Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Motion to extend Sosma subsection voted down in Dewan Rakyat

84 MPs agreed while 86 disagreed and 50 were absent.

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The motion to extend the enforcement of Subsection 4(5) of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) for another five years was not approved by the Dewan Rakyat today.

The motion, tabled by Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin, failed in a bloc vote which saw 84 MPs agreeing and 86 disagreeing.

When announcing the vote outcome, Dewan Rakyat Speaker Azhar Harun said 50 MPs were absent during voting.

When winding up the debate on the motion, Hamzah said the enforcement of Subsection 4(5) needed to be extended and the 28-day detention period maintained to give police sufficient time to complete their investigations into difficult and complex cases on security offences.

“Without this subsection being extended, it is feared that the quality of police investigation would be affected as it has to be done hastily, that is they have only 24 hours to conduct investigations, prepare and complete investigation papers, and submit them to the deputy public prosecutor for further instruction,” he said.

The last time a five-year extension for the subsection was considered and approved by Parliament was on April 4, 2017, which means it will end on July 31 this year.

Earlier, 16 MPs took part in the debate with the opposition bloc generally disagreeing with the motion on the grounds that they feared an extension of the subsection could be abused for political purposes.

In his reply, Hamzah said the claim was an incorrect negative perception, as Subsection 4(3) of the act clearly states that no one can be arrested and detained under that subsection merely because of his or her political beliefs or activities.

“Therefore, the question of the police abusing political issues does not arise. In my opinion, I do not believe the police play politics when taking legal action,” he added.

He said that Sosma 2012 would not be abolished but should be enhanced as it is useful for preserving national security.

The Dewan Rakyat will sit again tomorrow.

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