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TI-M urges the Govt to scrap the Amendments to Penal Code Section 203A

TI-M urges the Govt to scrap the Amendments to Penal Code Section 203A
Press Releases

PRESS STATEMENT

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

With the Prime Minister, Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak sloganeering that corruption “will be a thing in the past” in Malaysia, amendment to Section 203A of the Penal Code would clearly defeat his noble cause and create further opaqueness in the Government.

It would also turn Malaysia into a laughing stock, especially after the prime minister himself had made the declaration during his trip to the United States, if the debates are still on when it clearly goes against all efforts to promote a corruption-free government.

By punishing whistle blowers with a jail term which may extend to one year or up to RM1 million in fine, or both, it clearly shows that the Government has intentions to suppress information to protect the interest of certain individuals. The public will view Najib Tun Razak’s call for zero corruption as insincere, unless the call for amendment to Section 203A is scrapped immediately, without wasting the precious time of the august house.

Without the whistle blowers, major scandals such as the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) and the National Feedlot Corporation (NFCorp) would not have been exposed. In the United States of America, whistle blowers would be given special protection and rewards, but it is a shame if, in Malaysia, we are trying to push for hefty penalties for whistle blowers. If passed, where would we be as a country on the Corruption Index?

The plans to amend Section 203A is also taking away the role that newspapers have to play in a game of check-and-balance, since the taxpayers who read the newspapers want to know how their tax monies are being spent. As it is now, the Official Secrets Act (OSA) is a bane towards greater transparency and good governance in the Government.

The government should instead use Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Paul Low to press for the introduction of Freedom of Information Act (FOI) nationwide, as a warning to politicians and civil servants who think they can get away with corruption by stamping “OSA” on the files. Both Penang and Selangor have enacted the FOI.

 

END.

 

Issued by :

 

Dato’ Akhbar Satar, President                                                    Email : akhbar@transparency.org.my

Transparency International Malaysia

 

Dr KM Loi, Secretary-General                                                     Email : kmloi@transparency.org.my

Transparency International Malaysia