DAP Chinese New Year Message By DAP Secretary-General And MP For Bagan Lim Guan Eng In Kuala Lumpur On 10.2.2016.
BN’s Twin Ang Pows Of 100% Increase In Workers Levy And Amendments To The Official Secrets Act(OSA) To Impose Life Imprisonment And 10 Strokes Of Rotan Will Not Overcome Malaysia’s Economic And Political Crisis Caused By Financial Scandals Of RM 42 Billion 1MDB And RM 2.6 Billion Donation Scandal.
BN’s twin ang pows of 100% increase in workers levy and amendments to the Official Secrets Act(OSA) to impose life imprisonment and 10 strokes of rotan will not overcome Malaysia’s economic and political crisis caused by financial scandals of RM 42 billion 1MDB and RM 2.6 billion donation scandal. Malaysians were hoping for an abolition of the much-hated GST during the recalibration of the 2016 Budget on January 28th by the Prime Minister due to the plunge in the oil prices to less than USD 30 per barrel.
Unfortunately, the GST was not abolished and only minor adjustments made for cosmetic purposes(Indah khabar dari rupa) that did not make any difference in the incomes of ordinary Malaysians or assist the suffering small businessmen. Instead businesses were mercilessly hit with a 100% increase in the foreign workers’ levy that whilst the increase in the Federal government’s coffers with an additional RM2.5 billion, would definitely cause many small and medium businesses to close shop.
Ordinary Malaysians and small businesses are already suffering from paying an additional tax of more than RM20 billion yearly in taxes as a result of GST. By paying an additional RM2.5 billion from the 100% increase in foreign workers’ levy, is a most unkind ang pow during the Year of the Monkey. Instead of giving an ang pow to the rakyat, the Federal government has given an ang pow to itself to save itself at the expense of the rakyat.
Another ang pow was delivered from the Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamad Apandi Ali, who announced that he was considering an amendment to the OSA 1972 to include life imprisonment and 10 strokes of the rotan as punishments for those who leak secrets. Even journalists would be considered as criminals for protecting or refusing to reveal the sources by invoking journalistic ethics.
Such a draconian measure would not only make a mockery of democracy, human rights and freedom of the press, it would only criminalise journalists and whistle-blowers that expose corruption. Exposing corruption may require some inside information and such amendments would deter official corruption from being exposed. Whistle-blowers should be protected and not the corrupt if the information is proven later as correct.
Apandi even justified such harsh punishments be comparing the leaking of official secrets is a serious offence in China which carries the death sentence. Perhaps Apandi needs to be reminded that corruption in China is also punished with a death sentence. Does he intend to make similar amendments against the corrupt?
Such twin ang pows have not helped to restore the declining value of the ringgit to its former level of RM3.20-3.50 to 1 US$. How does it help Malaysians economically? Clearly these OSA amendments are intended to intimidate and frighten whistle-blowers to cover-up future or prevent them from exposing and publishing any further financial scandals as well as distract attention from the government’s failure to act on the current financial scandals.
LIM GUAN ENG
—- CN Version —-