Tuesday, 7th June 2016 is a black-lettered day in the history of Malaysia, because on this day the National Security Council Act was gazetted and became the first law in the country which was NOT given the Royal Assent.
Under Clause 4(a) of Article 66 of the Federal Constitution, a bill becomes law 30 days after it is presented to the Yang di Pertua Agong, even if the Agong does not give the Royal Assent.
The Conference of Rulers on Feb. 17 had returned the National Security Council (NSC) Bill to the Attorney-General’s Chambers asking for refinement.
The Attorney-General Tan Sri Apandi Ali then said he would review some sections of the bill while Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak said he took note of the rulers suggestion.
The bill was passed by Parliament on Dec 22 last year. Under Tuesday’s gazette, the NSC Act was declared as assented on Feb. 18, 2016 under Clause 4(a) of Article 66 of the Federal Constitution. The date of enforcement of the Act has not been made.
It is an act of disrespect and contempt of the Rulers’ Conference for the government to proceed to gazette the NSC Act, acting under Clause 4(a) of Article 66, although the Conference of Rulers had asked of “refinement” of the NSC Bill, which both the Prime Minister and Attorney-General had undertaken to do.
I call on the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak to give a public undertaking that the National Security Council Act will not be enforced until the concerns of the Conference of Rulers are addressed by way of amendments to be presented in the forthcoming Parliament.
The NSC Act is a grave threat to democracy and constitutional government as it enables the Prime Minister to oust the prerogatives of the Yang di Pertuan Agong to declare an emergency by imposing emergency-like conditions in so-called “security areas”.
(Media Conference Statement in Sekinchan on Friday, 10th June 2016 at 12 noon)