KUALA LUMPUR: Police have clarified that the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act would only be used if the offences do not fall under the Election Offences Act and for very serious offences such as terrorism.
“During the general election (GE13), police will use the Peaceful Assembly Act until nomination day and the Election Offences Act 1954 from nomination day until polling day,” assistant head of the IGP's secretariat (public relations) Asst Comm Ramli Mohamed Yoosuf said at Bukit Aman yesterday.
He said reports quoting Bukit Aman legal and prosecution division principal assistant director Datuk Razali Basri as saying that Sosma would be used during the general election had been misunderstood.
“Of course Sosma will be in effect, just like the Penal Code will be in effect.
“For example, if Lahad Datu had occurred during the campaigning period, we would still investigate it under Sosma or if a murder had occurred during the period, it would fall under the Penal Code.”
ACP Ramli said the misunderstanding could have been avoided if people had understood the context of the comment before jumping to conclusions.
“I assure you that we (the police) do not use the laws of this country haphazardly,” he added.
ACP Ramli said that on Friday there were 480 ceramah, gatherings and other events related to GE13 held in the country.
Reports on Razali's statement had caused an uproar among politicians who criticised the police for abusing the law.
“This proves our concern that powers under Sosma, relating to so-called offences detrimental to parliamentary democracy, could be easily abused,” PKR vice-president R. Sivarasa was quoted as saying in a news portal.
The Star Online-Apr 13, 2013