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Sosma clause on police detention extended 5 years

The motion for an extension was approved in a bloc vote with 111 MPs in support, 88 disagreeing and 21 absent.

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A police patrol car makes the rounds in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur.
A police patrol car makes the rounds in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur.

The motion for an extension of Subsection 4(5) of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) (Act 747) for another five years beginning July 31 was passed in the Dewan Rakyat today.

The motion tabled by Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin was approved in a bloc vote which saw 111 MPs agreeing. A total of 88 disagreed and 21 were absent.

The subsection mentions among others that a police officer with the rank of police superintendent or higher can extend the period of detention for up to 28 days for investigation.

In March, a motion to extend Subsection 4 (5) was not approved when tabled at the First Meeting of the Fifth Term of Dewan Rakyat for a vote which saw 85 MPs agreeing while 86 disagreed.

When winding up the motion, Hamzah agreed to carry out amendments to Act 747 so that there would be no more issues arising on the use of the act.

He said this included the arrest of politicians through Sosma.

"I think we can discuss, and the discussions will be held after this for us to get the details of the gravity of the offences so that problems with the tyranny of the act will not occur," he said.

Eighteen MPs took part in the debate on the motion with Pakatan Harapan members opposing it, saying it could lead to abuse by the authorities.
Hamzah, when tabling the motion for a second reading, said Subsection 4 (5) of Act 747 should be extended to combat threats to the country's sovereignty, security and public order.

He added that the act would give justice to detainees including the opportunity to meet their counsel. He said security offence cases would also be tried at the High Court.