KUALA LUMPUR: A Pakatan Harapan MP claims some Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) detainees were forced to plead guilty to secure their release.
V Ganabatirau (PH-Klang) told the Dewan Rakyat that he was informed of such incidents recently. However, he did not provide further details on the matter.
The DAP man also claimed that the duration in which these detainees were held had been marked as their “sentencing period”.
Ganabatirau then called for the government to provide an explanation on this issue.
“Tan Sri (Speaker), we have fought for those who were detained without trial, and this matter needs to be explained by the government.
“(This is) so that we can provide an explanation to the rakyat,” he said when debating the Supply Bill 2024.
Ganabatirau, who had been previously detained under the now repealed Internal Security Act (ISA), said while criminals should be punished, “it should not come to a point where those who have been sentenced have to prove the offence (committed)’’.
In his speech, he also asked about the progress of the proposed Sosma reforms, including making offences under the Act bailable.
“(We) have been waiting on this matter (reform) for a long time,” he said.
In August, deputy law and institutional reform minister Ramkarpal Singh was reported as having said that the government is considering a legal provision allowing Sosma detainees to be bailed while awaiting their trials.
The legal provision is one of the recommendations being considered to improve the law, Bernama reported.
The deputy minister also said the government’s efforts to look into ways to improve the controversial law was nearing completion.
Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s government decided in December last year to retain the law, despite calls for its repeal by government backbenchers and civil society groups.
The repeal of the law, which is described as draconian by its critics, was one of the promises made by PH in its general election manifestos in 2018 and 2022.
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