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'Probe Sarawak Report for breaking the law, cabinet to decide if to declassify'
Published:  Jul 8, 2016 4:28 AM
Updated: 3:27 PM

The issue of leaking key documents in the 1MDB investigation by whistleblower site Sarawak Report is not about the contents, but breaking the laws, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak.

He said that it was an offence to breach the Official Secrets Act (OSA), and it should be investigated.

Salleh told Malaysiakini that the cabinet will decide whether to declassify the report after considering all factors.

"The gvernment has nothing to hide but we need to follow procedures, and don't break the laws."

Following Sarawak Report's leak of the report, some opposition leaders have either urged rulers to order 1MDB audit be made public or called on the government to declassify the documents.

Constitutional law expert professor Abdul Aziz Bari had said the government was wrong to use an "ordinary law like the OSA to shut down" a constitutional provision such as the auditor-general's report.

Earlier, Salleh had urged the police to investigate the leak.

"The recent declaration that Sarawak Report has in its possession a document classified under the OSA warrants investigation by the police."

The government classifies certain documents under the OSA for the purpose of national security, he said.

The investigation into Sarawak Report's publication of details from the OSA document needs to be done urgently to prevent further leakages of official secret documents that may put the country's security in jeopardy, Salleh said.

"Upon identification of the individual perpetrators and organisations, they must then be brought to court.

"The court is a neutral institution to uphold the laws of the nation, without fear or favour.

"The necessity for such an action will provide the providence to ensure the integrity and sovereignty of the country," Salleh said.

Yesterday, Sarawak Report published an expose on what it claimed to be the auditor-general's report on state investment fund 1MDB, which the government has classified under the OSA.

Earlier today, the website published another article revealing what it claims to be a letter sent by Bank Negara to the Public Accounts Committee, which had also been investigating the actions of 1MDB.

The website said it would be publishing more details from the auditor-general’s report in the coming days.

Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown has urged Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to immediately initiate extradition proceedings against her, so that she can face trial in Malaysia.

"He should get on with it in the most public possible way, so that all can judge his motives and justifications in an objective court of law - away from judges whom he appointed and controls.

"It is time the world started to learn what has happened to the once largely respectable and law-abiding government of Malaysia," Rewcastle-Brown said.

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