Senate approves maximum 28-day detention under Sosma for another five years

KUALA LUMPUR: The 28-day maximum detention period under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) will continue to be enforced for another five years from July 31, 2017 as approved by the Dewan Negara tonight.

The motion on the review of the implementation of subsection 4 (5) of the Act was submitted by Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed who said the proposed extension to the 28-day detention period under subsection 4 (5) of Sosma was the first to be made since it was enforced on July 31, 2012.

Nur Jazlan, when winding up the debate on the motion, highlighted the fears of certain quarters who claimed the act was being arbitrarily used to carry out political detentions.

"We look at Maria Chin's (Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah) case. She is not a political detainee. What is her political party? So, the allegation that Sosma is being used on political detainee is not true," he said.

Throughout the enforcement period, there was no incident of detainees dying or injured from abuse in detention, he added.

Meanwhile, the Senate also passed the Penal Code (Amendment) Bill 2017, which was seen as, among others, an effort to combat sexual crimes in general.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Razali Ibrahim, when winding up the debate on the bill, said the amendment was aimed at expanding the use of Section 326A of the Penal Code to cover offences committed on former husbands or wives, children, handicapped adults or other family members.

"Sexual crimes and domestic violence in our society today have becoming rampant and and if not tackled, can destroy the family institution, affect social harmony, and in fact, can destroy the future of the nation.

"In line with the effort of the government to curb domestic violence cases and cases related to sexual crimes, the government plans to make several improvements in the Penal Code. And it is not only subject to those in legitimate relationships," he said.

He said the amendment was aimed at expanding the existing sections to sexual cases involving the insertion of any parts of the body such as fingers or tongue other than the penis into the vagina or anus of the victims. — Bernama