Like ISA, Sosma can be repealed too, says lawyer

Melissa-Sasidaran_law_Sosma_600

KUALA LUMPUR: It is possible to repeal the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 like how the Internal Security Act 1960 (ISA) was repealed,

Lawyers for Liberty’s Melissa Sasidaran pointed out that all it takes is for a lawmaker to file such a motion at the Dewan Rakyat, and have it debated and voted on.

She said pressure groups will have to lobby against Sosma in the same way that they had acted to get the ISA repealed.

On Sunday, electoral watchdog Bersih 2.0 had vowed to go all out to ensure the abolition of Sosma after the arrest of Bersih chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah under the anti-terrorism law.

Bersih steering committee member Fadiah Nadwa Fikri told the media that the use of Sosma was meant to silence Bersih, which seeks to ensure free and fair elections.

Bersih’s call to abolish Sosma is also because the law clearly states no person shall be arrested and detained under this section solely for his or her political beliefs or political activity.

Malaysia repealed the ISA in 2011 as part of Prime Minister Najib Razak’s pledge to implement various reforms in federal legislation, which included the repeal of three Emergency Proclamations.

This led to the abolition of the Emergency Ordinance, that is the Internal Security Act (ISA) 1971, the Banishment Act 1959 and the Restricted Residence Act 1933.

The call to abolish the ISA in Malaysia came after it was said to have been abused with opposition party leaders, NGO members and even journailsts being detained under the act.

Sosma was implemented in June 2012 after the abolition of the ISA.

Sosma was created under Article 149 of the Federal Constitution to thwart internal security issues including public order, acts of terrorism, sabotage and espionage.

Under Sosma, the police may extend the period of detention for a period of not more than 28 days.

An officer may, without warrant, arrest and detain any person whom he has reason to believe is involved in security offences. – FMT

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