Sosma review Bill not for this sitting, says deputy home minister

Deputy Home Minister Datuk Mohd Azis Jamman speaks to reporters at the Parliament lobby October 15, 2019.  ― Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Deputy Home Minister Datuk Mohd Azis Jamman speaks to reporters at the Parliament lobby October 15, 2019. ― Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 15 ― The government will not table its review of the controversial Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) in the current Dewan Rakyat sitting, Datuk Azis Jamman said today.

The deputy home minister confirmed his ministry is looking into the preventive law, which allows for detention without trial in unlimited incremental blocks of 28 days, and was most recently invoked for the arrest of 12 people suspected of trying to revive a defunct Sri Lankan terror group.

Two of them were DAP assemblymen from Negri Sembilan and Melaka, P. Gunasekaran and G. Saminathan respectively.

“It won’t be tabled this sitting. Just give us time,” Azis told reporters at the Parliament lobby.

He said the review was made in accordance to the Pakatan Harapan (PH) electoral manifesto on draconian laws, including Sosma.

Azis was responding to Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu’s earlier remarks today that the government is looking to “improve” Sosma following the arrest of the 12 over their supposed links to the Liberation Tiger of Tamil Elam (LTTE).

Azis said that the long process is caused by the complexity of the Act and the ministry has tons of research to be done in order to ensure the laws are not abused.

“If we rushed this just to appeal to certain parties, we will make mistakes.

“We don’t want that to happen, so we research thoroughly and carefully so when we announce it, it will become a solid Act, no longer flip-flopping. So give us time,” he said.

Meanwhile, de facto Law Minister Datuk Liew Vui Keong said the Cabinet has discussed planned changes to the law.

“Two areas the government had looked into are the detention of 28 days and (lack of access) to lawyers,” he said in the Parliament lobby today.

He said that amendments will be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat after the Home Ministry completes its review.

“I was told they (Home Ministry) have been looking into it and if they can slot it into the current meeting, it will be good. Otherwise, we still have time next year,” he said.

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