Opposition senators want to meet Dewan Negara president over NSC Bill

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Source: The Malaysian Insider

The National Security Council Bill will give the prime minister power to declare any area in Malaysia as a ‘security area’ if it was of the view that the security in that area was ‘seriously disturbed or threatened.’ – The Malaysian Insider file pic, December 15, 2015.

Opposition senators are expected to meet Dewan Negara President Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang tomorrow to urge him to defer debates on the National Security Council Bill to the next sitting.

DAP Senator Chandra Mohan S.T. said all senators and former senators from the Opposition would meet Abu Zahar as the Dewan Negara president had the power to defer the debates.

“The decision to table the bill is determined by the speaker.

“He doesn’t have to table it at this sitting, he can table it at the next sitting, it is within his power,” Chandra said at a press conference after a briefing on the bill by #TakNakDiktator Campaign Coalition.

Coalition spokesperson Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan said despite her disappointment over the attendance of senators at the briefing, the coalition was still willing to meet the other senators on the matter.

“It’s hugely disappointing that so many senators did not come here to hear our briefing.

“We are ready to face them. Why are they not ready to face the rakyat?” she said.

Only six out of the 67 senators turned up at the briefing today. All six were were from the opposition.

The #TakNakDiktator campaign against the bill was started by rights and civil society groups, including Amnesty International Malaysia, Lawyers for Liberty, Suara Rakyat Malaysia and the National Human Rights Society.

More than 22,000 supporters have signed a petition at change.org urging the Dewan Negara to veto the bill.

There have also been individual efforts to write or email senators personally asking them to reject the bill. – December 15, 2015.