1. I was forced to read through the Constitution of Malaysia and the National Security Council Act 2016, in order to understand the need or otherwise of the power of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Prime Minister in ensuring the security of the country.
2. I don’t think anyone would want to read through especially the National Security Council Act 2016. Still I feel a need to summarise the powers accorded the Prime Minister by comparison to the powers accorded the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
3. While the powers of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong give due consideration to the rights and freedom of a citizen when he is to be detained, the power of the Prime Minister under the National Security Act is almost unlimited.
4. The action may be taken by the Director of Operations but the ultimate power rests with the Prime Minister as Chairman of the National Security Council.
5. For easy reading I list below the power of the Prime Minister:
I. Set up National Security Council
II. Chair the Council
III. Council advise the Prime Minister i.e. to himself
IV. Power to –
(a) Exclude and evacuate persons
(b) Declare Curfew
(c) Control movement, road, waterway, aircraft.
(d) Arrest persons
(e) Search and seize
(f) Search premises for dangerous things.
V. Search person for dangerous things
VI. Seize vehicle, vessel, aircraft or conveyance
VII. Power to take temporary possession of land, building or movable property
IX. Demand for use of resources
X. Power to order destruction of certain unoccupied buildings.
XI. Power to use reasonable and necessary force.
XII. Power to dispense with inquests etc
XIII. Obligations of secrecy
XIV. Protection against suits and legal proceedings
XV. Status of a public servant
6. The need to let the Yang di-Pertuan Agong decide on the declaration of Emergency is because the laws which protect citizens and ensure justice will be suspended when Emergency is declared. The rule of law will be ignored.
7. But now the power of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has become superfluous. Najib as Chairman of the Council advising Najib as the Prime Minister will have the right to disregard the laws and exercise the powers listed above. Najib’s rights are far more numerous and superior by comparison with the rights and power of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. There is no more need for reference or approval of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. Najib as Chairman of the Council simply advises himself as the Prime Minister.
8. He can use “reasonable force” and dispense with any inquest should an enforcement officer or the person apprehended dies. He is fully protected against suits and legal proceedings. All proceedings of the Council will be official secret. No member of the Council may reveal anything, including apparently criminal acts committed.
9. 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.