Kit Siang challenges Zahid to debate NSC Bill

Lim Kit Siang

(Malay Mail Online) – DAP’s Lim Kit Siang has challenged Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi yesterday to a public debate on the recent National Security Council (NSC) Bill, after the latter denied any political motive behind it.

The Gelang Patah MP said the public needs to be convinced of the deputy prime minister’s claim that the Bill will not pave the way to a dictatorship and is necessary to safeguard public and national security.

“I challenge all these claims by Zahid and I further challenge Zahid to a public debate on the NSC Bill as it paves the way for a dictatorship and does not safeguard public and national security,” Lim said in a rally in Bintulu last night.

“The public debate could be held in Kuching, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Penang or Johor Baru and I leave it to Zahid to decide on anyone or even at all of these five venues.”

Lim explained that both him and Zahid were not present during the Dewan Rakyat debate on Thursday, after he was suspended from Parliament for six months while Zahid was only an observer when the Bill was tabled by fellow minister Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim.

On Thursday, the Dewan Rakyat passed by a majority vote the NSC Bill 2015 after nearly seven hours of heated debates, amid protests by the opposition and civil society groups against what they claim is a law that would confer wide-ranging powers to the prime minister.

The House passed the Bill on a voice vote at the third and final reading at 10.55pm, after the opposition failed to stop the Bill at the policy stage debate in a bloc vote with 107 voting for and 74 against the Bill.

The Bill, which was tabled by Shahidan on Tuesday, proposes to allow the NSC ― which would be chaired by the prime minister ― to take command of the country’s security forces and impose strict policing of areas deemed to face security risks.