Sunday, December 13, 2015

NSC 2015

National Security Bill 2015 was proposed on Dec 1, 2015 and passed on Dec 3, 2015 by the Dewan Rakyat, when the opposition failed to halt the Bill with 74 votes against UMNO's 107. A National Security Council is to be established, with PM Najib as the chairman. This council is bestowed the power to take any appropriate actions which it deems necessary for matters relating to national security. 

NSC acts as “the Government’s central authority for considering matters concerning national security” (Clause 3), which enables it to “control” and “issue directives” to any Federal or State government agency on operations or matters concerning national security (Clauses 2 and 5). Job scope also includes advising PM to declare any area in Malaysia as a “security area”. --- extracted from Malay Mail Online.

Clause 18(1) provides that the PM can decided where a 'security area' is, and per clauses 18(3) and (4), this declaration can last for 6 months but can be renewed indefinitely. 

As if not terrible enough, security forces can also take over any building deemed to pose a threat to national security (clause 30 & 31), conduct searches, seizures and arrest suspected persons without a warrant (clause 34), and the worst of all, be free from all legal responsibilities. 

Yes, you read that right - you can't sue them in court (clause 38). Hint: You lose all your legal rights and remedies, even if the government wrongfully take possession or destroy your properties, or that you were wrongfully arrested, or that your movable properties were illegally confiscated.

And, clause 37 says that all NSC affairs are to be protected with absolute secrecy. Hint: They can do whatever they want without any restraints and never get caught because the people will never know about it. Any whistle-blowers/defenders of justice within the organization will be prosecuted instead.

We certainly do not need such a law in Malaysia. We have been practicing parliamentary democracy for 58 years but we are now marching towards dictatorship under this bill. It is never a good idea to consolidate powers in the hands of the executive and exclude these powers from examination by the judiciary. Joseph Raz will rise from his grave if he knows about this. This screams of the high possibility of abuse of power, given our government's poor track records. Looks like Najib is seeking to disrupt the check-and-balance system by placing the executive at the top, with himself as the head, exempting himself from the judiciary's scrutiny. 

While Najib claims that NSC is necessary to prevent terrorism, it is believed by many that there may be a different agenda behind this hasty move. Najib's earlier political scandal which involves a missing RM2.6b national development fund which was later found in Najib's personal bank account is a hard hit towards his personal credibility and political standing. Hence, the NSC might just be his grip at power to solidify his political reign on UMNO and BN. 

No comments: