissidents, to instill fear of Islamic militancy – and, by association, fear of PAS – among non-Muslim voters, and to curry favor with the US. These views, expressed by opposition politicians and human rights watchers, received negligible coverage in NST, but were a running theme in Malaysiakini. For

Authors: George, Cherian.
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ICA-6-10348
9
Malaysiakini, but not NST, reported detainees’ statements challenging the government’s
allegations:
A suspected member of the Malaysian Mujahidin Group (KMM) told the
Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) inquiry today that he
could never be part of the militant group simply because it does not exist.
Universiti Teknologi Mara lecturer Abdullah Daud, 48, told the three-
member panel that no mention of the KMM was ever made during his
initial 60-day detention.
“The accusations against me in the detention order was my
involvement with the KMM. Even after my repeated denials, I was still
labelled as a KMM member nonetheless. There is no such thing as the
KMM,” said Abdullah who was detained on March 1 this year. (Leong,
2002)
Another witness, Abdullah Minyak Silam, also claimed to have been wrongly
accused.
He added that the police also threatened him verbally if he did not admit to
being part of the KMM.
“They said that they would arrest my wife and have my child sent to
an orphanage,” Abdullah said. (Leong, 2002a)
Political motives
While the government claimed to be acting in the interest of national security, an
alternative theory was that its actions were politically motivated. According to this
theory, the government was exploiting the war on terrorism to crack down on political
dissidents, to instill fear of Islamic militancy – and, by association, fear of PAS – among
non-Muslim voters, and to curry favor with the US.
These views, expressed by opposition politicians and human rights watchers,
received negligible coverage in NST, but were a running theme in Malaysiakini. For


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