National Security Council (Malaysia)

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The Malaysian National Security Council (Malay: Majlis Keselamatan Negara Malaysia) is a subset of the Malaysian Cabinet. It is chaired by the Prime Minister of Malaysia and is part of the Prime Minister's Department.[1] Despite its name, it is not a national security council with national security issues being the responsibility of the National Security Division.[2]

History[edit]

The 13 May 1969 racial riot incident raised the awareness of various parties on the importance of managing the difference and sensitivity that exists in a multi-racial community like Malaysia. Following this incident, the National Operations Council (Malay: Majlis Gerakan Negara; MAGERAN) was established. MAGERAN's existence was to improve public safety, national defence and preservation peace for the general public, supplies and services critical to the nation. When the situation improved, MAGERAN was dissolved in early 1971.[3]

The Government, nonetheless, felt that the existence of a body/agency responsible for the management of safety matters at the national, state and district level was needed as there were still communist threats and the relationship between the races was still fragile. On 23 February 1971, the Government established the National Security Council to co-ordinate policies related to the nation's safety and to provide instructions on safety including security movements, public peaceful and all matters related to safety.[3]

The Office of the National Security Council Secreatriat was established to undertake administration and secretarial duties for the National Security Council. In 1995, the Office of the National Security Council was reorganised as National Security Division (BKN) where the State Security Secretariat Office and District Security Secretariat Office fell under the jurisdiction of the Prime Minister’s Department and thereafter underwent a name change to State and District National Security Division. The National Security Division is responsible for the co-ordination of policies related to safety as well as to instruct on the necessary actions taken by related agencies.

On 24 July 2007, the National Security Division was once again reorganised and became the National Security Council, where the State Security Division became the State Security Council and the District Security Division became the District Security Council. The reorganisation was to ensure that the National Security Council carried out its function as a policy maker relating to national safety and to provide instructions on safety as a whole.

Responsibility[edit]

The main central agency in the drafting of national safety policies. This process encompasses reviewing current policies and the drafting of new policies. This task requires co-ordination with various agencies

  • Responsible as the secretariat of the National Security Council and main committees at the Federal and State level on issues involving national safety, public safety and crisis and disaster management.
  • Responsible for the co-ordination and execution of safety policies placed under various Government agency to ensure uniformity and in line with objectives.
  • In certain aspects, directed to perform operational duties. Certain units such as Federal Special Officers Team Sabah/Labuan (PPKPS/L) and Search and Rescue Team Malaysia (SMART) serves as its execution agency.
  • Also responsible for the co-ordination of steps involved in crisis situations, public safety, state of emergency and disaster.
  • Responsible in overseeing internal, regional and international developments and crisis country which may impact national safety.

National Security Council Bill 2015[edit]

On Thursday, December 3, 2015, The National Security Council Bill 2015 was passed in Parliament after a marathon six-hour proceeding.[4] The bill was passed quickly, taking two days to gain the majority vote, with 107 in favour and 74 against the bill.[5] Among the contents of the bill are:[4]

  • Clause 18 (1): PM has full discretion to decide where 'security area' is
  • Clause 18 (3) and (4): Initial declaration of ‘security area’ lasts for 6 months but may be renewed by PM indefinitely
  • Clause 22–30: security forces can arrest without warrant; stop and search; enter and search premise; take possession of any land, building or movable property.
  • Clause 37: All NSC’s affairs are done is absolute secrecy
  • Clause 38: No action or lawsuit can be brought against the NSC

Unlike the Internal Security Act 1960 which requires the discretion of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the NSC bill is under the direct authority of the Prime Minister.[6] Further, while the Prime Minister has to seek advice from the 8-man security council, he can choose to ignore the advice.[7] The Malaysian Bar called the bill a "lurch towards an authoritarian government".[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Prime Minister's Department - Government Directory". Prime Minister's Department. Retrieved 19 August 2013. 
  2. ^ NSD Chief details security duties, Thai visit, Disaster Management (Report). Wikileaks. 30 November 2006. Retrieved 19 August 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Majlis Keselamatan Negara website "Laman Web Rasmi Majlis Keselamatan Negara" Check |url= value (help). Majlis Keselamatan Negara. Retrieved 19 August 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Malaysian Progressives UK (4 December 2015). "How bad is National Security Council Bill?". Retrieved 4 December 2015. 
  5. ^ "National Security Council Bill approved". 3 December 2015. Retrieved 4 December 2015. 
  6. ^ "NSC Bill usurps the powers and discretion of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong — Concerned Lawyers for Justice". 4 December 2015. Retrieved 4 December 2015. 
  7. ^ "Two alarm bells for Malaysians". 7 December 2015. Retrieved 8 December 2015. 
  8. ^ "The National Security Council Bill 2015 is a Lurch Towards an Authoritarian Government". 3 December 2015. Retrieved 8 December 2015. 

External links[edit]