THE enforcement of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) has been extended for another five years after a lively debate.
The extension to the Act was allowed after it was passed with a bloc vote of 93 MPs supporting the motion while 77 rejected it.
Opposition MPs had voiced their disagreement over the motion, continuously interjecting as Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed tried to wind up debate on it late last night.
Despite a warning by Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia to MPs not to disrupt Nur Jazlan’s reply, they continued to interrupt him.
As the clock slowly ticked towards 11pm, Pandikar Amin finally stepped in and ordered for the matter to be put to the vote.
Opposition lawmakers then requested for a bloc vote.
Earlier during the debate, lawmakers had questioned the need for the Act to be extended for another five years, with some arguing that it had been abused and even used against politicians.
However, Nur Jazlan said Sosma was needed to protect national security.
Disagreeing with the accusation that people had been unlawfully held under Sosma, he said between 2012 and this year, 989 people were detained.
“Out of this, 376 people have been released. So, the question that these people have been detained for a long period of time does not arise.
“A total of 139 people are also undergoing trial while 502 people have been sentenced,” he said.
Nur Jazlan also said that the sunset clause, which required for Sosma’s extension to be brought to the Parliament every five years and acted as a review of the power of the police, was good.
“The Government is not cruel. We allow the Parliament to decide. If we wanted to continue to detain people, we would not have this sunset clause,” he pointed out.
Sosma came into effect on July 31, 2012. The five-year extension term will begin from July 31.
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