Govt re-tables amendments to NSC Act

The National Security Council is responsible for defending national sovereignty and crisis and disaster management, among others.

KUALA LUMPUR: The government has re-tabled amendments to the National Security Council (NSC) Act to limit the prime minister’s powers to declare certain areas as security zones.

The earlier proposed amendments were shelved by the previous administration.

The NSC Act (Amendments) 2020 was tabled by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Takiyuddin Hassan for the first reading, with the second and third readings scheduled for the current session.

The latest amendments will see the prime minister’s powers limited and feature heavier punishments.

The prime minister will remain as NSC chairman, but the power to declare an area as a security zone will be given to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong who will act on the advice of the council.

The act, originally passed in the Dewan Rakyat in December 2015, gave the prime minister the power to declare an area a security zone where security forces could search any individual and inspect a vehicle or building without a warrant.

It came into effect on Aug 1, 2016.

Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad had said the law needed to be amended as it infringed on the King’s powers to declare an emergency.