JUNE 09 — The National Security Council Bill has has been gazetted as law yesterday and is now the National Security Council Act 2016. The legislation did not receive royal assent, as provided by Article 66(4A) of the Federal Constitution – a bill becomes law at the end of the 30 day period without the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s assent.
The conference of Rulers in February said that some provisions in the bill should be refined. However, despite coalitions such at #TakNakDiktator reminding the Government that they should honour the request by the Council of Rulers, the National Security Council Bill was passed without the amendments.
Various human rights group, civil society organisations and the Malaysian Bar have voiced concerns over the wide ranging powers of this controversial legislation which would effectively give the Prime Minister unprecedented power over military command.
Emergency powers which are vested in the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is now accessible to the Prime Minister under the National Security Council (NSC) headed by the PM. The NSC can direct any government entity, both federal and state, on matters of ‘national security’ which are ambiguous at best.
The NSC can also take control over any government entity for ‘operations concerning national security’ and there is no requirement that these powers be exercised only in the event of a threat.
The fact that terms such as ‘national security’ and ’security area’ to name a few, have not been defined in the National Security Council Act 2016 is of upmost concern and leaves us at the mercy of the Government to do as they like. With the mere mention of words such as ‘national security’ threat, the Government will now be able to strip away our rights under the constitution, which is terrifying.
National security should be defined in the context of our people’s safety, welfare and happiness, founded on principles of liberty and justice and not on laws such as the National Security Council Act 2016 which is an assault on democracy and a blatant abuse of human rights. Whether we accept it or not, the National Security Council Act 2016 is here to stay.