by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Sunday, March 30,1986:
Amendments to the 1986 Official Secrets Act Bill should be announced well in advance and not sprung on MPs as a last-minute surprise
It has been reported that the Government proposes to introduce amendments to the 1986 Official Secrets Act Bill to make clearer the definition of offences under the Act.
Any amendments to the OSA Bill should be announced well in advance and not sprung as a last-minute surprise on MPs, as both Parliamentarians and the various concerned Malaysian groups and individuals have the right to have sufficient time to study the legal and political implications of the new amendments.
Any mandatory minimum jail sentence of one year should only apply to offenders under the Official Secrets Act who was engaged in spying or espionage, whether for monetary or other gain, for foreign powers; and should not apply to disclosure of official information for the public interest of exposing corruption, abuse of power or any other form of wrongdoing.
Up till now, the Government has failed to advance a single reason or nation to convince Malaysians why the draconian provision for mandatory minimum one-year jail sentence for all offences under the OSA should be introduced.
Criminal law should only be used to protect the security of the nation and the safety of the people. It should not be used to serve the political interests of a Government or to save Ministers or officials from embarrassment.
Cabinet Ministers from UMNO, MCA, Gerakan and MIC should be courageous enough to ask the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, to withdraw the Bill in toto at next Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting.
Is Petronas preparing to increase oil production exceeding 510,000 b/d?
Petronas Adviser, Tun Hussein Onn, said that ‘since the price of other commodities had declined tremendously, Petronas would need to increase production to help the Government earn revenue.’ Tun Hussein said Petronas would not overdo it in stepping up production.
This raises the question whether Petronas is preparing to exceed the targetted production of 510,000 barrels per day to get more earnings and revenue from petroleum, although oil price had fallen to a point that the budgetted crude petroleum export earnings would be halved.
As petroleum is a national resource, and not private property of Petronas, the Malaysian People have a right to know what Petronas is doing about Malaysia’s petroleum reserves.