PUTRAJAYA, Aug 23 — The federal government has no intention to repeal the controversial Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma), Ramkarpal Singh said today.

Instead, the deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reform) said the government plans to introduce two amendments to the law, one of them being the issue of bail.

“We are looking at several aspects, the question on bail is the issue we are looking into now. There are two recommendations. However, in our improvement of the Act, it will proceed in stages accordingly.

“Repeal is not in the pipeline,” he told reporters after flagging off a brisk walk in conjunction with Merdeka this month at the ministry here.


At present, Section 13 of Sosma only allows for bail if the offender facing a security offence is one who is below 18 years, a woman, sick or infirm person.

Introduced in 2012 as a replacement to the colonial-era Internal Security Act (ISA), the equally controversial preventive detention law retained its predecessor's clause which allows for suspects of an investigation to be detained without trial for up to 28 days at a time.

When asked when the Cabinet would deliberate on the matter, Ramkarpal said there was no definite timeline as of yet but did confirm it will be done within this year.


"At this point in time we have more or less completed most of the engagement with stakeholders, so now it's bringing said proposals for [Cabinet's] consideration.

"No timeline but at the earliest," he said.

Earlier this month, Ramkarpal had in an issued statement said the proposed amendments were now jointly being studied by the Home Ministry, the Royal Malaysia Police and the Attorney General’s Chambers.

Prior to the issuance of Ramkarpal's statement, a hunger strike by family members of Sosma detainees in front of the Sungai Buloh Prison had taken place.

Last December, Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail defended the retention of Sosma, saying "the law allows the court process to take place,” which led to much criticism from political figures and rights groups over the country’s stance on the protection of human rights.

His stance has put him in conflict with some allies in Pakatan Harapan (PH) as well as civil society groups that have pointed out the apparent hypocrisy in defending the preventive detention law that the coalition previously rejected when it was in Opposition.

Saifuddin Nasution's predecessor, Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin had in March 2022 said parties who do not agree with Sosma are those who want to make room for criminals and terrorists to dominate the country.

Hamzah had then too defended the government's stance of retaining Sosma with further amendments to extend enforcement of the 28-day detention period, noting that the law is still relevant and crucial to ensuring public order and national security.