By Nizam Zain
PUTRAJAYA – The Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA) was not listed among the cruel and draconian acts that needed to be abolished under the Pakatan Harapan (PH) election manifesto.
On the contrary, Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said, according to the manifesto, the party will relook into the act to improve it.
“There is no mention in the PH manifesto, that SOSMA will be abolished. Please check.
“What we promised was to review the articles in SOSMA that we need to improve on.
“Some are said to be draconian, not in line with the basic human rights, cruel and such,” he said during a news conference at the National Registration Department (NRD) today.
He had earlier launched the National Registration Day celebration at the NRD Headquarters this morning. Also present at the event was the Secretary-General of Home, Tan Sri Alwi Ibrahim; Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador and the Director-General of NRD, Datuk Ruslin Jusoh.
He was commenting on Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu’s statement yesterday, which said that SOSMA need not be abolished but on the contrary, it should be improved and updated.
According to Mohamad, the amendment of an Act needs to be made from time to time.
Meanwhile, Muhyiddin shares Mohamad’s opinion that SOSMA is still needed as there is no other instruments in the legal system effective enough to handle national security issues.
“To us, SOSMA is still needed if we look into the development of what is happening in the country and also at the global stage. Terrorists issues and counter-terrorism. We need this.
“If there is no such legal instruments, they may be able to escape the grip of the law and it could pose threat to national security.
“The existing law is not enough as they act beyond the law and could create a lot of problem to the country,” he added that the government has started making improvements on SOSMA, including having discussions with stakeholders such as the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM).
“We started this since last year and we have discussed with many quarters to get their input and feedback on what we need to amend,” he explained.
Besides that, the ministry has also brought the proposal to amend and improve SOSMA to the Cabinet. However, it still needs some finetuning.
“Therefore, we will continue to involve various organisations in the process so that when we bring it to the Cabinet and Parliament, many people will be satisfied.
“There several articles that we need to scrutinise, such as, gaining access to legal advice, the 28-day remand period was said to be extremely long, other than that, it wasn’t really a problem.
“Perhaps we cannot make it on time for the ongoing Parliament session. Maybe we will bring it to the next session at the beginning of 2020, Insya-Allah,” he added.
Several DAP leaders including the Deputy Chief Minister II of Penang, P. Ramasamy, Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng have urged the government to abolish SOSMA. -MalaysiaGazette