Flexibility of presentation from the point of view

Advertising are method of communications (as newspapers, radio, or television) that is designed to reach the mass of the people1. Besides playing the role to inform person with information, the mass media together with a sound legal system and an independent judiciary is a part of a triumvirate that is essential for a well-functioning democracy2. In a democratic approach to government, mass media is carrying out a number of necessary functions. Initial, they serve on details or surveillance function. Second, they serve an agenda-setting and meaning function.


Third, that they help us to create as well as connections with assorted groups in society. Fourth, they help us to socialize and to educate us. Fifth, they will persuade us to buy particular items or perhaps accept particular ideas. Sixth, they amuse us. Flexibility is the electric power or right to act, speak or think freely. Our company is now living a media culture and its influence is usually become incredibly pervasive. The amount of hours all of us spend on the media can be mind-boggling.

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Although the flexibility of the media should not be in toto, yet the degree of the freedom of the press will impact the function of the media.

Residents of countries which can be democratic observe media independence as a right, not really a privilege. Even so, there is no mention of freedom with the press or perhaps freedom in the electronic mass media in our Metabolism. However , flexibility of multimedia to physical exercise its part and capabilities in culture has been enshrined as a primary human correct by way of reputation for the right to freedom of speech, phrase and thoughts and opinions. 3


In 1930-1940, there are nearly 80 newspaper and magazines released in the Malay State, including Utusan Melayu, Saudara, Warta Malaya and Majlis. In Warta Malaya, it released article that talk about the social and economic concerns faced by the Malay. Yet , it did not ask for the British being chased out. The newspaper, Majlis, reviewed the political issues. Majlis not only produces in the arising and combats for Malays right, their very own office started to be the place pertaining to the nationalist to meet up and exchange their thoughts.

In the papers Saudara, there were a steering column named ‘Persaudaraan Sahabat Pena’ where the Malay readers traded their standpoint. British was worried on the development of this kind of column and for that reason took the step to overseen people who involved in the said column.

In view of the number of journals that been with us during the time and the situation where those magazines are free to discussed any kind of issues, as well as the fact that the newspapers features played a vital role in the movement towards freedom, we can deduce that within the administration of British, the media was enjoying the freedom of presentation.

The law within the freedom of speech started to be clearer in the period prior to freedom. Certain regulation has been brought to the Malay State. One of the laws which will governed the freedom of speech at that time was your Sedition Take action 1948. Section 4 of the Act can make it an offence to make, prepare, or to conspire, to do a seditions act, to utter seditious words, and to propagate or perhaps import any kind of seditious guides. Section 3 provides that the seditious trend is one that tends to (a) bring hate or contempt to the government or excite disaffection against any Leader or government, (b) inspire the countrymen to mutiny, (c) take into hatred or disregard or excites disaffection against administration of justice, (d) raise unhappiness or disaffection among the countrymen, or (e) promote emotions of ill-will and hostility amongst the occupants of the country.

Besides, there are two laws specifically deal with the branded media during those times, i. at the. Printing Press Act 1948 (Ord doze of 1948) and Control of Imported Journals Act 1958 (Ord 14 of 1955). The former cope with the author in the Malay State while the later regulating the printed material from other country.

These laws were limiting liberty of conversation of the mass media at the British colonial the light of the liberty of presentation only stand out at the colonial time since 1956, when an make an effort to draft analysis Constitution started out. The suggestions were submitted by Reid Commission in 1956-1957 Information. In the statement, there were two paragraphs gives under the name ‘Fundamental Rights’ 161.

A Federal Constitution specifies and assures the right with the Federation plus the states; it truly is usual and in our thoughts and opinions right which it should also specify and assurance certain important individual right which are generally viewed as essential conditions for a free and democratic way of life. The rights which can be recommend must be defined and guaranteed are all firmly established now during Malaysia and it may found unnecessary to offer them special protection inside the Constitution. Nevertheless we present in certain sectors vague tension about the near future. We believe this sort of apprehensions to get unfound, nevertheless there can be zero objection to guaranteeing these kinds of rights subject to limited exclusions in conditions of unexpected emergency and we suggest that this should become done¦.. 162.

