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.

The Legal Affairs Division (Bahagian Hal Ehwal Undang-undang – BHEUU) under the Prime Minister’s Department has set up a Steering Committee and a Technical Committee aimed at reviewing the current legislations in relations to the Freedom of Information and subsequently studying the feasibility of drafting a Federal level Freedom of Information Act. The Committees will conduct sufficient stakeholders consultation and engagement to ensure that the views of all parties are heard. The civil society on the other hand initiated a National Campaign for a Freedom of Information Act in 2006 and has since drafted a model Right to Information Bill, which has undergone extensive consultations.

Implementing Partners

Centre for Independent Journalism

Centre for Independent Journalism of Malaysia (CIJ) is a non-profit organization that aspires for a society that is democratic, just and free where all peoples will enjoy free media and the freedom to express, seek and impart information. They are currently leading civil society efforts in partnership with the Legal Affairs Department in drafting a Freedom of Information Act for Malaysia.

Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism

C4 upholds important principles of good governance. The Centre is independent, non partisan and a non profit entity.  They are currently supporting CIJ’s efforts for the drafting and tabling of a Freedom of Information Act. In partnership with Sinar Project, C4 ran a Right2Know campaign to raise awareness on the Right to Know and FOI Acts and implementation by Selangor and Penang State governments.

Focal Points

Focal Point



Wathshlah Naidu

Executive Director


Centre for Independent Journalism, Malaysia

[email protected]

Cynthia Gabriel

Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism

[email protected]




  1. Right to Know Malaysia
  2. Keynote Address by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department on the Right to Information Legislation