For immediate release

The National Security Council Act should not have become law

Kuala Lumpur, 10 June 2016 – Commenting on the recent passage of the National Security Council (NSC) Act into law, IDEAS Chief Executive Wan Saiful Wan Jan released the following statement:

“The failure of the Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara to reject this Act will be remembered as a dark and sinister chapter in our nation’s history. It is important to remember that this piece of security legislation which allows for extensive curtailing and further restrictions on constitutionally guaranteed civil liberties and freedoms had very little legislative scrutiny and almost zero public consultation.

The fact that it has had no express Royal assent, despite now entering into law, should clearly communicate to the Malaysian people and the legislators in the Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara that there are concerns and issues from the Rulers which remain unaddressed or ignored. We must break our silence and ask why the government was insistent in pushing this through despite the lack of an approval from the Yang DiPertuan Agong.

It is at times like this that one is reminded of the wise words of historian and politician Lord Acton, that power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The Prime Minister now possess at his disposal, a concentration and breadth of power which has no historical precedence in Malaysia. We are truly in uncharted waters.

The bitter experiences from our neighbouring countries and from around the world have shown us what happens when authoritarian rule becomes a reality regardless of well meaning intentions. Let us hope that we do not suffer their fate.”


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IDEAS is Malaysia’s first think-tank dedicated to promoting market-based solutions to public policy challenges. We are an independent not-for-profit organisation. As a cross-partisan think tank, we work across the political spectrum. Our purpose is to advance market-based principles, and we are not bound by party politics, race or religion. Our mission is to improve the level of understanding and acceptance of public policies based on the principles of rule of law, limited government, free markets and free individuals. For more information, please visit

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