Thursday, January 11, 2007

Keeping an iron lid on an inelegant stench

Early yeterday morning (5:35 am) I posted AAB's inelegant response to anti-toll outrage, where I noted AAB’s outrageous response to reporter’s query about the PKR claiming it had a copy of a dodgy agreement between the government and one of the highway concessionaires.

The reporter was obviously attempting to elicit AAB’s reaction to the credible PKR’s
revelation that the government had over-indulged the toll concessionaires.

Instead of talking about the issue at hand, namely the dodgy toll agreement or the increase in toll charges, the PM threatened to take action aaginst PKR if the document was classified under the Official Secrets Act.

Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang said what I posted, namely, what aspect of national security had been undermined for the government to take action against the PKR for being in possession of an agreement, that in the first place should be available to the public?

He lambasted AAB:
“When he became prime minister, he pledged a ‘clean, incorruptible, modest and beyond suspicion’ government and called on Malaysians to tell him the truth.”

“All these promises of an open government have come to nought as the people’s right to information is not recognised or entrenched by law.”

“What has happened to all the government talk about protecting whistle blowers to ensure accountability, integrity and good governance?”

Lim said the people have a right to information that would help build good governance, transparency, accountability and participation, and eliminate corruption. He pointed out that countries with access to an information law are perceived to be the least corrupt.

The more the government attempts to keep a lid on stuff that affects the public, that should rightfully be available to the public, the more it actually tells us the government is hiding something dodgy and smelly.

1 comment:

  1. True.

    About time we all join efforts to push for the Freedom of Information Act.

    The OSA is archaic and leads to the government and those with vested interests to hide their malfeasance.

    Our MPs, especially those in the constituencies affected should push for the contracts to be made public.

    After all, if the explanation is credible, would we protest such conveniences at a price?

    I know we have to pay for our ride but this cloak-and-dagger stuff is ridiculous.