04
Dec
15

NSC Bill – gov’t unleashing monster on people

NSC Bill – gov’t unleashing monster on people, says Ambiga

Prominent lawyer Ambiga Sreenevasan believes the government is unleashing ‘a monster’ on the people with regards to the new National Security Council Bill.

The National Human Rights Society (Hakam) president said she is appalled at the bid to give an already powerful prime minister more power.

Branding it the worst of the recent spate of ‘oppressive legislation’, Ambiga said the new Bill effectively gives the prime minister absolute power to declare any area a security area after which all laws that protect ordinary citizens will be suspended.

“As if the prime minister does not have enough power […] he has just given himself much more. There are also no checks and balances and it is open to abuse,” she said today.

She further pointed out how the bill will replace the power of the King to declare an emergency under Article 150 of the federal constitution.

“All MPs must seriously consider if they are prepared to take this drastic step that will change Malaysia forever. It is imperative that the minister withdraws this odious piece of legislation,” she said.

Hakam, as well as other civil society members will be going to Parliament tomorrow to hand over a memorandum urging for the withdrawal of the bill.

“We will them give a detailed explanation as to why this is such a dangerous piece of legislation,” said Ambiga.

The government yesterday tabled the bill in Parliament giving the National Security Council (NSC) extensive powers to deal with security issues.

This includes declaring any area as a security area if the authorities are convinced that there is the likelihood of harm to people, territories, key infrastructure and the economy.

It will also make the NSC the government’s central authority in matters concerning national security.

‘Dictatorship rule’

Human rights watchdog Lawyers for Liberty also expressed shock that the bill was only revealed to MPs yesterday.

“It is all the more shocking since this very serious bill with wide-ranging repercussions was done surreptitiously without any basis, publicity or consultations with opposition members of Parliament, civil society and members of the public.

The bill, it added, was ‘extremely vague, arbitrary and wide and further obliges secrecy – a surefire recipe for abuse of power and human rights.’

“Far from establishing matters concerning national security, the bill is more akin to establishing a dictatorship rule.

“We call upon the government to withdraw the bill immediately,” urged the civil society group.

…more
NSC Bill – gov’t unleashing monster on people, says Ambiga
2 Dec 2015 – malaysiakini

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