KUALA LUMPUR: Two MPs from Pakatan Harapan (PH) have urged the government to repeal the National Security Council (NSC) Act 2016 instead of amending it.
Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah said the amendment would not rectify the flaws and the dangers that the NSC posed to the nation.
“Even if the power of the prime minister is reduced and the authority is returned to the King, key decisions made by the council during an emergency will still be made by only a handful of individuals – the Home Minister, the Defence Minister and the Communications and Multimedia Minister,” she told reporters at the parliament lobby today.
She said it was unclear if there was any process through which the Cabinet would be consulted or informed of the council’s decision.
Beruas MP Ngeh Koo Ham said the NSC was dangerous as it provided the power to override fundamental liberties guaranteed under the Federal Constitution.
“The NSC supersedes even the Cabinet, and the powers are concentrated in the hands of one man, the Prime Minister,” he said.
However, Ngeh acknowledged that the NSC was formed to coordinate the nation’s security.
“Such a council can still be formed with the role of a coordinator rather than one where the prime minister and the council have wide powers as provided for under the NSC Act,” he added.
The government withdrew the controversial Bill to amend the NSC Act last week.
The proposal to withdraw the Bill was made by Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of law, Mohamed Hanipa Maidin, and supported by Deputy Works Minister Mohd Anuar Tahir.
The amendment Bill was tabled by Hanipa for a first reading at the last Dewan Rakyat sitting.
It was slotted to be tabled for a second reading at the current sitting.
The NSC Act, enacted during former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak’s administration, allowed the prime minister to declare “security zones” where security forces could arrest individuals without a warrant, and seize property.