Parliament’s first task  when it meets  on Sept. 9 is to address and resolve  the new crisis of confidence over  the integrity of government precipitated by Ezam’s conviction and sentence under the OSA

Media Statement 
by Lim Kit Siang

(Penang, Saturday): Parliament’s first task when it meets on September 9 next month is to address and resolve the new crisis of confidence in  the integrity of government precipitated by the conviction and two-year jail sentence of Keadilan Youth chief Mohd Ezam Mohd Noor under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) which  sent out the outrageous message to the nation and the world that in Malaysia corruption is no crime while exposing corruption is the heinous crime.  

Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation,  must be fully conscious that their national duty on the first day of the 10-week  Dewan Rakyat  budget meeting from 9th Sept. to  12th November is to categorically and conclusively destroy  any such notion that in Malaysia corruption is no crime while exposing corruption is the heinous crime. 

It is not for Parliament to interfere with the legal process over Ezam’s OSA trial as the Keadilan Youth leader has still to exhaust his right of  appeal to higher appellate courts, whether on conviction or severity of sentence.  

Parliament cannot be blind however to the implications of Ezam’s conviction and sentence and must rise up to the occasion to be true to their sworn oath  to “preserve, protect and defend”  the Constitution  to ensure that  the integrity of the  institutions of governance and Malaysia’s international reputation are not sullied  by double-standards and the illegal granting of immunities to top political leaders from prosecution for offences under the law. 

Parliament, just as Malaysians, must grapple with the following  heart-rending issue following  Ezam’s conviction and sentence on Wednesday:  

  1. Is  Ezam guilty of an offence under the OSA for exposing secret documents of the corruption investigations of International Trade and Industry Minister Rafidah Aziz and former Malacca chief minister Abdul Rahim Thamby Chik  at a press conference in November 1999?

  2. If so,  this could only mean that the secret documents that Ezam exposed, firstly,  a document of the Prosecution Division, Attorney-General’s Office dated 14th March 1995 signed by Abdul Gani Patail which stated that there was prima facie basis to prosecute Datuk Paduka Rafidah Aziz, the Minister for International Trade and Industry, on five counts of corruption under Section 2(2), Ordinance 11, 1970; and secondly, that the Attorney-General’s Chambers and the ACA had concluded by June 1994 that there was prima facie case to prosecute the then Chief Minister of Malacca, Rahim Tamby Cik on four charges of corruption based on the information supplied to the Anti-Corruption Agency by the former DAP Member of Parliament  for Kota Melaka, Lim Guan Eng, were true, valid and genuine documents and not fiction or  figments of anyone’s imagination.  The immediate question that arises is why Rafidah and Rahim were not prosecuted for corruption and on what basis were immunity from prosecution granted to them.

  3. Why should  Ezam be convicted and jailed for  violating the OSA  for exposing the two secret documents, while  Rafidah  and Rahim Thamby Chik are  granted immunity from prosecution when the government has admitted to the truth and veracity of these two documents?  Which is the more heinous crime – OSA offence to expose corruption or corruption itself? 

The Petaling Jaya Sessions Court in convicting Ezam under the OSA is not interested or concerned about the truth or genuineness of the contents of the secret documents,  raising the fundamental  question as to whether in administering such “blind justice”, our justice system is really concerned with justice and the rule of law. 

This is a question which Parliament must address urgently.  Even more important, Parliament must address the issue avoided by the sessions court – the truth and genuiness of the contents of the secret documents. 

Apart from the court of law, there is the higher courts of public and international  opinion which Parliament must address – whether it can remain  blind and unconcerned  to the gross  injustice of convicting Ezam under the OSA while immunity of prosecution is granted to Rafidah and Rahim for corruption, which were the contents of the secret documents which have sent Ezam to Kajang Prison  from the Kamunting detention centre. 

If Parliament is blind, deaf and mute on this grave issue, then Parliament will be guilty of a gross dereliction of duty  and become a party to a grave injustice  to Ezam, the 23 million  Malaysians and the Malaysian  nation.   This is not the way for Malaysians to celebrate our 45th National Day!


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman