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Dr M: Gov't needs more time to implement Freedom of Information Act


KUALA LUMPUR: The government needs more time before a Freedom of Information (FIA) Act can be implemented, says Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The Prime Minister said that a comprehensive and holistic study is needed to ensure the FIA meets the standard set by similar laws at the state level.

"Beside enacting the FIA, there needs to be a scrutiny of the Official Secrets Act and other related laws.

"It should be noted that the government is currently active in scrutinising the matter and needs a bit more time," he said in a written reply to a question raised by Lim Lip Eng (PH-Kepong) in Parliament on Tuesday (Oct 16).

He said discussions are being held with the Communications and Multimedia Ministry, Attorney General's Chambers and National Security Council and non-government organisations to gather feedback on the matter.

At present, Dr Mahathir said that only Penang and Selangor had passed enactments in 2010 and 2011 on freedom of information.

Moves to enact the FIA is in line with Pakatan Harapan's election manifesto which also includes reviewing laws such as the Whistleblower Protection Act 2010, the Official Secrets Act 1972 and the Witness Protection Act 2009.

On Aug 16, the Pakatan-led government repealed the Anti-Fake News Act in the Dewan Rakyat.

However, the Bill was rejected by the Dewan Negara on Sept 12, resulting in a one-year delay before the law is finally abolished.

   

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