On Tuesday (26 July), Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin re-tabled the motion for the extension of the enforcement of Subsection 4(5) of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 or Sosma for another five years beginning this July 31.
According to Bernama, the extension of the subsection states that a police officer with the rank of superintendent or higher may extend the period of detention for a period not exceeding 28 days, for the purpose of investigation.
Hamzah said the extension of the enforcement of the subsection was necessary for the police to deal with threats to the country’s sovereignty, security and public order.
“We cannot compromise with elements that threaten national security and the duty of the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) and all security agencies in this country is to ensure the country is peaceful and safe to live in,” he said.
He then explained that although the subsection provides 28 days for a suspect to be held for investigation, the police have only 21 days to investigate.
“This is so because the police have to hand over the completed investigation papers to the Attorney General’s Chamber for further instructions seven days before the end of the 28-day period,” he added.
He said during the investigation period, the police would need to obtain information from other enforcement agencies, and sometimes, seek assistance from other countries for cross-border cases, which would take a long time.
With this, he said Sosma (Act 747) provides justice for the people who are detained, including the opportunity for them to meet with their lawyer.
Hamzah also said the public should not compare Sosma with the Internal Security Act (ISA) 1960 as they are many differences between the two laws.
Meanwhile, the Opposition warned that the authorities could use the Act against anybody and not just suspected terrorists.
According to FMT, Batu Kawan MP Kasthuri Patto, who received a memorandum opposing the Act from rights group Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) at the Parliament building, said Sosma could even be used against journalists if police reports had been lodged against them.
“That is the issue here, the MPs could be next, even the Speaker could be next. This is how abusive this law is,” she said.
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