Najib can use security law to hold on to power, says think tank

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Source: The Malaysian Insider

Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas) chief executive Wan Saiful Wan Jan says the huge concentration of power in the prime minister’s hands under the security law is a concern, adding that it can be used to hold on to power. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, December 4, 2015.

Barisan Nasional (BN) lawmakers have failed the people by supporting the National Security Council (NSC) Bill passed in Parliament last night, the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas) said, calling it a “dark day in Malaysia’s history”.

Ideas chief executive Wan Saiful Wan Jan said he was particularly worried about the huge concentration of power in the prime minister’s hands under the bill, adding that it could be used to hold on to power.

“Just imagine if someone holding that top post were in the process of being kicked out from power either by his own party or by the voters.

“I am worried if he can use this Act to keep himself in power just for the sake of staying in power.

“I condemn this atrocious action by the government,” Wan Saiful said, calling for the bill to be withdrawn.

He also said it was inexcusable the manner the bill was rushed through the Dewan Rakyat with little opportunity for legislative scrutiny or public consultation.

“It is a desperate act that will push us closer to a dictatorship and authoritarian rule.

“The provisions under the bill allow for the extensive curtailing and impingement of civil liberties, constitutional guarantees and fundamental rights,” he added.

He said senators in the Dewan Negara must reject the bill if the government failed to withdraw it.

“The BN MPs have failed the people when they supported this bill.

“If the government does not withdraw it, senators in the Dewan Negara must show that they have a use and reject the bill.”

The NSC Bill gives powers to the council headed by Datuk Seri Najib Razak 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 safeguards.

The controversial bill was passed late last night, after just six hours of debating. – December 4, 2015.

 

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