In his pre-UMNO General Assembly interview with Media Prima and Utusan groups, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak defended the newly-passed National Security Council (NSC) bill, suggesting that it was enacted to keep the country safe from terrorist attacks.
If the NSC Bill was in fact intended to deal with terrorist attacks and armed insurrection ala-Islamic State or the Sulu intrusion in Lahad Datuk two years ago, then the drafters of the NSC Bill should be sacked for their gross incompetence and inefficiency in drafting such an atrocious Bill and the 107 Barisan Nasional Ministers and Members of Parliament deplored for voting for such a Bill, which went far beyond the intention to empower the state with the resources and capability to deal with modern terrorist threats.
In actual fact, there was not a single reference to the threat of terrorism or terrorist attacks in the monstrous NSC Bill passed by the Dewan Rakyat which defined “national security” in so wide and catch-all a fashion that it could be interpreted to cover all situations, even those which would not normally be associated with national security issues arising from political, economic and nation-building factors and circumstances.
If Najib is speaking the truth that the NSC Bill was intended to make the country safe from the new extra-territorial threat of terrorism, then the Prime Minister should direct the immediate withdrawal of the NSC Bill so as to amend and alter it to something like the National Anti-Terrorism Council (NATC), and the removal of all provisions in the NSC Bill which have no connection whatsoever with the battle against the threat of terrorist attacks or armed insurrection.
The four usurpation of the powers of the Yang di Pertuan Agong to declare an emergency under Article 150, the Cabinet and the autonomy powers of Sarawak and Sabah are obnoxious provisions in the NSC Bill which should have no place in the newly-amended NATC Bill.
With such amendments to make the Bill a single-minded measure to prevent and combat terrorist attacks, and not a “catch-all” law empowering the Prime Minister to usurp the prerogative of the Yang Di Pertuan Agong by enabling the Prime Minster to arm himself with emergency powers without the need for a Proclamation of Emergency by the Yang di Pertuan Agong under Article 150 of the Malaysian Constitution, the DAP is prepared to support such an anti-terrorism legislation.
If the Prime Minister is not prepared to withdraw and amend the NSC Bill so that it specifically dealt with threats from terrorist attacks or armed insurrection, then the original intention of NSC Bill becomes suspect – whether the power grab by the Prime Minister at the expense of the Yang di Pertuan Agong, the Cabinet and the autonomy powers of Sarawak and Sabah had been a clear-eyed objective all along.
My challenge to the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi to a public debate on his claim that the NSC Bill does not provide full executive power to the Prime Minister still stands, as the monstrous and pernicious NSC Bill is in fact paving for the way for the country towards a dictatorship.
There is no need for a public debate if Najib and Zahid agree to amend the NSC Bill and change it to a NATC Bill which focuses specifically on the threat of terrorist attacks.
But if the government still insists on making the NSC Bill into law, then let Zahid choose the date, time and place for the public debate with me on the NSC Bill as it would have become a great threat to the wellbeing and welfare of the nation.