The Malaysian military has barred a retired officer from speaking at a forum on the National Security Council (NSC) Bill, a controversial law which civil groups claim would give control of the armed forces to the prime minister.
Lt-Col (Rtd) Mohamad Daud Sulaiman of the Royal Malaysian Air Force received last minute orders not to speak at the forum organised by the Bar Council in Kuala Lumpur tonight, the organisers said.
Daud, who is a former legal and policy adviser to the air force, was scheduled to be a panellist at the forum titled “National Security Council Bill – chain of command compromised?”.
The bill has passed through Dewan Rakyat and will be debated at the current session of the upper house Dewan Negara.
Bar Council human rights committee co-chairperson Andrew Khoo told the audience that Daud was commanded by the service to not attend as a panellist.
“There was an order by his superiors not to be part of the panel, so unfortunately he cannot speak to us,” Khoo said as the forum began.
Activists and the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) have called the NSC bill unconstitutional as it attempts to subvert the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s control of the military and to declare emergencies.
The bill would give effective command of the military to a National Security Council that is headed by the prime minister.
It would also give powers to the council to arrest anyone without a warrant once an area is declared a security area.
The NSC bill gives the prime minister the power to impose “emergency-like” conditions, without the same legal safeguards.
When approached by the media later, Daud, who was in the audience, declined to comment on the matter.
He said the military command also prevented him from speaking to the press. – December 18, 2015.
Article in Bahasa Malaysia