By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General, MP for Tanjung and Assemblyman for Kampong Kolam, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Thursday, 30.10.1986:
DAP Parliamentary Group to send strong memorandum to Prime Minister asking for the withdrawal of the 1986 OSA Amendment Bill and forms a nine-man Oppose 1986 OSA Amendment Bill Action Committee to mobilize public opinion to defend democracy and freedom of information
The 24 DAP Members of Parliament will send a strong memorandum to the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, asking for the withdrawal of the 1986 Official Secrets Act (Amendment) Bill, because it threatens the very basis of democracy in Malaysia.
The DAP Parliamentary Group has also decided to form a nine-man Oppose 1986 OSA Amendment Bill Action Committee to mobilize public opinion to defend democracy and the freedom of information. The DAP Parliamentary Group Action Committee on the OSA Amendment Bill will be headed by DAP MP for Kepong, Dr. Tan Seng Giaw, and comprises the following:
DAP Parliamentary Group Action Committee to Oppose OSA Amendment Bill
Chairman: Dr. Tan Seng Giaw – MP for Kepong
Vice Chairman: Sdr. Karpal Singh – MP for Jelutong
Secretary: Sdr. Hu Sepang – MP for Rasah
Asst. Secretary: Sdr. Gerard Math – MP for Gaya
Members: Sdr. P. Patto – MP for Ipoh
Sdr. Tan Kok Wai – MP for Sungai Besi
Sdr. Teoh Teik Huat – MP for Bagan
Sdr. Lau Dak Kee – MP for Pasir Pinji
Malaysians who cherish freedom, democracy and justice must resist and oppose the 1986 Official Secrets Act (Amendment) Bill for it will spell the end of meaningful public accountability of the government to the people and Parliament.
Those who are responsible for such a pernicious definition of ‘official secrets’ to enable the government to protect all sorts of government information, including corruption, wrongdoing, breach of trust and abuse of power in the government, have no concept, commitment or understanding of democracy, freedom and justice. They are indeed the greatest threats to democracy in Malaysia.
All over the progressive countries, there is a movement for liberalization the flow of information to enable their citizenry to be more informed and participate in the shaping of national policies and directions, but Malaysia wants to join those who want to make the people ignorant and uninformed, where facts and information are the enemies of the government.
There are a few countries where the publication of national statistics is considered a punishable criminal offence, and Malaysia seems to want to join their ranks – to step into darkness instead of standing up order under the light and sunshine of freedom of information.
Those who claim to be democrats and yet support the OSA Amendment Bill are politically and intellectually dishonest, and they must be exposed by the people holding them to account for their great disservice to democracy in Malaysia.