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Haniff should read Buku Harapan before he talks about Harapan promises

MP SPEAKS | I would advise lawyer Haniff Khatri Abdulah to read Buku Harapan before he opens his mouth about what Pakatan Harapan had promised in the 14th general election.

Promise 27 (page 61) on “Abolish oppressive laws” of Buku Harapan pledges that “The Pakatan Harapan government will also abolish draconian provisions” in Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma).

Haniff cannot be more wrong when he alleged that some DAP leaders, by the virtue of being part of the ruling government, were meddling in police affairs.

DAP leaders are adhering to Buku Harapan in pressing for the abolition of the draconian provisions in Sosma, which includes the denial of bail when a person is charged under Sosma and during the whole period the case is subject to appeal to the higher courts – which could take years.

It is a major landmark judicial and constitutional development that Section 13 of Sosma, which denied bail to Sosma detainees, was declared unconstitutional by Kuala Lumpur High Court Judge, Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali (below).

It would have been better if this draconian and unconstitutional provision had been repealed by Parliament before Nov 29, 2019, the date the matter was decided by Justice Nazlan as "unconstitutional”.

As Parliament has set up a Select Committee on Defence and Home Affairs to ensure that no police abuse of power happened in the previous administration, when the doctrine of separation of powers was abused and Parliament could not fully perform its constitutional function, there should be suspension of the all Sosma provisions until the Harapan government has completed its Buku Harapan pledge to repeal the “draconian” provisions in the law.

DAP condemns terrorism in any form, and will provide unstinting support to the authorities to combat terrorism of any kind.

It is two-and-a-half months since the detention of DAP state executive councillor, G Saminathan, Negri Sembilan assemblyperson P Gunasekaran and eight others for terrorist links with LTTE, but no concrete evidence had been provided by the police so far, especially as LTTE had been defunct for nine years.

The era when national security is the sole concern of the police is over as national security should be the concern of all patriotic Malaysians and MPs.

While the police has the professional and specific duty to safeguard the national security of the nation, it should not act as in the past when the phrase “national security” could be abused not to protect national security, but for other motives and purposes.

In 2015, former Batu Kawan Umno deputy chief Khairuddin Abu Hassan and lawyer Matthias Chang were detained under Sosma in connection with the 1MDB scandal, while in 2016 on the eve of the Bersih 5 rally, Bersih chairperson Maria Chin was arrested under Sosma.

In a new era of great accountability and transparent governance promised by Harapan, the police must act in a transparent and accountable manner.

LIM KIT SIANG is MP for Iskandar Puteri.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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