The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (BERSIH 2.0) strongly condemns the statement today by Deputy Home Minister Datuk Mohd Azis Jamman calling the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA) a good law, as reported by the Star Online.
According to the report, this was said during a press conference after the launch of the ASEAN Immigration Heads meeting in Kuala Lumpur today.
BERSIH 2.0 would like to ask the deputy minister to please clarify what aspect of the law he thinks is good especially to those families of people currently detained under SOSMA.
Detainees have reported instances of being beaten and forced to suffer dehumanising conditions merely to extract a confession. Many families of SOSMA detainees have been left in a state of limbo following detention without trial of their family member for 28 days in the initial period and then prolonged detention while waiting for trial. Their lives have been turned upside down by SOSMA.
SOSMA legacy is no more than a tool used by the former Barisan Nasional government to silence dissenting opinions. The most glaring case was the detention of Maria Chin Abdullah, former chairperson of BERSIH 2.0 for 10 days under SOSMA. She was held in solitary confinement and mentally tortured with long hours of non-stop interrogation by police officers.
We find it appalling that the Government is still making statements about how they are thinking about reviewing SOSMA instead of abolishing it, especially since Pakatan Harapan has already made a commitment in its manifesto to abolish these oppressive laws.
Malaysia has more than enough laws to tackle criminals and terrorists that are in line with human rights. There is no need to retain the infamous SOSMA.
The Government must never waver in its commitment to fulfilling its obligation to repeal any oppressive laws enacted under Barisan National’s rule. This also includes the abolishment of the National Security Council Act, the Prevention of Crime Act and the Prevention of Terrorism Act, which will be misued.
BERSIH 2.0 reminds the Government that it had won because the Rakyat was fed up with living under the oppressive rule of Barisan Nasional. If they continue to follow in BN’s footsteps then they will lose the support of the Rakyat.
BERSIH 2.0 Steering Committee