Muhyiddin now says no decision yet on whether Sosma will be retained

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin gives a press conference after the Home Ministry’s New Year's Message Programme 2019 in Putrajaya January 14, 2019. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin gives a press conference after the Home Ministry’s New Year's Message Programme 2019 in Putrajaya January 14, 2019. — Picture by Choo Choy May

PUTRAJAYA, Jan 14 — Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today said discussions are still ongoing to ascertain whether to retain, amend or abolish the contentious Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma).

Muhyiddin told reporters that he will have a full briefing by his officers today in relation to the amendment or abolishment of laws such as Sosma and the Sedition Act (1948).

“But in between that some people of course made some assumptions. I don’t think you should work on the basis of assumptions, like what the Bar Council assumed when I made the statement. My statement was never complete,” he told reporters after delivering the ministry’s New Year address here.

At Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s (PPBM) annual general meeting last month, Muhyiddin had said that the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government will retain Sosma to preserve the country’s security.

The PPBM president said that the preventive detention law was necessary despite its shortcomings.

However, he stressed that the repealed Internal Security Act (ISA), which had far broader preventive detention powers, will not be reintroduced.

“I think what is important now is to wait until the whole process of redrafting and amending is completed. What I will agree, of course, we will have some last consultation, if needed, with the respective stakeholders, whether it is the Bar Council, NGOs like Suaram or Suhakam or whatever it is, it does not matter,” Muhyiddin said today.

Muhyiddin said a technical committee that was formed to look into reviewing several contentious laws has already given its first presentation to the ministry on the laws which PH promised to abolish, but has since been ordered to engage with more stakeholders.

“We want to make sure that when we present this to Parliament, the MPs understand that, and in the end of it, support whatever proposal that we have.

“Either introduction of new laws in replacement of the old, or amending present laws in accordance to what is needed by the stakeholders, and of course, the rakyat in general,” the Pagoh MP added.

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