I WELCOME the commitment of Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohammed to remove some of the obnoxious features of the Security Offences (Security Measures) Act of 2012 (Sosma).
The recent arbitrary arrests of 12 men over links with the now defunct Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has brought attention to how the legislation could be abused based on imagined and false threat perceptions.
The 12, two of them DAP assemblymen, should not have been arrested under Sosma in the first place.
There is no necessity to file charges after charges against the 12 just to prove that the police are armed with evidence.
Dr Mahathir’s press statement is reassuring in that Sosma will be reviewed either in the present session of Parliament or in the next with the intention to remove the inhumane features.
Even before the last elections, there was a commitment on the part of Pakatan Harapan to remove some of undesirable features, but time took its toll.
Dr Mahathir has given urgency to the removal of the draconian aspects of Sosma.
Sosma cannot be justified in a society that puts premium on the rule of law, that guilt must proven in the court of law and respect for human rights.
It is not about the recent arrest of the 12, past arrests, the unimaginable cruelty imposed on the detainees and the almost forgotten 86 Malays who were detained for Islamic State-linked charges.
Dr Mahathir’s commitment to review Sosma is an excellent indication that delay doesn’t necessarily mean the absence of action.
The timing of the arrests of the 12 at the time of the national budget, Tg Piai by-election and the ongoing controversy about Zakir Naik might give some rise to speculations that the Sosma arrest might not have anything to do with LTTE. – November 6, 2019.
* Ramasamy Palanisamy is Penang deputy chief minister II.
* This is the opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insight.