NEWS

Jakarta attack 'convenient excuse' for NSC Bill, says Ambiga

Published
Modified 20 Jan 2016, 6:17 am

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak is “conveniently” using the terrorist attack on Jakarta last week to justify the “unconstitutional” National Security Council Bill, said former Bar Council president Ambiga Sreenevasan.

In a media statement issued on behalf of the TakNakDictator Coalition, she said the powers conferred through the law are “far too wide, arbitrary and disproportionate to any terror threats currently faced by Malaysia”.

“There is simply little correlation between any terrorist activities and the powers conferred in the NSC Bill that seeks to concentrate extraordinary powers within the hands the prime minister and the NSC.

“It is therefore outrageous for the prime minister to make the convenient conclusion that if a similar terror attack were to happen in the country, the NSC law could then be used to deal with the situation when such a threat could be handled by the Malaysian police and existing laws,” it said in a statement.

The NSC Bill was passed by Parliament last month, but has yet to be gazette into law.

The bill allows the NSC chairperson – the prime minister – to declare any area a “security zone” where authorities can use violence and deadly force to arrest, search and seize property, and impose curfews, among others.

After a NSC meeting yesterday, Najib ( photo ) announced that military and police personnel will conduct joint patrols in public areas.

Ambiga said Malaysia has sufficient laws to address genuine national security issues.

These include the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2015 (Pota), the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma), the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (with substantial amendments in 2014) and the 2012 amendments to the Penal Code that added numerous offences against the state, she said.

“Malaysia does not need the NSC law as this is nothing more than an attempt by the prime minister to usurp more power and centralise that power in him.

“This goes against all principles of democracy and undermines the rule of law in the country,” Ambiga added.

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