OSA threat:RAM and analysts not guilty, so were the “OSA Four”

Malaysian Parliamentary Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang has pointed out that in the past, the NPE concession agreement was used by RAM and other analysts with no problem. If that’s the case, the authority has no reasons to penalise the “OSA Four”.

The Cabinet should immediately lift the ban on all toll concession agreements and reveal the contents to the Malaysian public if they have nothing to hide.

 

NPE concession – RAM and analysts guilty of OSA offences?

/ Lim Kit Siang

February 6, 2007 @ 14: 30.35

In the past four years, Rating Agency Malaysia Berhad (RAM) had published information which are only available from the New Pantai Expressway (NPE) concession contract to assign and reaffirm long term ratings of AA3 and A1 for New Pantai Expressway Sdn Bhd’s RM490 million Senior Bai’ Bithaman Ajil Notes (22002/2013) (“Senior Bonds”) and RM250 million Junior Bai’ Bithaman Ajil Notes (2003/2016), which are to be found in four RAM’s Project Finance Ratings on New Pantai Expressway Sdn Bhd. dated:

(i)October 2003;
(ii)December 2004;
(iii)November 2005; and
(iv)October 2006.

For instance, in its first report on “New Pantai Expressway Sdn Bhd – New Issue” in October 2003 in assigning a long-term rating of AA3 and A1 for its proposed Senior and Junior Bonds, RAM referred to NPH’s revised toll rate structure under separate Supplemental Agreements where in return for additional works, NPE was compensated with an extension of the concession period by an additional 3.5 years to 11 March 2030 and a revision in toll rates from RM1.60 for cars for the entire original 30-year concession to a 33.5-year toll regime starting with RM1.60 but progressively increasing to RM2 and later RM2.30.

The pertinent question is whether RAM and its analysts had been guilty of OSA offences for using official secrets from highway concessions to rate loans and bonds like New Pantai Expressway (NPE).

The government cannot be unaware of these four RAM reports in the past four years and I am prepared to email these copies to the Cabinet if the Malaysian Government had really been so ignorant, inept and incompetent.

I am not for a moment suggesting that RAM and its analysts should be prosecuted under the Official Secrets Act but how can the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, the Works Minister, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu and the Cabinet reconcile the application of double standards in demanding that the four Opposition leaders, Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim and Tian Chua of PKR, Ronnie Liu of DAP and Dr. Hatta Ramli of PAS should “pay the price” for disclosing the contents of Lebuhraya Damansasra Puchong (LDP) concession contract while closing their eyes to similar disclosures by RAM and other equity analysts on other highway concessions?

This is a question the Cabinet must grapple with tomorrow and the Prime Minister must give the Malaysian public a satisfactory explanation after the Cabinet meeting – why the selective and discriminatory interpretation and application of the OSA, depending on whether it applies to whistleblowers or profiteers.

The only honourable way out for Abdullah and the Cabinet is to take a policy decision to suspend all OSA investigations and proceedings until the repressive and draconian provisions in the OSA had been repealed.

Some 28 years ago, in October 1979, I had introduced a motion for a private member’s bill in Parliament on a Freedom of Information Act to ensure openness of government and to prevent the law on government information from protecting inefficiency, maladministration or even malpractices and corruption.

I had made two specific proposals, firstly to drastically cut back the “catch-all” Section 8 of the Official Secrets Act by providing that only specified categories of government information, e,g. matters involving national security or personal information, are protected by criminal penalties against disclosure; and secondly, enacting a new law compelling the government to make documents available to the public on demand except in the cases of specified categories of government information like properly-classified documents involving national security or personal information, with provisions for the Courts to decide whether such classification is justified or not.

It is time for Abdullah to “walk the talk” of his reform pledge to lead an open, accountable, transparent, incorruptible and democratic administration by repealing the Official Secrets Act to be replaced by a Freedom of Information Act – which is also an acid test as to whether Malaysia can end its malaise of “First World Infrastructure, Third World Mentality” by adopting a first-world mindset and culture under Abdullah’s premiership.

