THE Malaysian Bar is deeply concerned that, on April 9, the government tabled a Bill to further extend its expansive powers under the National Security Council Act 2016 (NSC Act). The NSC Act is of questionable Constitutional validity and violates the rule of law; further, the NSC Act avoids public scrutiny and proper accountability.
It bears restating that the Pakatan Harapan coalition pledged – in “Promise 27” of its election manifesto – to abolish laws that it described as “oppressive” and “tyrannical”, with the NSC Act being listed as one such law.
The government has more than enough laws giving it more than enough powers to address security concerns. If there are gaps, existing laws can be amended or appropriate new laws enacted, without recourse to the repressive laws that the government had promised to abolish.
The tabling of the Bill to further strengthen the draconian NSC Act can only be understood as an abandonment of Pakatan’s election promise.
ABDUL FAREED ABDUL GAFOOR