KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 3 2018 : The country needs the Freedom of Information Act to ensure that the information disseminated to the public are from credible and valid sources, the Dewan Negara was told today.
Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mohamed Hanipa Maidin said with the existence of the act, the public could obtain official information instead of inaccurate news.
“Presently, there may be accurate information but obtained in a way that is not valid, which is not good as they take official information and then disclose it.
“This the culture that we want to avoid,” he said this in his reply to a supplementary question from Senator Mohd Yusmadi Mohd Yusoff who wanted to know the government’s approach to ensure the formulating of the Freedom of Information Act that could be enjoyed by the people.
To the original question from Senator Chandra Mohan S. Thambirajah on the latest development on the proposal to introduce the act as well as to carry out reviews on other Acts such as the Official Secrets Act 1971, the Whistleblower Protection Act 2010 and the Witness Protection Act, Mohamed Hanipa said the Cabinet on July 11 had agreed for the Bill to be enacted at the federal level.
He said, thus far, the benchmarking review had been carried out by using two relevant enactments, namely, the Penang Freedom of Information Enactment 2010 and the Freedom of Information (State of Selangor) Enactment 2011 as references.
Mohamed Hanipa said engagement sessions with the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia, as well as with the Attorney-General’s Chambers and the National Security Council had also been carried out to obtain appropriate views on the matter. – Bernama