Sosma enforcement extended for five more years

MELISSA DARLYNE CHOW


KUALA LUMPUR: The enforcement of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) has been extended for another five years by the Dewan Negara tonight.


The move to extend it was unanimously agreed upon by Senate members.


The five-year extension term will begin from July 31.


Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed, in his winding up speech, said the rights of those detained under Sosma were protected.


He said between 2012 and last year, a total of 989 people were arrested.


Out of this, he said 376 people have been released, a total of 139 people are also undergoing trial while 502 people have been sentenced.


"So you can see here that not many have been detained, there is a high success rate, and the court process goes on.


"So, the issue of human rights violation does not arise," he said in addressing the issues raised by Senate members in their respective debates.


He further cited the case of former Batu Kawan Umno division vice-chief Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan, where the Federal Court had today ruled that the charge of ‘economic sabotage’ levelled against him no longer fell under Sosma.


"In Khairuddin's case, the court has ruled that Sosma is not relevant.


"It proves that Sosma is a mixed bag of results.


"What is important is their rights are protected, and that there are checks and balances," he said.


Nur Jazlan also said that there was a sunset clause, which required for Sosma’s extension to be brought to the Parliament every five years and acted as a review of the power of the police.


Earlier in his opening speech, Nur Jazlan said that the extension will not alter the powers of the police to detain suspects for 28 days to conduct investigations.


He told the upper house that the 28-day period was needed for police to conduct investigations on suspects who are involved in security offences, particularly where there are terrorism threats.


However, he said in actuality, police will require 21 days to conduct the investigations, and seven days to submit the investigation papers to the Public Prosecutor.


Sosma was tabled six years ago as a special crime prevention measure based on existing laws, such as the Penal Code, to provide police the power to detain suspects for a certain period of time.


Dewan Negara was subsequently adjourned sine die, with Senate president Datuk S.A. Vigneswaran thanking all Senators for their participation.