Sunday, September 14, 2008

Tan detained as life was 'under threat'

Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said Sin Chew Daily reporter Tan Hoon Cheng was detained under the Internal Security Act because police believed her life was "under threat".

He said police intelligence had ascertained that Tan's safety was threatened because of what she had written about former Bukit Bendera Umno division chairman Datuk Ahmad Ismail.

"She had received threats recently from unknown individuals," he said at Federal police headquarters in Bukit Aman, stressing that there was no political interest in the recent detentions.

The swift action was to ensure her safety, he said.

Syed Hamid said Tan was released yesterday after police were satisfied with her answers during questioning.

The reporter was released at 3.30pm and returned to her home in Bukit Mertajam.

Asked why police had to detain her under the ISA instead of just summoning her to a police station, Syed Hamid said police had acted according to the law.

"The police are just doing their job to ensure that national security and public order are maintained."

Pressed again on why the ISA was used against Tan, Syed Hamid said the report made by her was on a sensitive issue and police needed to get to the bottom of it.

"Umno also suspended Ahmad from holding any post for three whole years."

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