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The irony of it all is that the punishment of Keadilan Youth chief, Mohd Ezam Mohd Nor (who is already serving a two-year preventive detention order under the ISA) for a two-year jail term under the Official Secrets Act (OSA), will not stop the circulation of the secret documents.

There is simply no way of preventing publication and circulation after initial disclosure. Unbeknownst to us all, copies may well be even with Pos Malaysia waiting to be delivered to all and sundry. Most of us just hit the Net.

The offending documents relate to the corruption investigations of International Trade and Industry Minister Rafidah Aziz, and former Melaka Chief Minister Abdul Rahim Thamby Chik.

These were stamped, ' Rahsia ' (secret) with the signature of Abdul Gani Patail, currently serving as attorney-general. The documents dated March 14, 1995 made inferences of a prima facie basis to prosecute Rafidah and Rahim for corruption. In Rahim's case, the investigations were concluded as early as June 1994.

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