Permission from CM Not Needed to Access State Government Information


SHAH ALAM, July 1: The people of Selangor can access information on all departments in the State Government without restriction from any party.

This was stated by the Exco for Tourism, Consumer Affairs and Environment, Elizabeth Wong in response to a supplementary question from Datuk Shamsuddin Lias (BN – Sungai Burung) who earlier claimed that to acquire some information, permission from the Chief Minister, Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim had to be received first.

Elizabeth explained that the Selangor Freedom of Information Enactment 2013 states that restrictions will only apply when the information is affected by the Official Secrets Act (OSA), which requires consent from the body involved.

“For the record, there is no need for permission from the Chief Minister, I would recommend for (the Assemblyman of) Sungai Burung and other Assemblymen to read the enactment. In it is listed that information may be obtained from whom and the methods used,” she said in the Selangor Legislative Assembly (DNS) session.

She added that the body of information is a independent and fair body whose members consist of experience people.

The Selangor Freedom of Information Enactment 2013 which came into force on 5 March 2013 by notification in the Selangor gazette, together with two subsidiary laws in the rules of freedom of information (access).

A total of 41 officers from various State Departments and statutory bodies have been appointed as information officers.

They were given exposure and training on these tasks through two series of training in December 2012 and March 2013.

Elaborating, Elizabeth informed that various programmes will be conducted to encourage the public to use the enactment, including distributing posters to all departments to promote it and to open exhibition booths at State Government events.

The enactment is only applies to the Selangor State Government and departments under it. Departments under the Federal Government, despite being located or carries out its duties in Selangor are not included in this enactment. Information under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) are also not included.

The laws on freedom of information have set the rules in the acquisition of information held by government bodies. This law explains the legal process which is require for government information to be open to the public.

The aim is to promote transparency and tackle corruption.

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