Terengganu Amanah chief Datuk Raja Bahrin Shah has warned that the new National Security Council Act which takes effect next Monday could be misused to silence the public and opposition leaders from speaking out.
“Such similar act had been misused before,” said the Kuala Terengganu MP.
His comments come as the NSC Act is expected to give Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak sweeping powers in the wake of the latest allegations involving his brainchild 1MDB.
The new law would among others allow Najib to designate any area as “security area”, where police and army could be deployed to search anyone without a warrant.
The act also allows the authorities not to be liable to any killings on suspects within a “security area”.
Raja Bahrin said there already were other recently enacted draconian laws such as Sosma and Pota in addition to the Sedition Act to cope with the threats to national security.
He said while the laws were used against opposition leaders, the government had failed to act against religious fanatics and those who issued threatening statements, including statements justifying the spilling of non-Muslim blood.
He said the government would act the same way with the NSC Act.
“We are almost certain somehow and sometime in the near future it would lead to this type of abuse in order keep the present government in power. We are almost certain it would eventually be used to silent government critics by detaining them,” said Raja Bahrin.
The NSC Act was passed in Parliament last December, and later became a law by default after the 30-day period for it to get the royal consent.
The Agong and rulers had asked for changes to the law, which is seen as an attempt to transfer emergency powers from the palace to the prime minister.
Raja Bahrin said Najib had completely ignored the requests from the rulers”
“The Council of Malay Sultans had shown their worry and concern. So should all of us,” he said.