July 4, 2010
Selangor’s Freedom of Information Enactment
It’s taken a while, but the Selangor Freedom of Information Enactment will finally be tabled for its first reading at the upcoming State Legislative Assembly sitting! It will be interesting to see how the Federal Government reacts to this, although they should not be too concerned since only state-related documents will be of relevance here.
BFM Radio interviewed me earlier in the week (it was aired on Monday 7.30am, which I unfortunately missed). The podcast is available here. I spoke about our plans to table the enactment, as well as what the draft roughly contains.
One of the issues was whether or not the Official Secrets Act would interfere with our enactment. The answer (broadly speaking, since there are many technical details that one could write on) is no: Only state-agencies’ information will be made transparently available to the public. Federal agencies’ documents, classified by the Federal Government, are not relevant in this case. However, the Selangor Menteri Besar has the authority under Section 2A of the OSA to declassify certain documents, the power of which he has already exercised numerous times over the past two years (on issues like Bukit Botak etc.).
This is not the final draft yet and there will be several stages to go, like a Select Committee to be formed, public opinion gathered based on the existing document, and then second reading after taking those recommendations and suggestions into account.