De facto Law Minister Nancy Shukri gave her assurance today that the insertion of the controversial Section 203A into the Penal Code that Parliament passed yesterday is not meant to curb graft exposes.

The new clause bars government officers from revealing any information, obtained in the course of their duties, to the public, and was opposed by Pakatan Rakyat lawmakers.

NONENancy admitted to reporters at the Parliament lobby today that the provision was too general and that she would seek further revisions through the Attorney-General’s Chambers to make it more specific.

"It is not about (exposing) corruption. Its more to do with officers who reveal information of, say, an impending drug raid," she said.

However, she said she "needs time" to come up with changes.

"I want it to be more specific this time. I will try my best to get it amended. It needs to be more specific about serious crimes. What's missing in there (the law) is the (word) serious crime," Nancy said.

However, she said she has yet to inform the AG of the need for revision.

Asked why the Bill could not be be retracted, given that she had admitted to imperfections in it, Nancy said it was not "that easy".

"It's a procedural matter ... It will be good for them (opposition) if we withdraw but not for us. It is not a matter of image alone, it will also affect damaged parties (victims)," she added.

Contravenes spirit of whistleblower protection law

Section 203A reads: ‘Whoever discloses any information or matter which has been obtained by him in the performance of his duties or the exercise of his functions under any written law shall be punished with a fine of not more than one million ringgit, or with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with both.’

Critics have claimed that it contravenes the spirit of the Whistleblower Protection Act 2010 and that the Official Secrets Act 1972 and the Banking and Financial Institution Acts 1989 are sufficient to protect government secrets.

Should the federal government commit to amending Section 203A, the Bill has to be stopped from proceeding to the Dewan Negara and a motion has to be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat to withdraw it.

Meanwhile, Nancy said the government's proposed National Harmony Act has been in discussion at the attorny-general’s level since before the general election but drafting a law "takes time".

"When you rush (a Bill), you will have missing links," she added.