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Members Of Govt Administration Cannot Reveal Information Bound By OSA

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KUALA LUMPUR – All members of the government administration who had taken the oath of secrecy, cannot reveal any information bound by the Official Secrets Act (OSA) 1972 at any place, including Parliament.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said he had referred the matter to Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia and the legal adviser.

He stated that the restriction also applied to those who no longer held such positions in the government administration.

“Any member of the government who had taken the oath of secrecy and bound by the Official Secrets Act cannot, whether while holding the position or after, and even at any premises with immunity, raise questions covered under the Act.”

He said this when winding up the debate on the Supply Bill 2017 at the Home Ministry level in the Dewan Rakyat, here, today.

Ahmad Zahid, who is also Home Minister, said information bound by the OSA also could not be revealed by a member of Parliament even while debating or speaking in the Dewan Rakyat.

He said although MPs had parliamentary privilege and immunity to touch on various matters, they could not touch on matters bound by the OSA, the Sedition Act 1948 or on cases still being heard in court.

On police action of calling three former cabinet ministers recently for their statements to be recorded, Ahmad Zahid said 15 police reports were lodged against the three and police had acted based on the reports.

He said the police were just recording their statements after which, it (investigation papers) would be submitted to the Attorney-General’s Chambers for further action.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Zahid said, he would mention to Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar if the statements from the three former ministers could be taken after the current Dewan Rakyat sitting.

However, he said, it was up to Khalid to decide whether it should be done now or otherwise.

“In this matter, I think, InsyaAllah (God willing), we will be fair, the ministry and police will be fair. They (the three former ministers) are also my close friends until now, so I will act professionally,” Ahmad Zahid said.

Recently, former Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, former Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal and former Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah were alleged to have disclosed government secrets while debating on the Supply Bill 2017 in the Dewan Rakyat.

Husni and Muhyiddin have been called by police for their statements to be recorded after police reports were made against them. – BERNAMA

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