our advice afford way of redress, readily available to any individual, against against the law infringements of private liberty in just about any of its aspects¦ we further advise (Art 10) that liberty of presentation and expression should be sure to all individuals subject to constraints in the interest of security, public buy or values or pertaining to incitement, defamation or disregard of court¦ For the Malaysian citizen, the aims of those who have framed the Federal Metabolism were although little troubled by the pandemic of human being rights inside the Western world4. It has been discovered that the commission’s recommendation for the freedom of speech continues to be vague, especially on the significance of the privileges. The commission rate only dedicated two paragraphs. The reason why it had been so was clear in the paragraph itself. The draft Article 15 in our Metabolic rate was as follow:

twelve (1) just about every citizen shall have the directly to freedom of speech and expression, be subject to any sensible restriction made by federal law in the interest of the security of the Federation, friendly relations with other countries, open public order, or morality, or perhaps in relation to contempt of court, defamation, or perhaps incitement to the offence.

Mr. Justice Abdul Hamid on his note of dissent mentioned that “the word ‘reasonable’ wherever that occurs prior to word ‘restrictions’ in the three sub-clauses of Article 12 should be disregarded. Right to liberty of speech, assembly, and association have been guaranteed subject to restrictions which may be imposed in the interest of security with the country, public order and morality. In the event the Legislature imposes any restrictions in the interest of the aforesaid issues, considering those restrictions to be reasonable, that legislation should not be challengeable in a court of law in the grass that the limitations are not sensible. The Legislature alone needs to be the judge of what is sensible under the conditions. If the phrase ‘reasonable’ is usually allowed to stand, every legislation on this subject will be challengeable in court on the ground which the restrictions made by the legislature are not fair.

This will in many cases give rise to conflict between the sights of Legislature and the opinions of the the courtroom on the reasonableness of the limitations. To avoid a predicament like that it is best to make the Legislature the judge of the reasonableness of the restrictions. If this is not really done the legislatures with the country are not sure of the state of the law which they will enact. There will always be dread that the courtroom may hold the restrictions made by it to be unreasonable. The laws will be lacking in assurance.  After, when the Metabolic rate comes into power, the Article 10 provides that: (1) susceptible to clause (2):

(a) Just about every citizen has got the right to liberty of presentation and appearance; (2) Parliament may by law impose: “(a) within the rights conferred by paragraph (a) of clause (1), such constraints as it believes necessary or perhaps expedient with the intention to the security with the Federation, friendly relations with other countries, community order or morality and restrictions built to protect the privileges of Parliament or of any kind of legislative Set up or to provide against contempt of tennis courts, defamation, or incitement to any offence; You will discover one circumstance regarding to press reported prior to freedom i. e. Public Prosecutor v. The Straits Moments Press Ltd5 In this case, after the application of people Prosecutor, the Respondents, who have are the entrepreneurs of the Straits Times Press Ltd, had been alleged disregard in publishing a report with the trial of Tan Seng Ann of the Straits Moments dated five August 1948.

The survey appeared which in turn, it is now publicly stated, was misleading and erroneous in that that gave the impression, from the facts, the fact that first step inside the proceedings in that case was a non-reflex confession by simply Tan Seng Ann that he was owning a fire-arm and that his arrest was made solely while the result of this sort of voluntary admission in the issue. The Recognize of Motion having set out the the letter complained of proceeded to allege inter alia that the felony case known in the page was sub judice when the letter was published in this an appeal was pending; that the terms of the letter did not constitute a reasonable or appropriate account with the trial nor fair comment thereon; and that its distribution tended to prejudice the fair convenience of the actions and maintained to bring in contempt the administration of justice simply by that Court docket.

Spenser-Wilkinson T held that: “¦I might hesitate to follow along with too closely the decisions of British Courts within this subject devoid of first considering whether the relevant conditions in britain and this nation are at almost all similar. Quite apart from the present emergency through this country, I do not believe it could be suggested that the advancement the Press, the general common of education or the make up of the general public in the two countries have reached all identical and it may, therefore , end up being necessary to require a stricter perspective here of matters which will pertain to the dignity from the Courts and the impartial administration of proper rights than can be taken at this time in England. 

