It is only a matter of time before the National Security Council Bill becomes the government’s new tool for suppressing dissent, says Sevan Doraisamy.
Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) condemns the passing of the National Security Council (NSC) Bill by the Senate on 22 December 2015.
Since the introduction of the NSC Bill, civil society groups have actively tried to engage with members of parliament and senators from both side of the political divide. Despite the genuine concern expressed by the civil society, some members of parliament and senators from Barisan Nasional have snubbed all efforts at discussion and gone out of their way to demean and ridicule the efforts of civil society.
Despite the sharp censure from the European Parliament’s resolution dated 17 December 2015, the government and its representative have wilfully chosen to disregard the concerns expressed by our European friends and proceeded with their dastardly plans to further dismantle Malaysia’s democratic institution.
Undoubtedly, this turn of events will further tarnish the image of Malaysia on the international stage and reveal the deception by the government of Malaysia in portraying its leaders as liberal and moderate.
As the government and the representative from Barisan Nasional have clearly forgotten their obligations, Suaram would like to remind these ‘distinguished’ leaders that the rights and liberties guaranteed to ALL Malaysians under the federal constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights would be rendered null and void by the NSC Bill.
As the representatives of the people, they have clearly turned their backs on the oath they have taken when they failed to safeguard the rights of Malaysians and wilfully participated in the destruction of these rights.
At this point, we are but months away before the prime minister is granted powers unheard of in the history of Malaysia. Reflecting upon the persecution of human rights defenders and vulnerable groups in Malaysia throughout 2015, Suaram has no doubt that it would only be a matter of time before the NSC becomes the government’s new tool for suppressing dissent.
The latest addition to the government’s arsenal will further empower its agents to continue the despicable violations of human rights and fast track the erosion of rights in Malaysia.
To our friends who have shown unparalleled courage in the face of tyranny, we urge you to stand firm in our belief and continue the struggle for a democratic Malaysia together!
Sevan Doraisamy is executive director of Suaram.