Security bill serious threat to constitutional government, say lawyers’ groups

Source: The Malaysian Insider

Lawyers’ groups say The National Security Council Bill upsets the separation of powers between executive, legislature and judiciary. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, January 6, 2016.

The controversial National Security Council Bill (NSC) is a serious threat to Malaysia’s constitutional government, said lawyers’ groups in an open letter, as it upsets the separation of powers between executive, legislature and judiciary.

The open letter to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak comes as Putrajaya attempts to push through the bill despite widely held concerns from civil society and opposition parties towards the new law.

The groups, who represent lawyers from the peninsula and East Malaysia, also refuted Putrajaya’s claims that the bill was necessary to deal with terrorism and incidents such as the 2013 Lahad Datu incursion by Sulu militants.

“It is apparent that the bill vests and concentrates enormous executive and emergency powers in the NSC and the prime minister,” said the statement signed by the Malaysian Bar, Sarawak Advocates’ Association and the Sabah Law Association.

“This upsets the delicate separation of powers in the constitution between the executive, legislature and judiciary on the one hand, and the constitutional monarchy on the other hand.”

The letter was signed by Malaysian Bar president Steven Thiru, Sarawak Advocates Association president Leonard Shim and Sabah Law Association president Brenndon Soh. Read more