Newly Independence (1957-1980)

At this period, Art twelve Federal Constitution has been corrected twice. The first change was on 19636 the place that the words ‘Clause (2) and (3)’ had been substituted to get the words ‘clause (2)’ of clause (1) with effect from of sixteen September 1963. and the terms ‘or virtually any part thereof’ were included in the Art10(2)(a). Further, term (3) which gives that: “Restrictions on the right to form a associations conferred by paragraph (c) of clause (1) may also be imposed by any law concerning labour or education.  The second variation was made about 19717 after considering the problems of May well 1969.

Now, Clause (4) was added with result from twelve March 1971. Article 10(4) provides that Parliament might pass laws prohibiting the questioning of 4 sensitive issues: right to nationality under Component III from the Constitution; position of the Malay language; placement and benefits of the Malays and the indigenous of Sabah and Sarawak; and prerogatives of the Malay Sultans as well as the Ruling Chiefs of Negri Sembilan. The constitutional improvements enable Legislative house to modify the Sedition Act of 1948 in order to add a fresh definition of ‘seditious tendency’8. The amended sections were: Section 3 (1) A seditious tendency is known as a tendency

(f) To query any subject, right, status, position, privilege, sovereignty or perhaps prerogative set up or shielded by the procedures of Portion III of the Federal Cosmetic or Content 152, 153 or 181 of the National Constitution

Section 2

“seditious the moment applied to or perhaps used in respect of any act, presentation, words, syndication or different thing qualifies the work, speech, words, publication or other factor as one having a seditious trend; Official Secrets Act 72 is a new law that be released at that time. This can be the most important law on authorities secrecy. The gist from the law is that ‘official secrets’ cannot be received, retained, introduced or applied without prior authorization. on the lookout for The Take action is drew up in the largest possible terms and is certainly not limited in the operation to spies, saboteurs, traitors and mercenaries.

The word ‘official secret’ is certainly not defined in the Act. The courts have given the term the broadest possible classification, and on the generally accepted construction any interaction pertaining to the Executive will constitute an offence. 15 The right to free speech could be further eclipsed by the exceptional provisions of Art 149 and a hundred and fifty relating to sabotage, agitation, destabilization and emergency. Art 149 authorises legal action created to stop or perhaps prevent subversion, organized violence and criminal offenses prejudicial for the public.

Fine art 150 lets any legal action essential by explanation of unexpected emergency. The grounds listed above enabling curtailment of free speech are incredibly broad and comprehensive that in forty-nine years simply no Act of parliament actually been located by the process of law to have broken the Metabolism. Besides imprinted media, television set was introduced in Malaysia in 1963. The television was under the charge of the Office of Broadcasting (RTM). What is apparent is the fact television and even more generally transmissions in Malaysia was contact form its beginning closely lined up to the federal government. Both the RTM channel were established via decisions created by the then Alliance coalition government. Because of the circumstances during those times, there was no any particulars rule to govern the broadcasting.

One of the cases that being observed at that time was Melan trash can Abdullah versus Public Prosecutor. 11 The truth of the case is that On 6th April year 1971 the Utusan Melaya newspapers published a report of a discuss given by given by Inche Letras Hitam, a prominent Malay leader and member of Legislative house, at the Countrywide Education Congress held in the Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, Kuala Lumpur.. In the survey was an editorial sub-heading, which in the English translation reads: “Abolish Tamil or Chinese channel schools through this country.  The first appellant was the editor-in-chief from the Utusan Melayu

and the second appellant the author with the sub-heading injected in the statement. Sanction for his or her prosecution was given under t 5(1) of the Sedition Take action 1948, and in addition they were tried in due course in the special lessons court on the charge of publishing a seditious publication in faute of s 4(1)(C) with the Sedition Take action, punishable beneath the same section.

The discovered special chief executive held the publication to get seditious, the fact that first appellant “was in charge of all syndication in the Utusan Melayu, which the second appellant was the creator of the impugned subheading, and this consequently these were both accountable. They were convicted and fined the sum of $500 and $1, 000 correspondingly, in default one month and two months’ imprisonment, both appellant appealed. CJ Ong, in hearing in the appeal acknowledged the first appellant facts that he had organised workshops and discussion posts, relating in particular to the “sensitive issues together instructed his staff on the relevant legislation as he realized it. He previously sponsored a talk to press given on this subject in February 1971 by the Lawyer General plus the Solicitor-General. Consequently , the initially respondent charm was allowed. But the court dismissed the second respondent appeal.

