Amendments to SOSMA to be tabled next Parliament session

-A +A

KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 9): Amendments to the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA) are expected to be tabled in the next Dewan Rakyat session, Deputy Home Minister Datuk Mohd Azis Jamman said today.

He said the ministry was in the process of finalising the amendments which required further scrutiny and in-depth research as it was feared that there were loopholes (lacunae) in other existing laws.

“Particularly, under Article 149 of the Federal Constitution which allows SOSMA to be formulated and empowers the Parliament to enact laws against subversive acts that endanger public order and so on.

“Even though the law is contrary to any provision of the Federal Constitution under Article 5 (rights to life and personal liberty), Article 9 (freedom of movement), Article 10 (freedom of speech, assembly and rights to form association) and Article 13 (rights to property),” he said during an oral question-and-answer session at the Dewan Negara here.

He said this in his reply to a question from Senator Datuk Lee Tian Sing who wanted the government to state the importance of SOSMA while Malaysia was heading towards a developed status nation as well as to give assurance that it would not be abused by the authorities for political gains.

Mohd Azis gave his assurance that among the main areas of focus of the amendments to the law was to ensure that it would be abused and a comprehensive review of the legal and human rights aspects would be implemented.

He said a committee comprising the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam), the Attorney General’s Chambers, the Royal Malaysia Police and academics had been formed.

“The committee also gave its views on the security implications that would arise if the acts were to be amended or repealed,” he said.

On a question from Senator Raj Munni Sabu who wanted to know why the 'draconian' laws were not abolished, Mohd Azis said such laws were necessary in the face of the complexity of the terrorist threats and also to serve as a deterrent.

“Our committee comprised individuals from various backgrounds including Suhakam and the Bar council. InsyaAllah (God willing), it will be brought to the Parliament to be debated, and once the debate concludes, we will see the outcome and if it is passed, I believe it will safeguard our country’s security,” he said. — Bernama