Nod for 28-day detention under Sosma

DESPITE strong opposition, the motion to extend the detention period of suspects under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) was passed in the Dewan Rakyat in the second attempt.

The motion was put for a bloc vote with a total of 111 MPs voting in support. Another 88 voted against it while 21 were absent.

Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin in his winding up speech on the debate of the Bill said it takes time to investigate bigger cases.

“For cases of gangsterism, it is difficult for us to nab the bosses, if we don’t have those working for them as witnesses. Sometimes, it takes one to two weeks to convince them to be a witness,” he said.

Hamzah added the Bill was not “cruel” and was in the interest of the country.

“It is unfair to say that those nabbed are oppressed when we know they are in the wrong,” he added.

A fiery moment occurred in the House when Mohamed Hanipa Maidin (PH-Sepang) interjected and labelled Hamzah as “goblok” (imbecile) and “bodoh” (stupid).

Hamzah was visibly taken aback and Speaker Tan Sri Azhar Azizan Harun, who was chairing the session, said he will be issuing a final warning to MPs in the House against using such language.

Several MPs demanded Hanipa retract his words, but Hamzah said there wasn’t a need to do so, as such an uncouth behaviour displayed in Parliament will be witnessed by Malaysians who will be voting in the upcoming national polls.

“That is why we should reject him beginning today and God-willing, Malaysians will realise that this man cannot be given a place in this noble House,” added Hamzah.

The law under Sosma is enforceable for a five-year period and required a nod from Dewan Rakyat to extend it for a further five years.

Last Wednesday, the House passed a Bill to revoke its earlier decision not to extend Sosma.

This was done as a Bill, which was defeated, cannot be retabled again until a full year has passed unless revoked.

During the previous Dewan Rakyat meeting on March 23, the motion to extend the enforcement of subsection 4(5) of Sosma which allows for the detention of suspects for up to 28 days without trial, was voted down by MPs.

The five-year limit for the provision ends on July 31, 2022.

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