The Council Of Elders' 100-Day Report For Pakatan Harapan Will Remain Under OSA

Datuk Hanipa Maidin claimed that the government wants to "protect the issues and information that is confidential".

Cover image via SAYS (edited)

The 100-day report by the Council of Elders – formally known as Council of Eminent Persons (CEP) – will remain protected by the Official Secrets Act (OSA)

According to Malay Mail, deputy minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Hanipa Maidin told the Dewan Rakyat earlier today, 28 March, that the report will not be declassified and released to the masses. 

Hanipa was responding to Ipoh Timur Member of Parliament (MP) Wong Kah Woh, who asked if the government had plans to reveal the report to be debated on by the public. 

Deputy minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Hanipa Maidin

Image via Malay Mail

Hanipa also defended the use of OSA on the 100-day report

"Some have asked why the report is under the OSA... I want to stress that (laws like) the OSA are necessary in every country," the minister was quoted as saying by The Malaysian Insight today. 

Hanipa added that Pakatan Harapan previously protested against the controversial law because it was "abused to protect corruption and wrongdoing". 

"Now we want to protect the issues and information that is confidential. This is the difference between us and the previous government," he said, according to Malay Mail. 

The CEP was created by Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad on 12 May 2018 to provide information for the new government to base its decisions on

Mahathir had previously stressed that the CEP report was not meant to be made public.

"The CEP was formed to carry out a specific, special task – including investigating (certain issues) and filing reports," the Prime Minister was quoted as saying by New Straits Times in December. 

"Whether I receive the reports or otherwise is my business. The main thing is that they provide the information that I need to make decisions, so this is a government matter," he added.

Prior to the announcement today, many had asked for the report to be shared with the public

Free Malaysia Today reported that politicians and civil society groups – including the G25 group of eminent Malays, Asli Centre for Public Policy Sudies, and Bersih 2.0 – had previously urged the government to release the CEP report.

In December 2018, DAP's Lim Kit Siang also joined the calls to make the 100-day report available to the masses.

"We should let the public know, debate and discuss, and bring about institutional and structural reforms to prevent the mistakes of the past from happening again," Lim was quoted as saying by Free Malaysia Today. 

The OSA has a controversial history in Malaysia. Read more about it here:

Headed by former Finance Minister Tun Daim Zainuddin, here's a recap of the CEP:

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