Sosma is cruel, no place for it in Malaysia, says Ramasamy
The DAP leader laments that several people detained in Penang under Sosma for alleged gang-related activities are languishing in jail, and asks if police practice racial profiling.
PENANG: Saying the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act of 2012 or Sosma is as cruel as the Internal Security Act which it replaced, DAP leader P Ramasamy laments the pitiful situation of detainees.
Describing it as an obnoxious piece of legislation, he said in a statement that a few months back, several people in Penang and elsewhere were arrested and detained under Sosma, for allegedly being members of certain âgangsâ.
âAll of them are languishing in prison without any legal recourse. Even if their cases are decided by the court of law, it would take a considera ble period of time.
âUnfortunately, many of those arrested were members of the Indian community.â
According to some family members, he said, the situation of the detainees in prison was pitiful.
âMany of them are experiencing health-related problems and are completely in the dark as to their ultimate fate.
He asked if the arrest of Indians for gangsterism had anything to do with racial profiling by the police.
Ramasamy, who is also deputy chief minister II of Penang, said Sosma had no place in any country that wanted to be labelled as democratic and progressive.
âIn a broader sense, just like its predecessor, Sosma has become a useful instrument in the hands of the executive to ward off potential threats to its hegemony.â
The difference, he said, was that while the ISA provided for 60 days detention, under Sosma this has been reduced to 28 days.
âSosma might have reduced the period of detention, but those deta ined by this legislation do not have the right to be bailed out, with some exceptions.â
Sosma detainees, he said, had to wait long periods for their conviction to be challenged in a court of law. Family members did not have the opportunity to have face to face contact with those detained, and could only have telephone conversations separated by a wall in the prison.
âThe conversations between family members and detainees are closely monitored to the extent there exists no meaningful conversation.
âWhile the law provides for 28 days without trial, detainees stand the chance of being locked for months, if not years, simply because of the delay in the court due process.
âChances are that some of the detainees might not be guilty of the crimes they have been accused of, but they have no choice but to spend days in remand,â Ramasamy added.
Source: Google News