Zahid Saves Malaysia With Sosma

THE arrest of 12 people suspected to be involved in the defunct LTTE movement in Malaysia were carried out accordingly to SOSMA (Security Offences - Special Measures - Act 2012), the only proper and close-to-ISA act to curtail terrorism and other aggression activity to the country.

As Principal Assistant Director of Counter-Terrorism Division (E8) of the Special Branch Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay puts it, the police wouldn't have taken the move had no tangible proof was available. This means, the 12 arrested so far, including two DAP reps in Melaka and Negri Sembilan, will have to undergo thorough investigation and face the court, if convicted.

Never politicise the issue although DAP sec-gen Lim Guan Eng and his comrades issued demeaning statements construed as trying to interfere with police actions.

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said earlier this week that SOSMA is being used and so far, it is the best Act for such cases. In other words, the government of Pakatan Harapan is endorsing the Act, which came under heavy criticism by DAP and some PH parliamentarians. Dr M has finally shut them up.

Apart from SOSMA, no other suitable set of law can be applied to contain the act of terrorism in the country.

When Zahid Hamidi was Home Minister, he gave SOSMA a big push to the displeasure of the Opposition. Since the Internal Security Act (ISA) was repealed in 2012, Malaysia was left to no specific law to overcome the rising threat of DAESH, Islamic State and other subversive activities,

Had he not pressed for its approval in Parliament, the arrests of those linked to terrorism would have easily been manipulated or even found loopholes in whatever law under used. To me and many other peace-loving Malaysians, SOSMA should be retained by the current government, and that no other leniency be given to those trying to wreck the country.

"SOSMA should be maintained to keep public order... it protects national security, and has nothing to do with politics..." Zahid used to say.

Under SOSMA, offenders will be detained for 28 days before trial unlike ISA detainees who can be held for two years without trial.

With the suggestion to take back the “draconian laws” which Dr Mahathir himself defended between 1981 and 2003, the country will be exposed to the “free for all” Internet era and this will threaten public order, he said.

“In addition, with the intention to remove the Sedition Act 1948 and Anti-Fake News Act 2018 (which was repealed last week), it seems the Government wants to encourage negative sentiments on religion, race and politics in the country."

What happened after the abolition of the Internal Security Act (ISA) should serve as a lesson to the government today as it considers repealing preventive detention laws such as SOSMA, Poca and Pota.

After ISA and Emergency Ordinance (EC) were repealed, it led to a significant rise in serious crime cases, particularly involving gangs of secret societies fighting for their areas of control.

I personally don't agree if it is repealed. Without SOSMA, Poca and Pota, we cannot contain trained terrorists' activities such as the DAESH group or well-organised, armed and violent groups of criminals.

On July 22, Dr M said the government would abolish laws that oppress the people, specifically SOSMA. However, when the LTTE arrest was made, he somehow realize the positive side of it.

There is a need to have strict preventive laws to protect the country and people, thus restricting the movement of extremist groups, militant groups and organised crime groups today.

The intrusion in Lahad Datu, Sabah by a group from Mindanao led by the younger brother of Sultan Jamalul Kiram III, Agbimuddin Kiram, at Felda Sahabat Kampung Tanduo, on Feb 9, 2013 is another lesson that threats to national sovereignty could occur at any time and should be contained from the start.

The crisis that saw nine security personnel and 54 terrorists killed, and about 100 people detained, could not have been easily handled if the country did not have special laws like SOSMA.

Under SOSMA, a detainee still has the chance to defend himself and it is not as bad as the Patriot Act in the United States where terrorists arrested around the world, including two Malaysians allegedly involved in the Al-Qaeda movement were detained without the opportunity to defend themselves at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Centre.

The Act also reduced cases, among others, such as gangsterism, gambling and prostitution in which the police took preventive measures before such activities became widespread. It also played a crucial role in safeguarding the sovereignty of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Malay Rulers as well as the interests of the people that might be threatened, posing the threat of racial and religious riots.

The Internal Security Act (ISA) 1960 was repealed on July 31, 2012 and replaced with SOSMA which was passed by the Dewan Rakyat on April 17, 2012.

As the Home Minister then, Zahid made the most right crucial move. PH government should thanks him instead, rather than wanting to remove the law...

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