Alternative law needed if Sosma is repealed, say Ti

Kalbana Perimbanayagam

KUALA LUMPUR: The Pakatan Harapan government should prepare an alternative law to fight terrorism, extremism and organised crime if it decides to repeal the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma).

MCA’s publicity spokesman and religious harmony bureau chairman Datuk Seri Ti Lian Ker said the government should take into account the Act’s role in effectively fighting terrorism and extremism, as it enabled enforcement agencies to disrupt terrorist activities before they could be executed.

“Even if Sosma is to be abolished, we cannot dismiss the need for laws to curtail and disrupt organised crime, besides the real and imminent threat of terrorists carrying out their activities in Malaysia,” he said today.

“To safeguard against further abuse of preventive laws, the new PH government could either tweak or repeal Sosma.

“But there have to be counter-measures to reform people who have been radicalised through misinterpreting religion.”

He said the public’s right to safety and security should have higher priority than Sosma detainees who are on a hunger strike.

Referring to a warning from the Small and Medium Scale Entrepreneurs Association of Malaysia that Sosma detainees would continue their hunger strike if the government failed to address their plight within three months, Ti said: “We cannot allow a situation where terrorists or gangsters under detention start making demands or threats to the authorities and the authorities caving in.”

He said bowing to the requests of Sosma detainees in the name of “New Malaysia” or human rights and democracy was not acceptable as their rights were outweighed by society’s right to safety and security.

“Malaysians and even international travelers here want our streets to be safe from suicide bombers or rogue vehicle drivers running down innocent victims.

“Protection and safety from bloodshed and turmoil is a far greater human right which innocent people should have a higher privilege of enjoying under a democracy rather than terrorists, terrorist wannabes or sympathisers and gang lords.”

Recalling the time when the Internal Security Act (Isa) was enacted, Ti said it was meant to be a preventive law to stem the Communist ideology and insurgency, because the Communists wanted to overthrow the government.

”But after the Communist Insurgency there wasn’t a real need until Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad’s era in 1987, when he exploited and abused the Isa to crackdown on NGO activists and politicians.

“But, when former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak took over he ended the abuse by abolishing Isa.” © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd