Najib has amassed unprecedented power at his disposal

Photo credit: FMT

The National Security Council Act becomes law without assent from the Agong.

PRESS STATEMENT The fact that the National Security Council (NSC) Act had no express assent from the Agong, and was now entering into law, should clearly communicate to the people and the legislators in the Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara that there are concerns and issues from the Rulers which remain unaddressed or ignored.

We must break our silence and ask why the government was insistent in pushing this Act through despite no assent from the Agong.

It is at times like this that one is reminded of the wise words of historian and politician Lord Acton, that power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The Prime Minister now has at his disposal, a concentration and breadth of power which has no historical precedence in Malaysia.

We are truly in uncharted waters.”

The failure of the Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara to reject the Act will be remembered as a dark and sinister chapter in the nation’s history. It’s important to remember that this piece of security legislation allows for extensive curtailing and further restrictions on constitutionally guaranteed civil liberties and freedoms.

It had little legislative scrutiny and almost zero public consultation.

The bitter experiences from our neighbouring countries and from around the world have shown what happens when authoritarian rule becomes a reality regardless of well-meaning intentions. Let us hope that we do not suffer their fate.

 

Wan Saiful Wan Jan

Chief Executive Officer

Institute for Democracy and Economic affairs (IDEAS)

 

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