War of words: BN and Opposition MPs trade barbs on Sosma

Nik Imran Abdullah

KUALA LUMPUR: Tempers flared tonight when several Barisan Nasional (BN) and Opposition MPs clashed during their debate on a motion involving the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma).

The bickering started following a claim by the opposition MPs that the government had abused the Act to detain and investigate certain individuals.

The situation continued to worsen when Datuk Bung Moktar Raden (BN-Kinabatangan) said Section 4(5) of Sosma had never been applied against the innocents.

This triggered M. Kulasegaran (DAP-Ipoh Barat) to claim that the Act had been abused, followed by Khalid Abdul Samad (PAN-Shah Alam) and Ramkarpal Singh (DAP-Bukit Gelugor) standing up to defend former Sosma detainee and Bersih chairman Maria Chin Abdullah.

The tension continued to rise as both sides traded barbs and ignored an order from Deputy Speaker Datuk Ismail Mohamed Said to follow the House rule by getting his permission to participate in the debate.

However, there was no let up from the opposition MPs as they continued to verbally attack Bung Moktar.

Ismail issued a warning that he would suspend any MPs for 10 days if they failed to control their behaviour and choice of words during the debate.

His firm words calmed the situation that allowed for the debate to proceed.

Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed had earlier moved the motion for the enforcement of the Section 4(5) to be extended for another five years from this year.

This is to allow Sosma to be used to detain those suspected of involvement in threatening the national security for 28 days without being produced in court.