KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 26 — The Security Offences (Special Measures) Act is not limited to terrorism and may be applied to any activity deemed a threat to national security, said Tan Sri Apandi Ali.
Rejecting the view that the Sosma was a law meant for terrorism, the Attorney-General said this was incorrect as it may be applied in conjunction with other laws such as Section 124C of the Penal Code, which covers the attempt of acts detrimental to parliamentary democracy.
The latter was used to arrest Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah while the Sosma was invoked to detain her for 28 days without trial.
“Hence, the detention of Maria Chin Abdullah under Section 4 of Act 747 (Sosma) to aid investigations by the Royal Malaysia Police as she is suspected of activities that threaten parliamentary democracy, is consistent with the law,” he said in a statement.
“This department will give due consideration based on the findings of the police investigations that will be presented eventually.”
Section 4 of the Sosma covers police powers to detain people suspected of security offences for up to 28 days at a time for investigations.
Incidentally, Section 4(3) of the Act states that the law may not be used against individuals solely for their political beliefs or activities.
The lack of explanation for the Sosma invocation in Maria’s arrest before the Bersih 5 rally last Saturday had led to public outcry, primarily over the government’s previous pledge not to use the law against dissent.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar later revealed that Maria was detained due to the funding Bersih 2.0 had previously received from US billionaire George Soros’s Open Society Foundations (OSF).
Khalid categorised the OSF as being responsible for toppling countless governments.
Police detained Maria on November 18 and have said that they will hold her for the 28 days permitted under the Sosma.