Feb 3, 2007

OSA probe over toll documents

Samy and the OSA. This is a big drama too.

(The Star) Four opposition officials are being investigated under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) over the disclosure of a toll concession agreement.

Criminal investigations director Comm Datuk Christopher Wan Soo Kee said the police have given them notice to be present at Bukit Aman on Monday.

The four are PAS treasurer Dr Hatta Ramli, Parti Keadilan Rakyat treasurer Khalid Ibrahim, PKR information chief Tian Chua and the DAP’s Ronnie Liu, who heads the party’s bureau on non-governmental organisations.

Wan said a police report was lodged at the Damansara police last week. “We want them to assist us in our investigations,” he said. The four are alleged to have disclosed the contents of a document that was purportedly an agreement signed between the Government and the toll concessionaires.

They had claimed that the Government had, in the agreement, guaranteed profits to the concessionaires.

On Jan 25, following the disclosure, Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said the Cabinet would take appropriate action against the person (or persons) who had stolen and exhibited the agreement.

He had said that the agreement was solely between the Government and the company and was a confidential document.

He had also suggested to the Cabinet to ask the Attorney-General’s office to take appropriate action against those who stole the document and exhibited it without any authority.

Those convicted are liable to be jailed up to a year under Section 8 of the OSA.

Commenting on the investigation yesterday, Samy Vellu said the Government had no choice but to act against those who make public the contents of documents classified as official secrets.

Samy Vellu said he was aware that Tian Chua was among those who had made public the documents on the highway concession agreements that had been classified as official secrets.

However, he said, he did not know that the police had initiated action against others who were involved.

The Government was right to act against him (Tian Chua), he told reporters after opening the latest textile outlet of Chennai Potty Sdn Bhd at Leboh Ampang here.

“It is an agreement between the Government and the (concession) company done according to the law.

“It is part of a Government document that cannot be revealed.

“(But) they took the document, exhibited it and created a drama of it,” he said, when asked why there was a need to classify the concession agreement as a classified document under the OSA.

Samy Vellu said the Government had been transparent with concession agreements and had even invited DAP members to look at the agreement during the construction of the North-South Expressway.

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