Saturday, February 03, 2007

Why should Toll Agreements be Official Secrets?

The PM has said repeatedly that his govt will be one of transparency and serve the people. We believed him. That's why we voted him into govt with the largest majority in history.

And now is the time to deliver. Not 3 years later, no more football analogies... NOW!

In order to be transparent, the govt needs to inform the public about the basis of its decisions.

In order to serve the people, the govt needs to convince the public about the basis of its decisions. The govt needs to prove that it is indeed serving the people, and not dedicated to serving itself.

Below are some choice quotes from our Minister of Works, Samy Vellu regarding impending action against some opposition personalities for alleged breaches of the Official Secrets Act. None of his statements sound anything even mildly resembling transparent. And certainly none of them serves the people, who just want to know why the toll agreements are so lop-sided in favour of the concessionaires.

Instead, Samy Vellu's statements are condescending. Implying that the people have no right to know how, even when the matter is commercial and not national security, in nature. We already know that the cabinet has deemed these agreements as OSA. What we want to know is WHY?! Why be so secretive with a simple commercial agreement?

The govt can hide behind the OSA when it comes to "WHAT" questions, but they will do well to be reminded that it cannot refuse to anwer the "WHY" questions.

For the life of me, I simply cannot understand why the govt persists in walking this difficult road, arousing the anger of the people at every turn. Why doesn't it just simply reveal the details of and reasons behind the toll agreements? Put an end, once and for all, to the wild suspicions of impropriety, corruption and cronyism!

I reckon their refusal deserves a big HMMMMM...

Here's Samy:

Samy: They must pay for disclosing secret toll deal
Soon Li Tsin- Malaysiakini Feb 2, 07 2:39pm

“They take it, they exhibit it and they did a big drama with it […] without realising the consequences of it.”

“This is an agreement between the government and the concession company. And that has all been done with the requirements of the law."

“It is part of a government document which cannot be revealed. And they have revealed it and they will pay for it.”

“Tian Chua and others have no right to reveal it. He’s like a small boy playing on the street. He’s a grown up man. He should know that it’s an official secret document, yet he revealed it."

“He knew the consequences of his action. So he has to face the consequences.”

“When the document is declared an official secret document, it is official secret document."

“Today they will do this, tomorrow they will take another secret document and reveal it. If one reveal secret documents today without paying for it, everybody will do the same.”
Related posts:

The Official Secrets Act (OSA) 1972 - Bane of Transparency?

Video of Police Arrests during 21 Jan 2007 Anti Toll Hike Demonstration in Cheras

1 comment:

usws said...

"If one reveal secret documents today without paying for it, everybody will do the same." - So you can reveal it as long as you pay for it? Doesn't secret it can't be revealed AT ALL?!