HAKAM applauds the Attorney General’s statement today dated 13th December 2019. The Attorney General rightfully observed that Section 13 of SOSMA which denies bail to an accused is:
(a) unconstitutional as it takes away the judicial power of the Courts which forms the basic structure of our Federal Constitution, as held by our Federal Court in Semenyih Jaya & Indira Gandhi; and
(b) unacceptable because it offends the fundamental concept that an accused is innocent until proven guilty.
HAKAM is particularly encouraged by the Attorney General’s decision not to appeal Justice Nazlan’s decision which rightfully held that Section 13 of SOSMA is unconstitutional.
HAKAM also supports the Attorney General’s observation that the striking down of Section 13 of SOSMA does not mean that there will be jeopardy to public safety – this is because bail can still be denied by a Judge if there is sufficient evidence that the accused poses a risk to the public, as in all other criminal cases.
HAKAM is confident that the Courts in our country will take note of this development and proceed to exercise their discretion to allow bail to accused persons detained under SOSMA, should the circumstances call for it.
HAKAM trusts the wisdom of the Courts to exercise such discretion on bail judiciously in order to strike an appropriate balance between the rights of an accused and public safety.
Finally, HAKAM reiterates its call to the Government to fulfill its manifesto promise of abolishing SOSMA in its entirety.