DAP’s Lim Kit Siang urged today Barisan Nasional (BN) MPs to reject a proposed extension of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) that was recently used to detain activist Maria Chin Abdullah.
According to Lim, a motion to extend the law for another five years from July 31, 2017, had appeared in the order paper in Parliament tomorrow.
Section 4(5) of Sosma, which allows a police officer of or above the rank of superintendent to extend the period of detention to not more than 28 days for investigation purposes after an initial 24-hour detention period, is subject to be reviewed by Parliament every five years after it was enforced in 2012.
“As the Sosma powers have been grossly abused in the case of the detention of (Bersih 2.0 chairman) Maria Chin, which is vengeful, vicious and vindictive, all MPs, including those from Barisan Nasional, should reject such a five-year extension for such pernicious police powers,” he said in a statement.
The Gelang Patah MP said the law, when passed, was assured by then de facto law minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz that it would only be used on terrorism-related matters and not on polls reform group Bersih 2.0.
“The Sosma legislation had been asked pointedly [to Nazri] in Parliament at the time in 2012 whether Bersih leaders, at that time led by Datuk Ambiga Sreenivasan, were likely to be targets and victims of Sosma detention, the answer will be a clear and categorical ‘No’,” he said.
Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed had reportedly said that the law was renewable and that it can be tabled any time before its expiry.
Police detained Maria on November 18, a day before the Bersih 5 rally, under Section 124C of the Penal Code that criminalises the attempt to commit activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy, and invoked Sosma for the arrest.
Sosma permits the police to hold individuals for up to 28 days without trial.
Maria’s family yesterday submitted a habeas corpus application to the Kuala Lumpur High Court, asking it to compel the police to release her from a 28-day detention order.
Source : The Malay Mail Online