NOVEMBER 21 — The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) wishes to underline its opposition to the use of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma), which it has objected to in the past.
Suhakam reiterates that the broad characterisation of “security offences” under Sosma now suggests that its ambit extends beyond terrorism offences.
The application of the Sosma to Maria Chin where she has been detained without charge and without trial in this instance, and her wellbeing and welfare unknown, cannot be accepted by a society that has a national conscience.
The government’s assurance in 2011 promised that “no individual will be arrested merely on the point of political ideology.” In Suhakam’s view, the preventive detention of Maria Chin is a misuse of the law, an abuse of the legal system and of law enforcement.
Suhakam advises the government to interpret in good faith and in accordance with their ordinary meaning, the laws in their context and in the light of their object and purpose.
Suhakam would like to see a situation where the overemphasis by the authorities on restrictions to the right to freedom of assembly is replaced by efforts to facilitate the right.
* Press statement from Tan Sri Razali Ismail, chairman of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) on November 21, 2016.
** This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail Online.