Rights group warns of dictatorship with Malaysia’s new law
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Rights group warns of dictatorship with Malaysia’s new law

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Human Rights Watch has slammed a proposed new security law by Malaysia’s government that will give sweeping powers to a council led by the prime minister, warning it is a step toward a dictatorship.

The National Security Council bill, sent to Parliament this week, would give power to the National Security Council to declare a security area to protect Malaysia’s interests. Once such an area is declared, security forces would be allowed, among other things, to conduct searches and arrest individuals without a warrant.

Human Rights Watch calls the proposed law a “frightening” tool, and said Thursday that it is “far broader than can be justified by any real threat to Malaysia’s national security” and warns of abuse by Prime Minister Najib Razak and his embattled government.