Mat Sabu now says govt rethinking abolishing NSC Act
June 28, 2018
KUALA LUMPUR, June 28 ― Despite its electoral promise to do away with the National Security Council (NSC) Act 2016, the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government may be keeping the controversial law.
Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu today described the law that had been criticised for giving the prime minister absolute power as a “good vehicle”, which was only made political by the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) administration.
“We are looking to review, because NSC actually is a good vehicle, especially for government officers to serve the government.
“What we have to control is, we don’t want it to become a party's [tool] where we try to instigate, to pressure them to support Amanah or to support Bersatu or to support DAP,” he said in an interview with select media here.
Asked to clarify if this meant the NSC Act will remain or if the government will only be looking to amend select provisions, Mohamad said he preferred a “reshuffle” of the latter.
“We will look into it, whether it is important to stay or we want to abolish it, but for me that is, only to reshuffle a few [legal provisions),” he said.
Prior to the May 9 general election, PH chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said in April that the alliance would abolish several laws if it won and listed the NSC Act, the Anti-Fake News Act 2018, the Sedition Act 1948, the Prevention of Crime Act 1959, the Universities and University Colleges Act 1971, and the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 as among them.
The NSC Act, which took force in 2015 after it was gazetted without royal assent, provides for the establishment of a National Security Council that would be chaired by the prime minister who would take command of the country’s security forces and impose strict policing of areas deemed to face security risks.
According to the Act, the NSC’s jurisdiction takes effect once the prime minister designates a location as a “security area” — a status that is valid for six months at a time, subject to renewal by the prime minister.
Once the NSC takes over control of a security area, security forces will have 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”.
The Act also seeks to empower security forces to arrest without warrant and take action against those who do not abide by an evacuation order from a security area, and also carry out searches of any vehicle or premise within the security area without a warrant.
For operational purposes, the Act would provide the NSC’s director-general the power to commandeer any land or building in the security area, and order the demolition of any vacant building that is suspected to be used for reasons “prejudicial to national security”.
No more restriction on debates, discourse in public universities: Education Minister
New Straits Times
June 06, 2018
PUTRAJAYA: There will be no restriction on any educational programme, debate, forum or discourse at public universities, said Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik.
He urged university vice-chancellors and their deputies not to impose such restrictions as the higher education institutions were supposed to be an intellectual field.
"University is an open intellectual field and in the era of new Malaysia, there should no longer be an restriction on educational programmes.
"Such restriction (imposed by the previous government) has caused some programmes scheduled to be held at public universities to be cancelled at the eleventh hour,” he told reporters at the ministry’s Iftar programme at SMK Presint 11 (1) today.
He said in an effort to make public universities an open environment, any form of barricade at the entrance would be prohibited.
"All barricades must be lifted as we want to stop that kind of environment in Malaysia, like how they did in University of Oxford and University of Cambridge," he said.
On a separate matter, Maszlee said the ministry had given the authority to teachers to launch their own initiatives in reducing the weight of pupils’ schoolbags.
"The ministry will launch a special committee to look into the mechanism to reduce the textbook burden among the students," he said.
Earlier in his speech, Maszlee, said the ministry planned to empower students at the religious schools, tahfiz and madrasah, with entrepreneurial learning.
"This is to ensure that the students are not merely focused on studying religion. It will give an added value to the schools and nurture entrepreneurship among the students," he said.
He said the ministry will carry out a new project involving Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) for tahfiz students at community colleges nationwide.
Special committee to review security laws, Muhyiddin says
June 04, 2018
The Home Ministry has set up a special committee to review existing laws, especially those in relation to national security which are allegedly contrary to human rights, its Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said.
Muhyiddin said the committee, which was set up last week, is chaired by the ministry’s Secretary-General Datuk Seri Alwi Ibrahim.
“We will look at and review the laws that come under the Home Ministry. Among those raised are the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma), the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2015 (Pota) and the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (Poca).
“Our goal is to determine in implementing domestic laws the people do not feel that they are being used for political purposes, to punish certain parties due to differences in ideology and so on,” he said.
Muhyiddin said the move to review the laws was one of the matters pertaining to security issues contained in the Pakatan Harapan (PH) manifesto for the 14th General Election (GE14).
“It was included in PH’s promises, namely, any law that is considered to have elements of cruelty, oppression, injustice and which may be considered contrary to human rights, and laws which are not very clear in their implementation, will be examined in depth.
“This may take some time ... when we are ready we will have meeting sessions with those whom we think have vested interests to clarify whether the amendments are considered adequate or suitable before being brought to the Cabinet and subsequently to Parliament,” he said.
On May 22, Muhyiddin was reported as syaing that the ministry would review seven laws related to national security that were found to be no longer suitable today.
The laws are the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984, the Sedition Act 1948, mandatory death sentence, the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012, Poca, Sosma and Pota. ― Bernama
Abolish oppressive laws
May 10, 2018
The Pakatan Harapan Government will revoke the following laws:
• Sedition Act 1948
• Prevention of Crime Act 1959
• Universities and University Colleges Act 1971
• Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984
• National Security Council Act 2016
• Mandatory death by hanging in all Acts
The Pakatan Harapan Government will also abolish draconian provisions in the following Acts:
• Penal Code 1997 especially on peaceful assembly and activities harmful to democracy
• Communications and Multimedia Act 1998
• Security Offences (special measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA)
• Peaceful Assembly Act 2012
• Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) 2015
To ensure an effective check and balance, the Pakatan Harapan Government will revoke all clauses that prevent the Court from reviewing decisions of the Government or the laws introduced by the Government.
The Pakatan Harapan Government will ensure that media has the freedom to check and balance our administration. We will review all laws and regulations related to the media so that media freedom is guaranteed. We will also take steps to improve the independence and professionalism of entities such as Radio Television Malaysia (RTM) and BERNAMA.
The Pakatan Harapan Government will also set up a Media Council, comprising its media figures, which will be responsible to develop and implement a code of ethics on reporting and function as a hisbah body for public complaints.