Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, at the inaugural meeting of the DAP Oppose Official Secrets Act Amendment Committee (OOSAA) at Petaling Jaya on Tuesday, 18.3.1986 at 8 p.m.
Call on all societies, organisations, unions, and individual Malaysians to make clear their opposition to OSA Amendment
The 1986 Official Secrets Act Bill is the greatest threat to democratic freedom and human rights of Malaysians since the 1981 Societies Act amendment.
When the 1986 Official Secrets Act Amendment Bill becomes law, it will make it a mandatory minimum one-year jail sentence for the over 2,000 offences which could be framed in the Act.
It will give the government the powerful weapon to impose a total clamp on all government information, including a full cover-up of all corruption, malpractices, abuses of power and negligence by political leaders and public officials.
The public interest is clearly not served by such an OSA Amendment. It is not only the journalists and the newspapers who would be completely controlled by the government, even political leaders and parties would not able to inquire and expose governmental corruption and malpractices.
The Malaysian people have not been given an opportunity to fully understand the full pernicious extent for the Bill.
I call on all societies, organisations and unions and individual Malaysians to make clear their opposition to the OSA Bill. Let the greatest public pressure be applied immediately on every Barisan Nasional Minister and Member of Parliament to demand that they oppose this amendment to the Official Secrets Act, or face the consequences of public rejection and condemnatoin for their refusal to stand up for public rights and interest.
I will also call on societies, organisations and unions to hold emergency meetings and discussions their members know about the undemocratic features of the Bill.
Time is very short to mobilise public opinion, as the OSA Bill may be passed by the Dewan Rakyat on April 3, which is only two weeks away.