NSC not enforceable in Sarawak – SUPP

MIRI: Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) which supported the passing of National Security Council (NSC) Bill 2015 in Parliament said without the consent from Sarawak, the legislation would not be enforceable in the state.

Its secretary-general Dato Sebastian Ting Chew Yew said with or without the amendments, SUPP is of the opinion that the NSC Bill 2015 cannot be enforced in the state because the federal government has not obtained prior consent or any consent from the Sarawak state government.

In a press statement, he said the Federation of Malaysia is based on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) Report in 1962 which are international treaties between four governments and registered with the United Nations that cannot be amended by the Malaysian Parliament.

On Dec 8 last year, the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly unanimously resolved to revisit all the key federal laws that contradicted the safeguards and covenants in the IGC and the MA63 provided for Sabah and Sarawak, and to find ways to reconcile these aberrations in our legislation and laws.

He hoped that Peninsular Malaysians would understand that the time has come for Sabah and Sarawak to claim what are rightfully theirs.

“Perhaps the details of the current NSC Bill can be a good test case for Sabah and Sarawak to review the documents in the light of our entrenched safeguards and state rights. We urge the federal government to hold back the Bill till the process of reconciliation with the MA63 and the IGC is done,” he added.

A minister in the Prime Minister’s Department recently commented that the NSC members were selected based on expertise on security and not in the spirit of including state representatives but SUPP suggested to include the chief ministers of Sabah and Sarawak to be among the permanent members of NSC.

“Who would know and understand Sarawak better than the Chief Minister himself? He should be there not for the sake of ‘spirit’ as the minister suggested but it is for Malaya to start recognising the status of Sabah and Sarawak as equal partners to Malaya in the Federation of Malaysia,” Ting pointed out.

He said Sabah and Sarawak must be consulted and have a say on how the funds are to be used as national security required huge financial allocations.

He advised that the NSC Bill 2015 should not be used in subduing movements such as ‘Sarawak for Sarawakians’ and others which mainly ask for the return of the state’s rights as agreed during the formation of Malaysia.

The National Security Council (NSC) was initially established on July 7, 1971 for the purpose of preventing racial riots such as the May 13, 1969 from happening again.

The newly passed Bill was drafted to extend the power of NSC to deal with the national security issues without invoking Article 150 – Emergency Power in the Federal Constitution.

Despite the passing of the Bill by both Houses of Parliament, SUPP called for six substantial amendments to cap the scope of authority:

• Amend Clause 6 of the NSC Bill 2015 for the Chief Minister of Sabah and of Sarawak (or state representative) to be included among the eight permanent members of the proposed National Security Council

• Amend Part IV, Clause 18 of the NSC Bill 2015 so that the Prime Minister’s role will be replaced by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong in declaring ‘Security Area’, acting on the advice of the NSC

• Amend Clauses 15 and 20 of the NSC Bill 2015 so in the event that a ‘Security Area’ is identified in Sabah or Sarawak, the director general of the National Security and the director of Operations administering the ‘Security Area’ has to be a Sabahan or Sarawakian from the respective states for the whole duration of the specific emergency

• Amend the definition of ‘Government Entities’ in Clause 2 ‘Interpretation’ and Clause 5 of the NSC Bill 2015 so the powers of the NSC do not include any state government’s ministry, department, office, agency, authority, commission, committee, board or council because state matters must continue to remain under the control of Sabah and Sarawak as was agreed during the formation of Malaysia

• Amend the NSC Bill 2015 so that it will not contravene Article 9 ‘Prohibition of banishment and freedom of movement’ and Article 13 ‘Rights to property’ of the Federal Constitution that protects the fundamental liberties of any person, the freedom of movement and rights to property because this case is different from the State of Emergency (Article 150)

• Clause 4 of the NSC Bill 2015 on ‘National Security’ needs to be specifically defined because if otherwise, it has too broad in meaning.

- Borneo Post

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