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Saturday, November 30, 2019

GIVEN A SLAP IN THE FACE BY THE COURT, ‘SAY ONE THING, DO ANOTHER’ MAHATHIR ADMITS SOSMA ‘DIFFICULT’ TO SOLVE – BUT STILL REFUSES TO REPEAL THE LAW

PRIME Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has conceded that the Security Offences (Special Measures) act (Sosma) was a difficult matter to resolve.
The 94-year-old leader said that the federal government would discuss the law further after the High Court yesterday struck out a provision of the security law prohibiting bail in the case of Gadek assemblyman G. Saminathan.
“We will discuss this. While this matter is a difficult one, we do not want to let a suspect to go free, for example, someone who is capable of making bombs, we cannot give them bail.”
“But there are some who are accused of sabotaging the economy, and we give them bail. We want to reduce the detention days from 28 to 25 days, these are all under discussion,” he said after launching the Muslim Welfare Organisation Malaysia (Perkim) AGM today.
The High Court yesterday ruled that it was up to the judge to decide whether to grant bail to those accused under Sosma.
Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali said that as an independent arm of the government, the judiciary was responsible to check any excesses of the legislature and executive.
“The principle of separation of powers is a hallmark of a modern state.”
He said this after allowing the constitutional challenge filed by Saminathan, who is charged with supporting the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.
The judge added that Section 13 of Sosma is ultra vires Articles 8 and 121 of the federal constitution.
Sosma limits the power of judges to grant bail to certain categories of detainees only.
On October 31, Saminathan and 11 others were accused of supporting the long-defunct Sri Lankan separatist group.
The 11 others are V. Balamurugan, 37; postman S. Teeran, 38; scrap metal trader A. Kalaimughilan, 36; security officer M. Pumugan, 29; Malacca Green Technology Incorporated chief executive officer S. Chandru, 38; teacher R. Sundra, 52; technician S. Arivainthan, 27; storekeeper S. Thanagaraj, 26; Seremban Jaya assemblyman P. Gunasekaran, 60; and two DAP members V. Sureshkumar, 43, and B. Subramaniam, 57.
The arrests has sparked an outcry with rights groups demanding that PH abolish the law as promised in its manifesto.
It is also triggered protest among Pakatan Harapan lawmakers, many of whom showed solidarity with the relatives protesting the detentions outside parliament two weeks ago.
Subsequently de facto law minister Liew Vui Keong said the administration was in the process of reviewing several aspects of the law.
Human rights lawyer Syharedzan Johan previously said that those accused of terrorism and other charges under Sosma would not get a fair trial as the law ran contrary to the principles of justice.
The political secretary to Lim Kit Siang urged for Sosma to be abolished or extensively amended, saying the security law had too many provisions that dif not allow suspects a fair trial.
Sosma was introduced in 2012 by former prime minister Najib Razak to allow special measures to be taken for security offences.
– https://www.themalaysianinsight.com/s

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