The National Security Council Act (NSC) 2016 is among the laws currently being reviewed for possible amendment or repeal, says Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Mahathir said the review was being carried out as some of the laws were used by the previous government to restrict the people’s freedom.
“We are in the midst of reviewing the effects of the laws for possible repeal as most of the laws were restricting the people’s freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of action,” he told reporters after taking first-hand look at work to set up the Langkawi parliamentary constituency service centre today.
Mahathir, who is the MP for Langkawi, said this in response to Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu’s recent statement saying that the NSC Act 2016 might be retained, even though the new Pakatan Harapan government had promised to abolish the law if the coalition won the 14th general election.
Mohamad was also quoted as saying that the act, which gave absolute power to the prime minister such as in declaring a state of emergency, was actually beneficial, especially for government officers to serve.
However, the Defence Ministry, clarified today that media reports on the statement were erroneous, saying that the minister was actually referring to the National Service (NS) programme, instead of the NSC.
"We would like to clarify that the review mentioned by the defence minister is in reference to the NS programme and not the NSC Act as reported," a statement from the ministry read.
Mahathir said in its considerations to the possible amendment or repeal of the laws, the Pakatan Harapan government did not wish to restrict the movement and action of any opposition party.
“We will not block the opposition parties, such as BN. They can do what they want. We just have to amend a lot of laws in accordance with the (current) requirements,” he said.
Meanwhile, the prime minister also congratulated Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who was elected Umno president yesterday.
He said Zahid’s victory proved that he was still loved by Umno members.