Muhyiddin insists Sosma still needed to fight terrorism

Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin speaks to the media after officiating National Registration Day at the National Registration Department in Putrajaya October 16, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin speaks to the media after officiating National Registration Day at the National Registration Department in Putrajaya October 16, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

PUTRAJAYA, Oct 16 – The Pakatan Harapan (PH) government cannot afford to abolish the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act, or Sosma, as terrorism is on the rise globally, said Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

Despite pressure for the ruling coalition to repeal the preventive detention law used to arrest 12 people including two DAP lawmakers over alleged links to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) last week, Muhyiddin claimed that other laws were inadequate to deal with such matters.

“If we do not have these legal instruments, they will escape the long arm of the law and bring danger to national security,” he said after officiating National Registration Day at the National Registration Department here.

Muhyiddin also reiterated that PH did not expressly promise to repeal Sosma in its election manifesto.

Instead, he stressed that the pact only pledged to review the law along with others considered draconian.

The minister said the government had already asked stakeholders for their input and recommendations of amendments to the Act.

“We have brought it to the Cabinet for consideration but the Cabinet decided certain matters still needed to be deliberate further.

In 2012, the Barisan Nasional administration under Datuk Seri Najib Razak introduced Sosma after it repealed the Internal Security Act (ISA).

Sosma reintroduced detention without trial that had been eliminated with the ISA, albeit in more limited blocks of 28 days at a time that are technically renewable indefinitely.

Yesterday, Deputy Home Minister Datuk Azis Jamman confirmed the government will not table its review of Sosma in the current Dewan Rakyat meeting.

Azis said the process was slow as the law was complex and the Home Ministry needed to conduct extensive research to plug any loopholes.

Today, Muhyiddin said the government may table the review in a 2020 parliamentary meeting.

Last week, the police invoked the Sosma to arrest 12 men, including DAP assemblymen G. Saminathan and P. Gunasekaren, on suspicion of promoting, supporting, channelling funds to and possessing materials related to LTTE.

DAP’s Lim Kit Siang has urged the ruling PH to repeal the law, saying this was contained in the pact’s election manifesto.

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