Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012

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Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012
Parliament of Malaysia
An Act to provide for special measures relating to security offences for the purpose of maintaining public order and security and for connected matters.
Citation Act 747
Territorial extent Malaysia
Enacted by Dewan Rakyat
Date passed 17 April 2012
Enacted by Dewan Negara
Date passed 9 May 2012
Date of Royal Assent 18 June 2012
Date commenced 22 June 2012
Date effective 31 July 2012, P.U. (B) 256/2012[1]
Legislative history
Bill introduced in the Dewan Rakyat Security Offences (Special Measures) Bill 2012
Bill citation D.R. 15/2012
Introduced by Najib Razak, Prime Minister
First reading 10 April 2012
Second reading 16 April 2012
Third reading 17 April 2012
Bill introduced in the Dewan Negara Security Offences (Special Measures) Bill 2012
Bill citation D.R. 15/2012
Introduced by Liew Vui Keong, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department
First reading 23 April 2012
Second reading 8 May 2012
Third reading 9 May 2012
Security Offences (Special Measures) (Amendment) Act 2015 [Act A1487]
Related legislation
Internal Security Act 1960 [Act 82]
Public order, special measure, security
Status: In force

The Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Malay: Akta Kesalahan Keselamatan (Langkah-Langkah Khas) 2012, abbreviated SOSMA) is a controversial law supposedly "to provide for special measures relating to security offences for the purpose of maintaining public order and security and for connected matters". The Act is to replace the 1960 Internal Security Act (Malaysia). The Act was introduced by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, approved in Parliament on 17 April 2012, given the Royal Assent on 18 June 2012 and Gazetted on 22 June 2012. This act may carry the death penalty to the perpetrators.


The Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012, in its current form (4 June 2015), consists of 8 Parts containing 32 sections and 2 schedules (including 1 amendment).

  • Part I: Preliminary
  • Part II: Special Powers for Security Offences
  • Part III: Special Procedures Relating to Electronic Monitoring Device
  • Part IV: Special Procedures Relating to Sensitive Information
  • Part V: Trial
  • Part VI: Special Procedures Relating to Protected Witness
  • Part VII: Evidence
  • Part VIII: Miscellaneous
  • Schedules

Arrests Under the Act

Three people, including former ISA detainees Yazid Sufaat, Halimah Hussein and Mohd Hilmi Hasim, were the first ever detained under SOSMA in 2013. They were arrested for alleged incitement of terrorist acts.[2] Following the 2013 Lahad Datu standoff, 104 Filipinos with suspected links to Jamalul Kiram III, one of the claimants to the throne of the Sultanate of Sulu, were detained under SOSMA. These included several family members of Kiram who had entered the state of Sabah using false identities.[3]


In 2016, SOSMA was used to arrest 15 prominent civil rights activists, including Maria Chin Abdullah, after the Bersih 5 rally, leading to widespread condemnation from various parties, including Lawyers for Liberty director Eric Paulsen,[4] 80 civil society organisations,[5] the Malaysian Human Rights Commission and the US State Department. Several civil rights groups also said the use of Sosma for an organiser of a peaceful rally was abuse of power and that the Malaysian government was trying to suppress dissent by using draconian laws.[6]

In 2016, 80 prominent civil rights group collectively called for the abolition of SOSMA, calling it a "draconian" law.[7]


  1. ^ "Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012: Appointment of Date Coming into Operation" (PDF). Attorney General's Chamber of Malaysia. Retrieved 6 April 2016.
  2. ^ "Detention of trio under Security Offences Act has global impact". New Straits Times. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
  3. ^ Radzi Razak (17 March 2013). "Kiram's family members among 104 detained under SOSMA". The Sun Daily. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Free Maria Chin, Abolish SOSMA! · Article 19". Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  6. ^ hermesauto (24 November 2016). "US 'troubled' over arrest of Malaysian activist Maria Chin Abdullah under security law". Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  7. ^ "Free Maria Chin, abolish Sosma! — Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia". 24 November 2016. Retrieved 1 December 2016.

External links

  • Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
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