by Ganesh Sahathevan
In defending the National Security Bill 2015, which seeks to rob the Duli Yang Maha Mulia Seri Paduka Baginda Yang Di-Pertuan Agong of his Constitutional right to declare a state of Emergency when he feels it is in the best interest of his subjects, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim said:
“The prime minister is not declaring an emergency; he is declaring a security area. We are declaring specific security areas where there are threats to the public,”
The Malay Mail reported elaborating Shahidan's statement said:
Shahidan insisted that the provisions for declaring an emergency under the Federal Constitution deals with a large-scale crises, while the Bill deals with specific instances of threats to security in specific areas.
However, Article 150 of the Constitution of Malaysia clearly contemplates "specific instances" for it states:
(1) If the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is satisfied that a grave emergency exists whereby the security, or the economic life, or public order in the Federation or any part thereof is threatened, he may issue a Proclamation of Emergency making therein a declaration to that effect.
(2) A Proclamation of Emergency under Clause (1) may be issued before the actual occurrence of the event which threatens the security, or the economic life, or public order in the Federation or any part thereof if the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is satisfied that there is imminent danger of the occurrence of such event.
The phrase "Federation or any part thereof" clearly demonstrates that the founding fathers and/or writers of the Constitution of the Federation of Malaysia had contemplated instances where the threat might be localized but of sufficient gravity to require a Proclamation of Emergency.
Even if the phrase "any part thereof" had not been included, assuming that the constitutional provisions with regards Emergency powers applied only to "large-scale crises" and not "specific instances" would be to insult ,at the highest order, the intelligence and common sense of those who formulated the Constitution.Indeed such an assumption is an insult to any thinking human being.
In fact, Section 150 (2A) contemplates that there would be a variety of circumstances that might require the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to proclaim a state of Emergency,and to proclaim it in a manner suited to the cirucumstances:
(2A) The power conferred on the Yang di-Pertuan Agong by this Article shall include the power to issue different Proclamations on different grounds or in different circumstances, whether or not there is a Proclamation or Proclamations already issued by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong under Clause (1) and such Proclamation or Proclamations are in operation.
The above analysis is within the capability of a failed first year law student. That the Prime Minsister Dato Seri Najib Razak , Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim, UMNO and Barisan Nasional MPs would dare put such an act forward, let alone vote it in, is an obvious affront to the authority of the Agong, as a man ,and his office. It is for Malays for whom the Agong is the primary protector of their identity as Malays. Muslims and Bumiputeras, to defend him and his office from parliamentarians who have obviously lost all regard for the man , office and those he represents. It is a matter of practicality , given the realities of modern Malaysia, that the non-Malay races can only support but never lead any effort to defend the Agong. The horrific consequences of not doing anything are beyond contemplation.