The Opposition has been dealt a blow with the conviction of PKR federal lawmaker Rafizi Ramli under the Official Secrets Act (OSA), DAP leader Lim Guan Eng said today.
Though the Pandan MP managed to hold on to his seat, Lim said the conviction was a victory for the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) as the court case had crushed one of the Pakatan Harapan pact’s rising stars.
“We cannot deny that Rafizi is a star amongst Pakatan leaders like Tony Pua, Liew Chin Tong, Nurul Izzah… these are our young leaders so his loss would be something BN is hoping for,” the Bagan MP told a news conference at the Penang legislative assembly here.
“I feel this is a win for BN and I am sure they are happy because they have killed someone’s political career but I believe Rafizi will soldier on,” Lim who is also Penang chief minister added.
The DAP secretary-general also said his party will continue to support Rafizi’s appeal against his conviction as he claimed that his PKR ally was unjustly punished for merely being a corruption whistleblower.
Another PKR vice-president Shamsul Iskandar Md Akin who was also at the Penang assembly predicted that more Opposition leaders will be hit with criminal charges in the days ahead.
The Bukit Katil assemblyman accused the BN government of misusing the law to crack down on Opposition politicians ahead of the 14th general elections due by 2018.
“I think many other leaders, like myself, will be arrested and charged under the Peaceful Assembly Act and if I am fined more than RM2,000, I will also lose my chance to contest,” Shamsul said.
Under the Federal Constitution’s Article 48, lawmakers are automatically disqualified from holding the office if they are sentenced to not less than a year in prison or fined not less than RM2,000 and have not received a pardon.
Shamsul who is also a lawyer said PKR fully objected against the 18-month jail sentence imposed on Rafizi for revealing a single page of the audit on 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
Rafizi was found guilty by the Sessions Court yesterday of two charges of possessing and disclosing a page from the Auditor-General’s sealed report on 1MDB, in Parliament on March 24 and March 28
Source : Opalyn Mok@The Malay Mail Online