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Your KiniGuide to Security Offences (Special Measures) Act

Published:  |  Modified:

KINIGUIDE The arrest of Bersih chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah has sparked renewed calls to abolish the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma).

Her detention under Sosma since Friday last week has thus far sparked at least two protest marches, and three nights of protests close to Dataran Merdeka.

What is this law, and why do its opponents deem it ‘draconian’? In this instalment of KiniGuide, we will take a look at Sosma’s 33-pages and why it has become so controversial.

What is Sosma?

Sosma was passed by the Dewan Rakyat on April 17, 2012, to replace the Internal Security Act 1960 (ISA), after longstanding complaints that ISA is a draconian law that is prone to abuse.

Sosma provides the police with more powers to detain people and conduct investigations, and more leeway for prosecutors on what evidence they can tender in court.

This is meant to help authorities tackle security offences, particularly terrorism.

It was enacted pursuant to Article 149 of the Federal Constitution, which allows for laws to tackle subversion, organised violence and other threats to be valid even if such laws violate some of the fundamental liberties provided by the constitution...

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