Malaysia PM says new law vital to tackle ISIL threats

National Security Council Act necessary, says Najib Razak, and other countries have since followed Malaysia's lead

Malaysia PM says new law vital to tackle ISIL threats

World Bulletin / News Desk

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has defended the enforcement of a controversial security law that the government plans to introduce next month, saying that the country needs such moves to counter rising terrorist threats, namely from the ISIL militant group.

In a statement released late Wednesday, Razak acknowledged criticism of the National Security Council (NSC) Act but said its detractors have deliberately misinterpreted its actual purpose.

"My government will never apologise for placing the safety and security of the Malaysian people first. These laws were necessary, and other countries have since followed our lead," he said.

The NSC Act, which gives supreme security powers to a prime minister, will come into effect August 1st, which Razak labels as a determined action by the nation to fight terrorism.

It was accepted under the federal constitution June 7, although it did not receive the consent of the Malaysian King or the powerful Council of Rulers.

Passed by both the upper and lower houses of the Parliament on Dec 22 last year, it has lead to angry protests from opposition lawmakers and civil society groups, who claim it will grant powers to the prime minister detrimental to the position of the King and the Federal Constitution. 

Under Federal Constitution Article 66 (4A), any bill passed in Parliament will automatically become law 30 days after it has been submitted to the King, with or without the ruler's consent. 

The NSC – which would be chaired by the prime minister – also allows him to take charge of the security forces and declare a designated location seen as a security risk to the country as a "security area". 

The declared area would be valid for six months at a time, subject to renewal by the premier. 

Security forces will also posses the right to search or arrest without warrant any individual found committing, alleged to have committed or reasonably suspected of having committed any offence under written laws in the security area.

Razak on Wednesday defended that his administration will never interfere with the powers of the Malaysian King or the Council of Rulers. 

"It is not the same as a declaration of national emergency -- that power remains with His Majesty the King -- and Parliament remains sitting with oversight on any security area declared," he said.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 28 Temmuz 2016, 13:17