评估机构刊登新班底大道合约
政府被疑双重标准对付四领袖
07年2月6日 下午5:52 调整字体大小:
国会反对党领袖林吉祥质问,大马评估机构有限公司(RAM)在过去4年曾经刊登新班底大道(NPE)特许合约的内容,但是为何没有受到政府的对付?他指出,在过去4年里,大马评估机构有限公司刊登只有来自新班底大道(NPE)特许合约的内容,以评估与重新确认该公司在Bai’Bithaman Ajil高达4.9亿令吉高级债券以及2.5亿令吉低级债券的长期等级。这些消息可从大马评估机构针对该公司以下所刊登的金融等级预测得来,包括2003年10月、2004年12月、2005年11月及2006年10月。

他举例说,在2003年10月的“新班底大道有限公司-新发行报告”中,对该公司高级及低级债券的长期等级评估是AA3及A1。

大马评估机构提到该公司在不同的附加合约中享有新的收费架构,其特许经营权也获得延长多3年半,直至2030年3月11日为止,以作为补偿。在这段长达33年半的特许经营期间(即从原本30年增加至33年半),普通汽车的过路费将从1令吉60仙增加至2令吉,然后是2令吉30仙。

用机密法对付告密者或牟利者?

林吉祥在文告中指出,目前的关键性问题是,大马评估机构及其分析员在采用大道合约中的官方机密,以评估如诸如新班底大道(NPE)公司的货款与债券,这是否已经触犯《官方机密法令》?

“政府不可能不知道大马评估机构在这4年来所发出的上述4项报告。如果政府真的如此无知、笨拙与无能,我准备将它们电邮给内阁。”

“我绝对无意让大马评估机构及其分析员在《官方机密法令》下被提控,但只是想问,到底首相阿都拉、工程部长三美威鲁及内阁如何解释他们实行双重标准?”

林吉祥表示,政府一方面要采取行动对付四名揭露白蒲大道特许合约的在野党领袖,即公正党的卡立与蔡添强、行动党的刘天球及回教党的哈达,并要求他们“付出代价”,一方面却对大马评估机构及其他资产分析员揭露其他大道合约视若无睹?

“这是内阁明天必须交待的问题。因此,首相必须在内阁会议后给予国人一个满意的交待,即为何政府在对《官方机密法令》所作出选择性与歧视性的诠释,是取决于到底它是用在告密者抑或牟利者身上。”

蔡添强、卡立依布拉欣(人民公正党总财政)、刘天球(民主行动党非政府组织局主任)和哈达蓝立(回教党总财政)是因为在今年1月4日召开记者招待会,公布一份被指是“白沙罗-蒲种大道合约”的副本,而遭警方援引《1972年官方机密法令》盘问调查。

林吉祥昨日也质疑三美威鲁是否有要求动用官方机密法令对付产业研究公司金英证券研究(Kim Eng Research),因为后者泄露了只能出自水供特许合约的内容,以及对付雪兰莪水供有限公司及/或商业高峰控股在未经授权之下将这类官方机密传播出去,而触犯官方机密法令?

28年前曾在国会提资讯自由法案

林吉祥说,阿都拉及内阁唯一的下台阶就是采取政策性决定,冻结所有涉及《官方机密法令》的调查与提控行动,直到该法令的打压性与苛刻条款被废除为止。

“在大约28年前,即1979年10月,我曾向国会提呈一项议员个人法案,即《资讯自由法案》,以确保政府施政开明,避免政府以法令来偏护效率欠佳、行政不当,甚至舞弊与贪污行为。”

他说,当时他特别提出两项建议,第一就是大刀阔斧的删除《官方机密法令》第8条款,即关于“一网打尽”的内容,并列出只有特定的政府资讯,比如涉及国家安全、个人资料才能得到保护,即泄漏者将受刑事惩罚;以及第二,通过一项新法律,即政府必须在公众要求下把相关的文件公开,除了特定种类的政府资讯,如涉及国家安全或个人资料,并获得适当归类的资讯,同时也建议一项条款,即法庭有权决定到底有关归类是否公正。

“目前是阿都拉对他所需下的改革承诺坐言起行的时候,那就是他要领导一个开明、负责任、透明化、不贪污及民主的政府,并且将《官方机密法令》废除,以《资讯自由法令》取而代之。这对阿都拉也是一项严峻的考验,即在他的掌权下,大马是否能够采纳第一世界思维及文化来结束其’第一世界建设、第三世界思维’通病。”

 

One Response to “OSA threat:RAM and analysts not guilty, so were the “OSA Four””

  1. sampalee Says:

    LKS,your clarity shines through once again.Law no matter how unjust is static.It is the enforcer that provide the dynamics and decides its flow.Confidential info for the countrynshould not be used for private agenda[that is the spirir of the law]For instance when pak dah knew abpout the oil for food program and acted with personal interest for his family or personal friends,the OSA is violated.Confidential info for the country CANNOT be used to serve private agendas

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