KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 27 — The Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) has been instrumental in assisting law enforcement agencies in their fight against terrorism and extremism in the country, despite calls for abolishment.
Federal Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division principal assistant director Deputy Commissioner Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said Sosma allowed authorities to conduct disruptive operations and detain individuals based on suspicion of planning a terror attack compared to other countries.
“In some countries, the law only allows the arrest of suspects during the execution stage...however in Malaysia, we can immediately arrest suspects the moment we receive reliable intelligence.
“We are lucky to have strong laws in foiling possible terror plots in their early stages of planning,” he said at the International Association of Counterterrorism and Security Professionals counter-terrorism symposium at the InterContinental Hotel here.
He said the police had so far foiled 23 terror plots nationwide since 2012.
Ayob Khan, however declined to comment on the abolishment or possible amendments made to the Act in regards to official police duties.
Asked to comment on the allegations that Sosma’s detention without trial and 28-days detention period were in violation of human rights, Ayob Khan said 420 suspects have been arrested since 2013, of which 185 have been charged in court and 148 convicted under the Act.
“There is no such thing as Sosma having detentions without trial as we charge the suspects in open court after they have been arrested,” he said.
It was reported that 118 detainees held under Sosma at the Sungai Buloh Prison, launched a hunger strike last Friday urging the government to abolish the Act, while their family members had gathered outside the prison to support the call.
Yesterday, Home Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Alwi Ibrahim said that the ministry took the protest seriously and a special committee set up in June to review laws in relation to national security, including Sosma, would take into account every view raised by various quarters.