According to Mohamed Hanipa, the bill will be tabled for second reading during the current sitting.
According to the bill, distributed to the media today, the provision of powers to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (to declare security zones) is contained in Clause 3, that seeks to amend Section 18 of the NSC Act (Act 776).
“The amendment to Section 18 (1) is to replace the word ‘Prime Minister’ with the ‘Yang di-Pertuan Agong’,” the bill states.
On July 1, last year, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was reported to have said that the NSC Act 2016 will be among the laws to be studied by the government to amend or repeal as some of them were used by the previous government to restrict the freedom of the people.
The Act, passed by the Dewan Rakyat after the third reading in December 2015 and effective Aug 1, 2016, among others allows the Prime Minister to declare an area as a ‘security zone', allowing the security forces to inspect any individual, vehicle or building without a warrant.
The proposed amendments also include, inter alia, Section 21, which gives the Council’s director of operations the power to request from any individual or entity, other than a government entity, any information or intelligence that is in their possession.
“The power of the director of operations shall be exercised in the interest of national security and in relation to a security area,” states the (amendment )Bill.
According to the bill, if any individual or entity other than a government entity, fails to comply with such an instruction, they have committed an offence under Section 37 of the Act 776, which is also being amended.
The amendments involved the increase of jail term from two years to five years and a fine not exceeding RM100,000 or both, upon conviction.