Parliament tables bill to amend NSC Act

Changes include providing the King with the power to declare any designated area a ‘security area’

By DASHVENJIT KAUR / Pic By BERNAMA

The powers vested to the prime minister under the National Security Council Act (NSC) 2016 — including the authority to declare a designated area as a security zone — is set to be transferred to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong under the proposed amendments to the law tabled yesterday.

The bill was tabled in the Dewan Rakyat by Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mohamed Hanipa Maidin (picture) yesterday.

The proposed amendments include Section 18 of the Act, which is to replace “prime minister” with “Yang di-Pertuan Agong” to provide the King with the power to declare any designated area in the country as a “security area” on the advice of NSC.

The government also proposed amending Section 37 to increase the jail term from two to five years on those charged with leaking security information.

Besides that, the draft shows that the government is seeking an amendment of Section 42(1) and (2), by substituting the words “prime minister” with “council”.

Section 42 of the Act currently states that the prime minister may make regulations for the purposes of carrying out or giving effect to the provisions of this Act and may make regulations:

• To control the movement of persons, vehicles, vessels, aircraft and conveyance in any security area;

• To prescribe any prohibited action and activities during the period of the declaration made under Section 18;

• To prescribe the procedures for the taking possession of land, buildings and other movable property, and the procedures for demand for use of resources in any security area; and

• To prescribe the procedures for the destruction of buildings and other structures in any security area.

The second and third readings of the proposed amendments are expected to be deliberated and voted on today or tomorrow.