Attorney-General Apandi Ali's proposal to strengthen the Official Secrets Act 1972 was made at a time when his credibility is at an all-time low, PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli claimed today.
Rafizi in a statement said this follows Apandi's decision to clear Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak of any wrongdoing linked to state investor 1MDB.
"Of course the proposal (by Apandi) will be seen as a further attempt to cover up any future exposes' on wrongdoing or corruption by the BN government.
"Since seven years ago, various acts of mismanagement and corruption have been exposed based on leaked documents. I personally have managed many such exposes," said the Pandan MP.
Apandi had in an interview with Sin Chew Daily reportedly proposed amendments to the OSA, including increasing the maximum sentence from seven years to life.
He also said the Act can be used against journalists and editors found to have published leaked information.
Apandi's proposal was made in the midst of global scrutiny on alleged billion-dollar financial mismanagement linked to 1MDB, despite his decision to close the cases against Najib, based on investigations by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
The MACC had probed RM42 million from SRC International and RM42 billion donation that was deposited into Najib's personal account.
Meanwhile, Rafizi said closing the investigations had actually spurred more information leaks, as the public continues to lose faith in Apandi as the country's top lawyer.
He added that amending the OSA could backfire and place more pressure on Najib.
"As this proposal is a form of oppression toward journalists and media freedom, I believe this will become an international issue which will further damage Najib's international image," he stressed.
The Pandan lawmaker said he would also launch a major social media campaign, urging all Malaysians to reject any planned amendments to the OSA.