Don’t fix NSC Act, just repeal it, say PH MPs

Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah and Beruas MP Ngeh Koo Ham.

KUALA LUMPUR: Two MPs from Pakatan Harapan (PH) have urged the government to repeal the National Security Council (NSC) Act 2016 instead of amending it, following Putrajaya’s move last week to withdraw the controversial bill for review.

Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah said no amendment is needed to fix the NSC Act.

“It (the council) was designed for the purpose of granting a handful of individuals unfettered power to bypass and undermine our nation’s institutions and democratic processes,” she told reporters in Parliament today.

Even if the NSC bill reduces the power of the prime minister and returns power to the king, key decisions made by the council during an emergency will still be carried out by only a few individuals – the home minister, the defence minister and the communications and multimedia minister, she said.

“It is unclear if there is any process through which the Cabinet would be consulted or informed of the council’s decision.”

Beruas MP Ngeh Koo Ham meanwhile said the NSC was dangerous as it provides the power to override fundamental liberties guaranteed under the Federal Constitution.

“The NSC supersedes even the Cabinet, and the powers are concentrated in the hands of one man: the prime minister,” he said.

He acknowledged that the NSC was formed to coordinate the nation’s security.

“As such, the council can still be formed with the role of a coordinator rather than one where the prime minister and the council have wide powers as provided by the NSC Act,” he added.