KUALA LUMPUR: The National Security Council (Amendment) Bill needs to be discussed further, says Parliamentary caucus on reform and governance chairman Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
He said the Bill should be discussed with the public, civil societies and lawmakers before it is finalised and brought forward to the Cabinet before the next Parliament sitting.
"The power to declare a state of emergency should rest in the hands of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and not the Prime Minister like before. This has been agreed by the Prime Minister and Cabinet but there are some who want a total repeal of the Bill," said Anwar.
The Port Dickson MP also said that the Bill provides powers to protect a security area.
All proposed amendments in the National Security Council (Amendment) Bill tabled by Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Mohamed Hanipa Maidin are expected to be up for a second reading at this Parliament meeting.
The NSC Act came under severe criticism when it was passed in 2016 as it gave the Prime Minister substantial powers, including the capability to declare an area as a security area.
"This is to address the trespassing of borders by foreign military or other armed groups, which needs special powers to declare an emergency in certain security areas," said Anwar.
On a separate matter, Anwar said that the Parliamentary caucus on reform and governance is set to meet with all Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) heads next week to discuss their functions, challenges and effectiveness.
He said that he had received input from various PSC heads on some challenges, including the ability to call top ranking government officers to give their input.
"The first step for the caucus is to invite all the heads next week to discuss all the problems and how we can address them," said Anwar.