DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang calls on all lawmakers, including those from the BN, to foil Putrajaya's bid to secure a five-year extension to the preventive detention powers of the Security Offenses (Special Measures) Act (Sosma) 2016.
The specific provision which must be renewed every five years, allows police to arbitrarily detain a person for up to 28 days for investigation and even deny legal representation.
Lim said the abuse of such powers in the detention of Bersih chairperson Maria Chin, is "vengeful, vicious, vindictive" and grounds enough for all to see that such powers are open to abuse, has been abused, and probably will be again.
"All MPs, including those from BN, should reject such a five-year extension for such pernicious police powers," he said in a statement.
Lim lambasted Umno supreme council member Mohd Puad Zarkashi for talking "rubbish" when he reportedly alleged that Maria’s "misdeeds" fit Sosma perfectly.
The Gelang Patah MP reminded Puad that when federal minister Nazri Abdul Aziz tabled Sosma in 2012, he gave a categorical assurance that the law will only be used exclusively against terror threats and not meant for legitimate democratic activities like Bersih rallies.
"No one broached the idea of Sosma detention when Bersih 4 rally was held in Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching on August 29 and 30 last year – and rightly so.
"Why and when did the police deviated from its past practice in the case of Bersih 5 to detain the Bersih chairperson under Sosma, when Maria never deviated from the established Bersih campaign to use peaceful, non-violent and democratic methods to canvas for popular national support?" asked Lim.
Reiterating his believe that Sosma has been abused and used for something which it was not meant for, Lim asked that when the motion to renew Sosma preventive detention powers is tabled in Parliament tomorrow, all MPs should frustrate the motion by voting against it.
Maria was detained on the eve of the Nov 19 Bersih 5 rally in Kuala Lumpur by police who raided the NGO's office.
She remains in solitary detention under Sosma to facilitate investigation into alleged funding for the Bersih movement from the Open Society Foundations, linked to American billionaire George Soros.- Mkini