After Shad’s rebuttal, Dr M attacks NSC Act again

Shad Saleem Faruqi

Former premier claims the Act ‘relegates the Constitution to the back burner’ after law professor dismisses his arguments, saying that an Emergency cannot be declared at the King’s own discretion.

(FMT) – Dr Mahathir Mohamad has mounted another attack on the National Security Council Act by claiming it “relegates the Constitution to the back burner”, two days after an eminent law professor had dismissed Mahathir’s assertions.

On Thursday, Shad Shaleem Faruqi, writing in his weekly newspaper column, said that Dr Mahathir was wrong to hold that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong had discretion to declare a state of Emergency, and that the NSC Act trespassed on the power of the King.

Over the past year, as part of their campaign to oust Najib Razak as prime minister, Dr Mahathir and opposition politicians have maintained that the powers accorded to the prime minister and the National Security Council amounted to the usurpation of the King’s powers.

Dr Mahathir said today in his blog that “this Act relegates the Constitution to the back burner. It is wrong of course. The Constitution, we all proudly declare is the Supreme Law of this great nation. But no one is going to do anything when it is breached.”

He claimed that “now the power of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has become superfluous”.

He also claimed that Najib as chairman of the NSC had rights that were “far more numerous and superior by comparison with the rights and power of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong”

Dr Mahathir said there was a “need to let the Yang di-Pertuan Agong decide on the declaration of Emergency”.

However, on Thursday, Prof Shad had said that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong did not have the discretion to declare an Emergency on his own and must act on the advice of the prime minister.