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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Keadilan tells police to stop reference to use of SOSMA during election campaign

The statement by Bukit Aman Legal and Prosecution Division Principal Assistant Director Dato Razali Basri reported in the STAR yesterday that the police will use the Security Offences (Special Measures ) Act 2012 (SOSMA) during the campaign period to ensure that the 13th general election is not affected by incidents or security threats is an entirely unacceptable position.
The statement by Datuk Razali as reported also made reference to using the section 124B of the Penal Code being the offence of activity detrimental to parliamentary democracy ( in the category of so-called security offences ).  This sort of statement confirms the fears that were expressed by MP's during the debate on SOSMA in Parliament in late 2012 that the powers under SOSMA relating to so-called offence of activity detrimental to parliamentary democracy would be easily abused.
Dato Razali's statement further demonstrates the lack of understanding in the senior ranks of the police that the Election Commission is the custodian of the election process and the primary law applicable during campaign is the Election Offences Act. 
Threats to use national security laws like SOSMA in the context of the campaign period will only undermine the integrity of the electoral process.  The existing laws dealing with ordinary criminal offences and public order are adequate to deal with any incidents that may arise in relation to campaign workers etc. 
The reference to use of SOSMA during the election process is totally unwarranted.

Keadilan calls upon the police to stop making references to SOSMA in relation to the election process. 

Sivarasa Rasiah
Ahli Majlis Tertinggi PKR Pusat

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