OSA – a really lame excuse

(Picture source: www.sun2surf.com)

As a responsible blogger, I need to post this up.

First we had a crappy excuse given by the government as to why the toll charges need to be raised up. It was crappy because for those who are staying in a highway locked area like Puchong, the facts and figures that was thrown down our throat did not make any sense.

Then as if to prove our suspicion, when the oppositions managed to get hold of the toll concessionaire agreement, we realised we have been duped all along by the very people that we elected. We have been made to look like an ass. We realised that the people in the government have made a one sided agreement favoring the highway operator and there is no way out for 33 years. Toll charges is expected to be increased many times in coming years and we as the taxpayers can only sit and watch with anger in our hearts. The people who sold out the public interest remain unpunished or made accountable.

Then, to rub salt to the wound, the Government is now pursuing action against the people who leaked out the serious shortcomings in the toll agreement. It was something that we, the public, did not anticipate after all the false promises to reveal the agreement were made. We had hoped that since the cat is out of the bag, the Government will look on how to remedy the shortcoming and start an aggressive negotiation with the highway operators  – at least to amend the clauses in the agreement. The Government has the power to do so but it seems like it does not have the will or the interest to do it. This makes you and I wonder who the Government is really representing.

I have been reading about Samy (or rather the Cabinet for Pak Lah’s sake) being “bloodthirsty” in imposing the OSA on the oppositions (read Kit Siang and Tian Chua’s blogs) and truly I am wondering why. Does the Government have something sinister to hide? Is the public going to find out how deep they have been screwed?

The Official Secrecy Act (OSA) as I recalled during my studies was used to ensure that the country’s security was not compromised. Our Malaysian OSA derived from the UK’s OSA which was basically created for the protection of official information, mainly related to national security. It was well used during the World War 2, the fight against Communism and at the height of the Cold War and it was used for the right reasons. Of course, the local politicians, the smart ones they are, decided to widen to scope of OSA to include everything under the sky and deemed it as secret and excluded any judicial review. This in effect caused evidences of corruption and lawlessness to be forever hidden away under the disguise of OSA.

The point in case is the current issue of toll agreement. What the fuck it has to do with national security? And why it needs to be a BIG secret? Would the formula to calculate the toll charges or the amount of toll compensations paid by the Government be used by terrorists to blow up the country? If you are a human being and having a brain to think, you will know that the Government’s argument is nothing but a major cover-up. What else it could be?

So, I say bullshit when Samy says that the public has NO right to know the content of highway concession agreements. If that is the case, then certainly Samy has NO right poking his head in the government administration and even claiming to represent us. He should be given the boot out of the government along with several others. As I said before, Samy and others in the government (starting with Pak Lah) has forgotten who their boss is. It is time to remind them on that.

Further reading on the recent toll hike protest, I could not help reading about the couple with two special children joining in the protest. They were at the IOI toll hike protest with their kids (read here, here and here). As a father myself, I understand the pain that the couple is going through in caring for their kids in midst of rising daily expenses. Their expression says it all. A total denial of the hardship brought about by the government due to toll hike is a good rub of salt into their wound.

The funny thing about the toll hike – it did not reduce the traffic jam but in fact have made it worse. The line is longer and the frustration is higher. The number of cars using the highway continues to grow but I am sure the Samy Vellu will be quick to say that it is not enough for any reduction of the toll charges.

Perhaps we should start using OSA against the politicians who have nothing to say but lies and get them to shut up. Yes, telling the truth can be hurtful. It is only right that the Government come clean and start reviewing things like the unnecessary usage of OSA for it, in Asli’s CPPS’ words, “now being used for purposes that have little or nothing to do with the safety or interests of the country”.

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