KUALA LUMPUR – The National Security Council (NSC) (Amendment) Bill 2020 to improve the NSC Act 2016 (Act 776) has been passed in Dewan Rakyat after receiving majority support from members through a voice vote on Aug 24.
The bill, which is to ensure management of the country’s security is governed and carried out efficiently and effectively, was tabled by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan.
A total of 11 members of parliament from the government and opposition bloc took part in debating the bill.
Among them was Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz (BN-Padang Rengas) who supported the bill and said the current Act did not portray power-sharing between Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the rakyat through parliamentary democracy.
“If we look in the Constitution, important matters which must be carried out by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is on the advice of the Prime Minister. That’s why in terms of power-sharing, it must not only be done, but it must be seen to be done,” he said.
Datuk Seri Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin (PH-Hang Tuah Jaya) said the bill could prevent abuse of power when the authority to declare security area is handed over to the King.
Meanwhile, Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh (PH-Ledang) who intercepted the debate proposed that the government invited the Opposition Leader to join MKN meeting to avoid any abuse of power as this has been practised in the United Kingdom.
In winding up the debate, Takiyuddin said in line with Section 10 of the Act, any individual may be invited to the meeting should there be any requirement or matters considered as a threat to the country.
The objective of the bill is to amend the provision regarding the authority to declare a security area, by giving that power to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, whereby the amendment to Section 18 of Act 776 would not affect the role of the council, or MKN, as an advisor in declaring security areas.
Besides improving and strengthening MKN’s membership, the bill also proposed to increase penalties for violations of the obligation of secrecy regarding the council’s affairs, and ensuring the power to formulate regulations under the Act is not solely placed in the Prime Minister’s hands but would also involve the council.
The Dewan Rakyat sitting continues today.