(a) Preamble — the validity of the Bill is not dependent on the invocation of Article 149 so long as it contains safeguards consistent with fundamental liberties.
(b) Section 3 (Interpretation) — the definition of “security offences” includes an act that is prejudicial to national security or public safety. Such a definition is too wide. Instead, a more precise, and better, definition can be found in the United Nations Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism:
Any act intended to cause death or serious bodily injury to a civilian, or to any other person not taking an active part in the hostilities in a situation of armed conflict, when the purpose of such act, by its nature or context, is to intimidate a population, or to compel a government or an international organization to do or abstain from doing an act.
(c) Section 4 (Power of arrest and detention) — the extension of the period of detention for a duration of not more than twenty-eight days should be subject to judicial oversight, instead of by way of decision of a police officer of or above the rank of Superintendent.
(d) Section 6 (Power to intercept communication) — this power should be exercised by a judge, and solicitor-client communications must be protected.
(e) Parts IV (Special Procedures Relating to Sensitive Information) and VII (Evidence) — it is here that the Malaysian Bar has its greatest concerns, and where there are radical departures from the current rules of evidence. The use of a summary of the evidence (as opposed to the evidence itself) and the lowering of the admissibility threshold will pose a serious impediment to a fair trial.