Is the NSC Bill for security or self preservation?


My two-cents worth is that the new National Security Council Bill is not about security but about ensuring continuity of the present government.

Ravinder Singh, MMO

The government has always gone into every general election with certainty of victory, of two-thirds victory at that.

Songs of victory have been composed before the elections, to be aired immediately upon announcement of the results.

This game has changed beginning with the 2008 elections when the BN government for the first time in history lost its two-thirds majority.

The 2013 elections did not make matters any better. In fact the overall results were worse as the government now lost the popular vote.

Thus things look very bleak for the next election. Although the Election Commission has done its work in Sarawak of ensuring the results will favour the ruling party, as was admitted by a former chairman of the Commission, and will soon be doing the same in Sabah, the nagging fear of unpredictability of the next election results is the real fear that the government is trying to grapple with.

It is significant to note that the NSC Bill gives the prime minister “absolute power to declare any area a security area after which all laws that protect ordinary citizens will be suspended” as said by Ambiga Sreenevasan, president of The National Human Rights Society (Hakam).

The powers include the power to declare any area as a security area if the authorities are convinced that there is the likelihood of harm to people, territories, key infrastructure and the economy.

A further significant fact is that the bill is “extremely vague, arbitrary and wide and further obliges secrecy — a sure fire recipe for abuse of power and human rights.”

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