By introducing a new Section 203A to the Penal Code, they are going to punish those who expose corruption and mismanagement of the country, says P Ramakrishnan.
It was Edmund Burke who said it so aptly, “Bad laws are the worst sort of tyranny.”
Knowingly, the Barisan Nasional is on a spree of passing bad laws under the pretext of safeguarding the security of the nation. Good intentions are proclaimed but the evil intentions behind these moves cannot be hidden. We know what the BN is up to.
They passed the amendments to the Prevention of Crime Act 1959, which brought back the ISA in another form, to tyrannise the people, pretending to curb serious crimes in the country.
Now by introducing a new Section 203A to the Penal Code, they are going to punish those who expose corruption and mismanagement of the country. The punishment meted out under this new provision is so harsh that whistleblowers will be gagged forever even when there are instances of gross sqandering of the nation’s wealth.
While it is obvious to the discerning Malaysian public that this provision protects corruption, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Nancy Shukri, brazenly claims that this provision is necessary for “national security”. This is nothing but hogwash!
Can she cite a single instance in the last 10 years where disclosure of secret information has jeopardised national security and exposed this country to unnecessary risks? What was that which was disclosed that posed a grave danger to the nation? Did it involve military secrets and strategy that compromised the nation’s security?
Unless this is confirmed no one will believe the justification for this extreme law
It is astounding for the Minister to state that Section 203A was not perfect and yet it was amazingly passed by a pliant Parliament. How ridiculous we have become to consciously pass laws that are imperfect.
In the Minister’s words, “I want it to be more specific this time. I will try my best to get it amended. It needs to be more specific about serious crimes. What’s missing in there (the law) is the (word) serious crime.”
If the purpose is to curb serious crime wouldn’t that be foremost in the minds of the framers of the law? This unbelievable oversight exposes their real intention – which is to prevent disclosure of misconduct and mismanagement.
This amendment could have been fine tuned if only there had been consultation with the Opposition. What is wrong with discussing amendments and bills before they are presented to Parliament in the best interest of the nation?
All these amendments – to the PCA and the Penal Code – are intoroduced in preparation for GE14. They want to make sure that there will be no leakage of information detrimental to the BN. These extreme laws are meant to be used to render the Opposition less effective in exposing the usual wrongdoings of the BN. They hope to prevent a change of government the next time around.
But Malaysians will not be fooled. They know what is intended and for what purpose.
They will be ever conscious of the words of Terrence, the playwright, “Extreme law is extreme injustice.”
Aliran executive committee member
24 October 2013