PETALING JAYA: Family members of detainees under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) have reminded the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government of its election pledge to repeal the law if it came into power in the 14th general election.
“The government must stick to its promise to repeal Sosma. A promise is a promise,” one of them, Mahathir Abdul Rahman, told FMT.
Mahathir’s brother has spent the last four years in prison under Sosma. The police mechanic was accused of supporting violence and withholding information.
Even if the act is not repealed, Mahathir said, the government should at least amend the provisions that are considered unjust.
“My hope is for them to amend Section 18A, which states that ‘any statement by an accused whether orally or in writing to any person at any time shall be admissible as evidence’.
“This is clearly unfair,” he added.
Mahathir said home ministry secretary-general Alwi Ibrahim had promised that family members of detainees would be invited to join discussions on the review of Sosma.
However, there have been no updates since then.
He voiced concern that discussions or decisions made on the matter would be biased as they would not take into account the views of detainees’ families.
Adding that the government was breaking its pledge if it insisted on retaining Sosma, he said the detainees were planning to hold a hunger strike as a show of protest in March.
Another family member, Norsham Jalani, said the people had voted for PH in the May 9 general election because of its manifesto.
He said his brother, Nor Azmi, 32, who was with the Malaysian Air Force, was detained for allegedly promoting terrorism.
“They promised to repeal the act, not just to review it,” he said.
He added that politicians such as Amanah’s Mohamad Sabu and DAP’s Lim Guan Eng should remember PH’s promise to repeal the act as they themselves had been detained under the Internal Security Act.
On Sunday, Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said at the PPBM general assembly that Sosma and the Prevention of Crime Act (Amendment) 2017 would not be repealed but instead maintained with amendments.