Ayob Khan trying to mislead nation into believing Sosma is good, claims Suaram

Suaram says judges must be given the opportunity to decide whether a suspect should be given bail.

PETALING JAYA: A rights NGO has slammed Bukit Aman’s defence of the controversial Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma), labelling it as an attempt to mislead the nation into believing the law would benefit the country.

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) said that counter-terrorism chief Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay’s claim, in a special interview with Sinar Harian, that allowing bail for terror suspects detained under Sosma would reunite them with their terror cells and to conduct attacks was absurd.

Its executive director, Sevan Doraisamy, pointed out that all this while judges who presided over murder, drug trafficking and even armed robbery cases had been determining if a suspect should be granted bail.

“If the police, through the public prosecutor, can give good cause that a person should not be granted bail, as there are clear concerns that he or she may commit further offences or pose a threat to public safety, would a reasonable judge deny such an application?” he said in a statement.

On Ayob’s insistence that the 28-day remand period be maintained, Sevan noted that under the Criminal Procedure Code, police had the power to apply for a maximum remand period of 14 days.

And if authorities feel that the duration to carry out its probe was inadequate under the existing law, the police should engage all stakeholders, including civil societies and the Bar Council, to propose amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code.

Sevan said they should not advocate for a law that grants the police blanket power to remand anyone on a whim, with no power granted to any judicial body to ensure checks and balances.

He went on to say that based on the two points raised by Ayob, it was clear that he was attempting to mislead Malaysians by portraying Sosma as a good law to protect the safety and security of Malaysians.

“Unfortunately, his position and claims have not an ounce of truth as the terrorism offence is provided for under the Penal Code, and the Criminal Procedure Code provides all the necessary measures for police to take action.”

He also wondered if Ayob secretly believed that the judiciary in Malaysia was incompetent to preside over criminal matters and that such things are best left to the “wisdom of the police”.

“If he does, is he the kind of police officer that Malaysians want?”