Mahathir: Draconian Laws to Be Amended as Soon as Possible

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Amendments could be tabled by this parliament session.

Laws such as the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) which are deemed to be draconian will be amended as soon as possible, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said last night.

The prime minister said the proposed amendments would be tabled either at the current or next Parliament sitting.

“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,” he told reporters after chairing the Pakatan Harapan (PH) presidential council meeting yesterday.

“This will be done as soon as possible because we find that if not it may be abused,” said Mahathir, who is PH chairman.

Asked whether the proposed amendments were prompted by the recent arrest of 12 individuals including state assemblymen under Sosma for alleged links with LTTE, Mahathir said the amendments were part of PH’s promises made in the last general election.

“We have made this promise before, but it was delayed because of certain factors, so we now feel that we should take action immediately in case they are made use again,” he said.

Meanwhile, when asked on his promise to hand over power to PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Dr Mahathir said he would fulfil his promise.

“I promise, I keep my promise,” he said.

Mahathir also jokingly asked Anwar, who was present at the press conference, “You think you can handle? (based on reporter’s question)

“No, No…,” said Anwar laughing.