Freedom of Information Enactment

Freedom of information is freedom of a person or people to publish and consume information.

Malaysia, as a Member State of the United Nations and ASEAN, has the obligation to ensure practical applicability of the RTI and further establish credible mechanisms through an RTI legislation. A legislation setting out the practical regime, implementation and enforcement mechanism to enable the public to secure information under control of public authorities shall promote transparency and accountability.

Development in Right to Information Act in Malaysia

In this regard, Malaysia has seen significant development in relation to RTI in the recent years. Benchmarks towards the protection and realisation of the RTI are already initiated through the Selangor and Penang Freedom of Information (FOI) Enactments which respectively seek to recognise and uphold the fundamental right to information, even if it is within the limited boundaries of each state. However, at present these state-level enactments are expected to be in line with the federal-level Official Secrets Act 1972 (OSA) which takes precedence as they do not have the requisite powers to override the restrictions imposed by the OSA.