KUALA LUMPUR, March 25 ― The extension of a highly controversial clause in the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) will be put to the vote afresh in the Dewan Rakyat, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin said today.
He also expressed his disappointment and frustration with government MPs who were absent during the bloc voting process in the House, which led to the motion that he tabled to be defeated.
“Of course, I was not very happy. Some of them were already in the Dewan. I can name them. And they just left when it’s time to vote. That's not fair,” he told reporters after launching the 215th National Police Day at the Police Training Centre here.
Asked why he thought some of the government lawmakers left the House during the voting process, he said curtly: “Because they hate my face”.
He then chided Opposition lawmakers who religiously preached love and loyalty for the country but went against the extension of Sosma motion.
He claimed that a lot of organised crime was in place after the Internal Security Act (ISA) 1960 was repealed in 2012.
“So at that time we thought the important instrument must be there and we compromised. We only put 28 days and I think 28 days is quite compromising for all parties,” he added, referring to the Sosma Act that allows a suspect to be detained for 28 days without trial.
He said that it is not necessary to sit with the Opposition in a table to discuss an extension of a motion because the MoU does not demand something like that.
“Because the Opposition said we should have engaged them but the story is actually simple, we are not making a new law.
“We are just trying to extend a law that is already in place and needs an extension due before its expiry date on July 31,” he said.
Two days ago, Hamzah said that those who went against the extension of the motion wish to make room for criminals and terrorists to dominate the country.
The remarks came after the Dewan Rakyat failed to extend the effective period of sub-section 4 (5) of Sosma for another five years.
The motion was rejected after the result of a bloc vote where 84 MPs supported its extension versus 86 MPs who did not. Meanwhile, 50 MPs were not present.