PUTRAJAYA: Draconian laws, such as the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma), will be amended as soon as possible.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, in giving the assurance, said though the government was not abolishing such laws, it would nevertheless ensure that certain provisions of the legislation are amended accordingly.
“Although we may not abolish these laws, we will make changes so that those parts said to be draconian, like (providing for) arrest and detention without trial, will be amended.
"This will be done as soon as possible because if not, it may be abused,” said the Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman after chairing the pact’s presidential council meeting here last night.
Asked whether the proposed amendments were prompted by the recent arrest of 12 individuals, including state assemblymen under Sosma for alleged links to LTTE, Dr Mahathir said the amendments were part of PH’s promises made in the last general election.
"We have made this promise before, but we have delayed it because of certain factors. We now feel that we should take action immediately," he added.
Dr Mahathir also hoped that the amendments could be tabled by this parliament session.
"If we can't make it, then we will table it in the next session," he said.
Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu was previously reported as saying that the Sosma should be improved instead of being abolished.
PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who was also present at the council meeting, echoed the Prime Minister’s views on the matter.
He said the recent arrest of 12 individuals linked to the LTTE was justified – but he was against them being detained under Sosma, which he deemed as being harsh.
Meanwhile, asked on his promise to hand over power to Anwar, Dr Mahathir said he would fulfil his promise.
"I promise, I’ll keep my promise," he said.