PETALING JAYA: The Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) should be maintained to keep public order, said Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
The Umno president said on Monday (July 23) that the law was enacted to ensure public order, protect national security, and has nothing to do with politics.
He said compared with the Internal Security Act (ISA) which involved detention without trial, offenders cannot be treated hastily with Sosma.
He said Sosma offenders will be detained for 28 days before trial unlike ISA detainees who can be held for two years without trial.
On Sunday (July 22), Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the Government would repeal laws that are oppressive, especially Sosma.
Dr Ahmad Zahid said Umno questioned the logic behind the proposed abolition, as there are now quarters already challenging the Malay Rulers.
He said race and religion provocation will be escalated through social media if Sosma is abolished.
With the suggestion to take back the “draconian laws” which Dr Mahathir himself defended between 1981 and 2003, the country will be exposed to the “free for all” Internet era and this will threaten public order, said the Opposition Leader.
“In addition, with the intention to remove the Sedition Act 1948 and Anti-Fake News Act 2018, it seems the Government wants to encourage negative sentiments on religion, race and politics in the country,” Dr Ahmad Zahid claimed.
The Umno president also said the party is worried that there will be opportunity to spread mischief among the rakyat.
“The outcome will be terrifying and the people will not feel safe under such circumstances,” he warns.
“The country now is facing security threats that are well-planned and remotely controlled.
"With the rapid change of political landscape locally and internationally, laws such as Sosma and the Sedition Act are very timely, and at the same time, the laws protect the suspects’ rights,” he added.