Former Minister in charge of parliamentary affairs, Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz is avoiding the issue of disrespect to the Malay Rulers, for there is no doubt that going ahead to gazette the National Security Council (NSC) Act into law without royal assent, without giving due consideration to the proposal by the Conference of Rulers, is not only disrespect but contempt for the Rulers.
Nazri said any amendments to the NSC Bill could only be tabled as a new bill in the next meeting of Parliament, but the question is why the NSC Amendment Bill could not be presented to the May meeting of Parliament as the Conference of Rulers had returned the NSC bill to the Attorney-Generral’s Chamber for “refinement” on Feb. 17?
The Attorney-General Tan Sri Apandi Ali had then said he would review some sections of the bill while the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak said he took note of the rulers’ suggestion.
The onus is both on the Prime Minister and the Attorney-General to convince and satisfy Malaysians whether they had given due consideration to the views of the Conference of Rulers, although there was no provision in the Constitution to empower the Conference of Rulers to direct the government to “refine” any Bill, but since both the Prime Minister and the Attorney-General had promised to give the views of the Conference of Ruler due consideration, had this been done and if so, why any “refinement” had not been brought by way of an amendment bill to Parliament in its May meeting.
This is why I had called 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.
This is especially important as 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”.
Is the Government prepared to conduct nation-wide public hearings to seek public feedback to the NSC Act?