Malaysia on 1 August 2016 enforced a new legislation that grants sweeping powers to its National Security Council (NSC).
Powers conferred to the Council
• The ability to take charge of security forces.
• Declare security areas for up to six months within which authorities can arrest, search or seize without warrants.
Different takes on the law
• Government said that the NSC Act is must to deal with terror threats.
• The human rights activists and the UN Human Rights Office for Southeast Asia fear that the law gives security forces and the Prime Minister too much power. They say that the draconian law would be used to silence the critics of the Government.
Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, who came in power in 2009 by pledging an end to ruling-party corruption and authoritarianism, is facing calls to resign over a huge alleged 1MDB (Malaysia Development Berhad) corruption scandal. Najib's ruling party has controlled Malaysia since independence from the United Kingdom in 1957.
The step to enforce the law, which was rammed in December 2015, came into effect after the US Justice Department in last week of July 2016 launched a move to seize more than 1 billion dollar in assets, including Wolf of Wall Street rights, which were purchased with money stolen from 1MDB economic development fund.
Earlier in December 2015, the National Security Council Act was rammed by the Malaysian Government through Parliament, giving it powers to declare virtual martial law in areas of the country determined to be facing a security threat.
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