Another circumstance is Public Prosecutor versus Straits Moments (Malaya) Bhd. 12 People Prosecutor utilized in this case for leave to issue a writ or perhaps writs of attachment to get contempt of court within the respondents for publication of articles in The Straits Times. The grounds upon which relief was sought is that “the publications of the stated articles include matters that happen to be tendentious and constitute disregard of the courtroom, because they are prejudicing and humiliating the customer in the physical exercise of his statutory features and also prejudicing a fair trial concerning the instances of the death of one Robert Lee. 

Abdul Hamid J placed that: ‘I do not feel that it is sensible to interpret these terms as having any unique meaning. There is absolutely no dispute which the reports carry out reveal that there have been an assault, a turmoil and shooting of a taken and that allegedly, a police officer was engaged. But these truth is not questioned. As regards the previous episode encountered by Robert Lee there exists nothing to demonstrate that this had not been true.

Further it is not unusual for newspaper publishers to publish things concerning educational achievement of and other great deeds made by a person on his loss of life particularly if the dead person enjoys a particular standing in the city or he can in one method or another associated with any visible personality. On that basis it is unreasonable to isolate certain pathways from the information and construe them unfavourably or to impute improper purpose on the author. What might appear to be an embarrassment or prejudicial if perhaps that portion is browse in remoteness may not be and so if the studies are examine as a whole taking into consideration the circumstances around such publication particularly if that relates to an issue which will encourage public experience or a couple of unusual incident.  The application form was as a result dismissed.

Malaysia under Tun Dr . Mahathir (1981-2002)

Over this era, more laws are presented and enter force to govern the media. In 1984, Stamping Presses and Publications Take action came into power on the first of September 1984 like a consolidating Act, and in turn repealed the Stamping Presses Take action 1948 and the Control of Imported Publications Take action 1958. The Act was created ‘to control the use of creating, presses as well as the printing, échange, production, reproduction, publishing and distribution of publications and for matters connected there with’.

Through these kinds of control, the government uses that power to figure out what it is the public has a directly to know, or perhaps exactly what form freedom of speech should certainly take13. This really is an Work designed evidently to ensure that the press would not get out of series, imposes both a system of licensing and censorship14. Section 3 from the Act makes it mandatory to acquire a license to possess a stamping press. The Minister offers absolute discernment on offering, refusing, and revoking a license15. Further more, judicial report on the Minister’s discretion is usually not allowed16 and the Ressortchef (umgangssprachlich) is not required to give the celebrations a prior hearing17.

The period in the license is usually 12 months or shorter period as minister specifies18. This means that all web publishers in this country must suffer the pangs of doubt about whether their enable will be reconditioned for the subsequent year. There is less control of what can be written in foreign magazines, controls have already been exercised through deliberate delay in syndication and sometimes outright ban issues sale exactly where officials considered reports to become offensive or perhaps inaccurate19.

In 1988, another legislation governing the media came into force on 1st Aug i. at the. The Transmitting Act 1988. The preamble to the Work states: ‘An act to provide for the control of transmissions services and then for matters connected therewith’. The Act is definitely both strict and inflexible. It bestows enormous forces on the govt to determine the kind of television made available to the Malaysian public. In the middle of the expected ‘deregulation’ of broadcasting, the Act now shows the Minister info virtually total powers to determine who will and who will not broadcast as well as the nature with the broadcast material.

Under the Action, any potential broadcaster will have to apply for a license from the ressortchef (umgangssprachlich) beforehand. Later on, the Work was amended on Oct 1996. By the amendment, this already-stringent part of legislation had been aimed at considering the introduction of new services, such as cable and satellite television, satellite television radio, spend TV and video-on demand.

Due to the extreme development inside the electronic media, the Legislature has to repeal the old Telecommunication Act 1950 and the Transmitting Act 1988 and released a new law which is the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998. The Act’s breakthrough was to collect the recently disparate industrial sectors of transmissions, telecommunications and internet services combined underneath legislation and even more importantly, 1 regulator the Communications and Multimedia commission rate. 20 The Communication and Multimedia Action brings to the creation of Communication and Multimedia Commission Act 98. the Interaction and Multi-media Commission carrying out several capabilities including counseling the Ressortchef (umgangssprachlich) all issues concerning the countrywide policy targets for conversation and multimedia activities and implementing and enforcing the provisions with the communications and multimedia rules.

