Press Statement
The NSC Bill will not make Malaysia safer from terror attacks
20 January 2015

The #TakNakDiktator Coalition is shocked and appalled at Prime Minister Najib Razak’s opportunistic view when he claimed that the National Security Council (NSC) law would enable the government to deal with terror threats in the country more efficiently in light of the Jakarta terror attack.

The Indonesian authorities had treated the terror attack as a law and order issue and it was dealt with swiftly and professionally. The Indonesian authorities did not use powers akin to an emergency or any powers remotely similar to the NSC Bill to declare a “security area” for 6 months in order to take control of the situation.

A declaration of a “security area” under the NSC Bill allows authorities arbitrary powers of use of violence and deadly force, of arrest, search and seizure, and imposition of curfews. It also empowers them to take possession of land, buildings and moveable property, and to destroy any unoccupied building or structure within a security area.

The powers conferred in the NSC Bill are far too wide, arbitrary and disproportionate to any terror threats currently faced by Malaysia. There is simply little correlation between any terrorist activities and the powers conferred in the NSC Bill that seeks to concentrate extraordinary powers within the hands the Prime Minister and the NSC.

It is therefore outrageous for the Prime Minister to make the convenient conclusion that if a similar terror attack were to happen in the country, the NSC law could then be used to deal with the situation when such a threat could be handled by the Malaysian police and existing laws.

Malaysia has sufficient laws to address genuine national security issues and there is no need for the NSC law. The police is already armed with wide powers to tackle any terrorist activities and in recent years, the government has brought in controversial legislation such as the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2015 (POTA), the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA), the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (with substantial amendments in 2014) and the 2012 amendments to the Penal Code that added numerous offences against the state.

Malaysia does not need the NSC law as this is nothing more than an attempt by the Prime Minister to usurp more power and centralise that power in him. This goes against all principles of democracy and undermines the rule of law in the country.

The coalition reiterates that the NSC Bill is clearly unconstitutional and a grave abuse of power and ought to be discarded.

Issued by:

Ambiga Sreenevasan
On behalf of the #TakNakDiktator campaign coalition,

  1. Amnesty International Malaysia
  3. Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4)
  4. National Human Rights Society (HAKAM)
  5. Pertubuhan Ikram Malaysia (IKRAM)
  6. Institut Rakyat
  7. Lawyers for Liberty
  8. Persatuan Promosi Hak Asasi Malaysia (PROHAM)
  9. Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)