The Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed has defended the National Security Council (NSC) Bill on the ground that it is part of Putrajaya’s bid to act more proactively in the fight against terrorism and not intended to usurp the constitutional powers of the Yang di Pertuan Agong in declaring a state of emergency for the country.
Nobody is really convinced by Nur Jazlan’s claim, but giving the Deputy Home Minister all the benefit of the doubt that the NSC Bill is not a dangerous grap for power by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak which will pave the way for a dictatorial regime, let Nur Jazlan explain why the National Security Council is not parked under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) instead of being created by another statute with such far-reaching powers, including the usurpation of the constitutional powers of the Yang di Pertuan Agong, the Cabinet and the 13 State Governments?
Furthermore, if terrorism is the real target of the NSC Bill, can Nur Jazlan explain why 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?
Nur Jazlan should also explain why the Wanita UMNO leader, Datuk Sharizat Jalil had a different understanding of the NSC Bill as she made it clear in her speech at the Wanita UMNO Assembly that the Bill was aimed not just terrorists but with anti-government elements who want to topple the government by peaceful and democratic means.
Under the circumstances, is the government prepared to withdraw the NSC Bill from the Senate, which is scheduled to ram through the Bill next Tuesday, to amend it so that it specifically deals with threats from terrorist attacks or armed insurrection, and park the National Security Council under Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) and not to create the monstrously powerful National Security Council by statute with such far-reaching powers as to empower it to usurp the constitutional powers of the Yang di Pertuan Agong, the Cabinet and the 13 State Governments?
The amended legislation after its presentation and passage in the Senate can then be brought back to Dewan Rakyat for confirmation and adoption.
My challenge to the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi to a public debate still stands if he sticks to his claim that the NSC Bill does not provide full executive powers to the Prime Minister, when in actual fact the NSC Bill vests such untrammeled and even unconstitutional powers on the Prime Minister as to pave the way for a Prime Ministerial dictatorship bud-grafted onto the present system of constitutional monarchy.