Interestingly, Information Malaysia 1980-81 and Details Malaysia 85 revealed that between 1981 and 1985 only, the number of headings of regional newspapers, magazines, and journals in blood circulation increased by 56 to 10221. Yet , the increase in number can not be the proof supporting the allegation that during that period, the mass media was experiencing freedom of speech. There are some facts that people should not ignore. In 1987, during the Operasi Lalang, numerous newspapers were closed by government22. After, Harakah staying categorizes since publications of political functions meant for party members and law prohibits the distribution being honestly sold to people. Besides, Barisan Nasional held and manipulated major Malaysian media corporation.

Further, ahead of Dato Seri Anwar’s sacking, expulsion, and detention, the editor of Utusan Malaysia and Berita Harian, and the director of operations of TV3 had been forced to step down because these were allied to Anwar. In 1990, there is a case of Aliran Kesedaran23 In this case, the respondents acquired applied for a permit underneath s 6(1) of the Producing Presses and Publications Take action 1984 to print and publish in Bahasa Malaysia a mag under the name and elegance of Seruan Aliran. The application form was declined by the Ressortchef (umgangssprachlich) of Residence Affairs. The respondents sent applications for an purchase of certiorari to remove in to the High Courtroom for the purpose of quashing the decision in the Minister and for an buy of mandamus directing the Minister to know and decide the application for the permit according to law. The High Courtroom made an order quashing the decision from the Minister and ordered the fact that Minister shall hear and determine in accordance to regulation the application to get the allow.

The appellant appealed. The court allowing for the appeal and placed that; ‘Section 12(2) of the Printing Pushes and Publications Act 1984 gives the Ressortchef (umgangssprachlich) of Home Affairs ‘absolute discretion to refuse a software for a certificate or permit’. So unless it can be clearly established which the Minister for Home Affairs acquired in any way worked out his discretion wrongfully, improperly, dishonestly or perhaps in bad faith, the High Court are unable to question the discretion with the Minister.  One of the significant cases during this time period was the circumstance of Irene Fernandez.

The reality were that in 1995, Tenaganita introduced a report telling beatings, intimate violence against detainees by prison pads, and limited food and water in Malaysia’s immigration detention camp. Irene Fernandez was caught and charged with destructive publication of false reports under the Producing Presses and Publications Act. Magistrate Juliana Mohamed discovered Irene guilt ridden and was sentence to one year imprison.

Current Scenario (2003-2006)

Between these periods of time, there is no any new law made to control the media. However , recently, Government has released the Media Authorities Bill (2006) which tries to amend, better some of the worst excess of the Printing Squeezes and Magazines Act in regards to the local mass media. On page four of the Invoice, it was explained: “An

Act to establish the Malaysian Press Council with regards to preserving, advertising and protecting the freedom from the Press, of maintaining and improving the ethical and professional journalistic standards of newspapers, press publications and news/press firms in Malaysia.  Nevertheless, there is fear in public that this piece of legal guidelines will create one more unnecessary public body with wide power to reduce press independence despite the apparent duty to maintain that proper. It might likewise act as a censorship panel, only coping with complaints resistant to the press organisations and journalists and not against denial of freedom of expression by other organizations such as ministers or organisations whose activities effectively curb the right of freedom of expression.

Besides, bear in mind that all of the laws governing the multimedia before this are still firmly in place as well as the main stream media also remain owned simply by interests indirectly tied to the primary component celebrations of the BN, especially UMNO and MCA.

Some happenings happened during this period of period, showing to us that despite of all of the changes of the head of the Govt, the mass media are not freer compared to the years before. The federal government shut down the Sarawak tribune for the editors manufactured a mistake of reprinting caricatures of Forecaster Muhammad subsequent Muslim protests of a Danish paper that first printed them.

An additional incident is that the Minister of Information, Datuk Zainuddin acquired sought the sacking of top NST editor by a meeting of UMNO’s info bureau because he was unsatisfied with the way the NST had played out up specific issues like the religious privileges of minorities and the government’s policy in bumiputras. twenty-four The government as well delays in reviewing the publishing grant of the Oriental Daily and censor specific news which the government were not comfortable with.

