SOSMA should be repealed, says deputy law minister

FARIS FUAD

SUNGAI BULOH: The Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department in charge of legal affairs today voiced his support for the removal of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA).

Describing SOSMA as a form of tyranny, Mohamed Hanipa Maidin said he regularly proposed repealing the Act during his time as an opposition member of parliament.

"However, the matter is not within the Prime Minister Department's jurisdiction. Only the Home Ministry has that authority

"According to previous cabinet meetings, a special committee has been set up to look into the SOSMA issue," he told reporters at the Sungai Buloh prison here today.

He said Pakatan Harapan in its election manifesto pledged to amend SOSMA, adding that several quarters wanted the Act to be repealed.

"This matter will be decided by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad," he said during his visit to the prison, where more than 100 family members of SOSMA detainees staged a protest urging the government to repeal the Act.

Yesterday, the NSTP reported that the government was looking into repealing SOSMA by setting up a special committee.

Deputy Home Minister Datuk Azis Jamman was quoted as saying that the committee, which has met several times, is comprised of enforcement agencies, non-governmental organisations, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia and the Attorney-General's Chambers.

Hanipa said he visited the prison for a meeting with some160 Sosma detainees, who launched a hunger strike since 8the pm yesterday urging the government to abolish the Act.

"We will talk with the prison officers ask them to let me in, so that I can advise the detainees to stop their hunger strike.

"This involves their health and I feel their family members have sent across a clear message through their gathering today," he said. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd