Deputy minister says OSA is fine except when abused

Deputy Minister Hanipa Maidin speaks to reporters at the Parliament lobby in Kuala Lumpur March 14, 2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Deputy Minister Hanipa Maidin speaks to reporters at the Parliament lobby in Kuala Lumpur March 14, 2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 7 — A deputy minister said he personally saw no issue with the Official Secrets Act 1972 (OSA) in principle, and the only problem with it was the previous government’s alleged abuse of the law.

Mohamed Hanipa Maidin, the deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of legal affairs, also said the government was still studying and discussing proposed changes to the law.

“The last time was not an issue of the Act, but it was a problem of the Act being abused, it was not a problem with the law.

“Last time, the OSA was used to protect oppression, abuses of power, and not to protect confidential information,” he said during Question Time in Parliament this morning

Mohamed Hanipa then said the government was studying other countries’ implementation to guide it in drafting the Freedom Of Information Act (FIA).

A multi-agency effort was ongoing to find a balance, he said.

“We are still reviewing our options, whether to abolish the OSA or improve on it, or we can have them both together, the OSA and FIA.

“The intention is to be able to strike a balance, to offset each other, where if what is seen as violence or negative elements that it can may be reduced to be put under the FIA.

“Its precise definitions is something we will also take into consideration,” he said.

Pengerang MP Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said earlier asked about the status of the OSA review and the drafting of the FIA.

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