Moreover, the debate on Ninth Malaysia Prepare was given extensive publicity inside the media, nonetheless it was the official view and rationale intended for the Plan that enjoyed one-sided coverage. The best choice of the resistance who talked foe 6 hours within the Plan would not get virtually any substantive insurance coverage. 25 Another issue is that Tun Dr . Mahathir had called a press conference to express his profound disappointment following Datuk Seri Abdullah ignored the ‘crooked bridge’ project. However , the mainstream multimedia hardly protected it.


The liberty of the press has viewed become more restricted from the time prior to self-reliance until now. At the early working day, the British Colonial contains a freer multimedia compare to the media after independence. This might be because of the British regarded the individual liberty as up most important. When ever came to the first day following independence, the laws becoming designed were more limited. However , this is understandable because the situation during that time, where Malaysia was in an unexpected emergency. Unmindful speech might cause huge range to the region. Therefore , the federal government had to consider step to prevent this. In 1970-1985, there were more cases on flexibility of conversation, after the stand of the legal courts are crystal clear in these issues, there was lesser cases.

During the time frame via 1981 to 2002, various laws were designed and lots of existing laws were amended. Tun Dr . Mahathir attempted to justify this by saying that: ‘the truth is that there is not any absolute press freedom around the globe, be it within a liberal democratic country or perhaps in countries governed by simply dictators. 26 He additional claimed that journalists and foreigners examine a few newspaper publishers which support the government and immediately concluded that there is no press freedom in Malaysia. This was in conjunction with his view details that: “Malaysian newspapers are free. But this freedom does not always mean freedom to criticize the us government alone. Additionally, it means independence to support the us government. 27

Even more in Realisieren Dr . Mahathir speech on the national union of Press dinner in 15th 06 1990, this individual stated that: ‘According to the old English language proverb, power corrupt and absolute electric power tends to damaged absolutely. In the event there are restrictions on press freedom, especially pertaining to reviews on assault, sex and obscenity, then they are enforced because no one should be provided absolute electricity. This is to avoid the possibility of ‘absolute corruption’. This constraint absolutely no way suggests there is absolutely no press independence in Malaysia. Government market leaders in this nation have no overall power. The folks can change the federal government while the legal courts can reverse government decisions. Therefore , newspapers in Malaysia must recognize these constraints. This is done in the national interest but not aimed at wrecking press

freedom. It is true that freedom with the media must be limited but over limiting will only cause a shut society.

Looking at the current situation, many are thinking that the new federal government would promote media independence in view of the government transparency policy. However , you should bear in mind that since Datuk Seri Abdullah took over the government right up until today, it absolutely was only three years passed. It is unfair to guage him at this time. Whether or not there is certainly free media under Datuk Seri Abdullah, we shall hang on and see.

Comparing to our nearest neighbor, Singapore, media in Malaysia appreciate more independence. Singapore being a police point out, the press is mobilized to explain and support the policies with the Singapore authorities, as an aid to development rather than presuming a counter-checking posture.

In Chee Siok Chin case28, the Singapore court held that: “it bears emphasis that the phrase ‘necessary or expedient’ confers on Legislative house an extremely wide discretionary electricity and remit that permits a multifarious and multifaceted procedure towards obtaining any of the reasons specified in Art 14(2) of the metabolism. In contrast to the Indian Metabolism, there can be zero questioning of whether or not the Legislations are ‘reasonable’. The court’s sole process, when a constitutional challenge is advanced, should be to ascertain if an impugned law is at the purview of some of the permissible constraints. 

As for electronic multimedia, the press Corporation of Singapore, a great evolution from a series of government owned transmission Corporations, dominances the transmissions media. The PAP govt guards the broadcast turf with rigour, grudgingly allowing for foreigner broadcasters to operate pertaining to commercial and public relations factors but legislating them away local governmental policies.

Today, Malaysian society has a economic degree of existence which supplies for basic needs, overall health facilities, sufficient housing and equal opportunities to education. Therefore , there is no reason why freedom of speech and free press should be limited. Values of freedom of expression, contact with

critical thinking as well as the importance of a civil world should be focuses on. After 49 years of self-reliance, Malaysian should not only anxiety about earning a livelihood and basic standard of living issues. Society shall have got desire to acquire knowledge especially in social problems such as independence of conversation.


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33. Representatives Secrets (Amendment) Act 1983

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