No time frame for classified govt documents to be made public, Dewan told

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 17 Nov 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: There is no time frame in which classified government documents can be automatically made public, says Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.

"There is no specified time frame whereby a confidential document can be reclassified or made public if it remains a rated document," she said when answering a question by Tan Kok Wai (PH-Cheras) in Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday (Nov 17).

The Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister noted that confidential documents such as those produced by the National Operations Council (Mageran) are kept by the National Archives.

"The ownership and record details of the documents remains under the jurisdiction of the National Security Council and police.

"The National Archives has no power to open the record to the public, and are only allowed to open official public files deemed accessible for public reference," she added.

Tan wanted to know the status of documents stored at the National Archives, and what are the criteria for them to be made public.

Tan said that Mageran records on the May 13,1969, including Cabinet minutes on the 1985 incident in Memali, Kedah, were over 25 years old and were of historical significance.

He said such documents were of historical significance, and if made public, could help researchers find ways to avoid these incidences in the future.

Nancy said that documents could be considered as classified records if they relate to national security and sovereignty, sensitive national issues, involving personal details of individuals or remains as a rated document by the relevant agencies.

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