A provision allowing bail for detainees is being considered as part of the recommendations to improve the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA).

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Law and Institutional Reform) Ramkarpal Singh when asked about developments on SOSMA said that efforts to improve the Act are now almost complete.

According to him, several engagement sessions with stakeholders including the Home Ministry, the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM), the Attorney-General's Chambers and family members of SOSMA detainees have been held whereby the recommendations received will be presented to the Cabinet soon.

"The recommendation to allow bail (for SOSMA detainees) is an issue we are looking into now. Repeal (of the Act) is not in the pipeline but we are looking into improvements," he told reporters after participating in the Merdeka 'brisk walk' activity organised by the law and institutional reform portfolio agency here today.

Currently, a person arrested under SOSMA cannot be bailed except for a juvenile (under the age of 18), a woman or a person who is sick or infirm subject to the discretion of the court.

Ramkarpal said all SOSMA improvements will not be implemented in one go but will be done in stages.

In February, Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said the Unity Government did not intend to repeal the Act, but would make improvements.

According to Saifuddin Nasution, it is because PDRM still needs the law so that immediate action can be taken to avoid any public panic and threats to the nation's sovereignty and the well-being of the people.

Earlier in his speech, Ramkarpal called on the members of the Legal Affairs Division (BHEUU) to continue to strengthen the bonds of brotherhood and mutual respect in line with the concept of MADANI Malaysia which emphasises unity.

In conjunction with the 66th National Day, BHEUU has organised a number of activities including a Jalur Gemilang (naitional flag) raising ceremony, independence talks and a visit to the Declaration of Independence Memorial in Melaka.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency