KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 15 — Barisan Nasional (BN) senators today failed to attend a briefing by a coalition of NGOs aiming to persuade them to block the National Security Bill 2015 that was passed earlier by the Lower House.
The #TakNakDiktator coalition was forced to carry on with six senators from the federal opposition parties, and later criticised the BN members for their absence.
“When you really want to do your job as a senator and when you really believe in your oath and want to do what is right, then you have to listen to all points of view whether you like it or not, especially pertaining to a bill as huge as this,” campaign spokesman Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan said in a press conference in the Parliament here.
“To date, there are 25,000 signatures on an online petition that was launched against the NSC Bill... if 25,000 people can see the dangers of this Bill, why can’t the (BN) senators see the same dangers that we see?”
An online petition urging the Senate to reject the NSC Bill was launched days after it was passed in the Dewan Rakyat.
DAP Senator Chandra Mohan ST today said the opposition senators will meet Dewan Negara President Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang to seek approval to defer the debate on the NSC Bill until all issues and questions surrounding the Bill are answered.
The NSC Bill was passed on December 3 amid protests by the opposition and civil society groups against what they claim is a law that would confer wide-ranging powers to the prime minister and set Malaysia on a path towards dictatorial rule.
Putrajaya insists that the law will not be used against political dissent and was aimed at countering threats against “national security” that was loosely defined as including socio-political harmony.