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Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Bar Council Public forum on SOSMA – WOLF in Sheep’s Clothing?

Date: 3 Nov 2015 (Tuesday)

Time: 8.00 pm (registration begins at 7.30pm)

Venue: Raja Aziz Addruse Auditorium, Straits Trading Building, Unit 2-02A, 2nd Floor, Leboh Pasar Besar, 50050 Kuala Lumpur

Admission is free but registration is required.

Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (“SOSMA”) vests extraordinary and wide-ranging powers with the Executive. SOSMA contains an extremely broad definition of what constitutes a “security offence”. It allows for an initial detention of 24 hours by the police to be extended for up to 28 days if authorised by a police officer above the rank of superintendent, without any supervision by the courts. In addition, detainees can be denied access to legal counsel for up to 48 hours after arrest and also denied bail. Under SOSMA, all offences under Part VI and Part VIA of the Penal Code are considered security offences and are triable in the High Court.

Despite the Government’s initial assurance that SOSMA was legislated to address terrorism threats and violent conduct, we are now witnessing its misuse. The case of Dato’ Sri Khairuddin Abu Hassan and his lawyer Matthias Chang, a Member of the Bar, raises serious concerns over the misuse of SOSMA. Are we witnessing yet another attempt to resurrect the Internal Security Act 1960 or Essential (Security Cases) Regulations 1975? The original purpose of SOSMA, and its utility as a means for investigative detention - not preventive detention - is now open to question.

                        7.30 pm – 8.00 pm      Registration

8.00 pm – 8.10 pm      Welcome remarks

8.10 pm - 8.30 pm      Opening Address by Steven Thiru, President, Malaysian Bar

8.30 pm – 8.50 pm      Invited speaker

8.50 pm – 9.10 pm      Representative from Attorney General’s Chambers    (tbc)

9.10 pm – 9.30 pm      Invited Speaker

9.30 pm – 9.50 pm      Amer Hamzah Arshad, Member of the Bar

9.50 pm - 10.30 pm    Q&A

10.30 pm                    End

Kindly confirm your attendance (using the reply slip/circular attached) to:
Satha Selvan (03-2050 2092; or
Sumitha Shaanthinni Kishna (03-2050 2090;

Fax: 03-2031 6640

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