Published: Tuesday March 13, 2012 MYT 3:22:00 PM
Dr Rais: No plans for Freedom of Information Act
KUALA LUMPUR: The Information, Communications and Culture Ministry has no plans to formulate a Freedom of Information Act because this is already provided for in the Constitution.
Its minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said matters like freedom of speech, basic freedoms, Whistleblower Protection Act 2010, audit reports, Information Act 1950, were provided for in the Constitution.
"As such, my ministry is only focusing on information dissemination using the new media like the Internet as a platfrom to channel and share information with the people by raising the capability of the communications network rather than introducing a new act," he said during question time in the Dewan Rakyat.
Rais said this in reply to a question from Khairy Jamaluddin (BN-Rembau) who had wanted to know if the government had plans to introduce such an act to encourage provision of information from public and private sector bodies.
To another question from Khairy on abolishing the Official Secrets Act 1972, Rais said the government saw the act as necessary for national interest.
"The Official Secrets Act does not come under my ministry but under the Home Ministry. However, in this context, it should be made clear that every government has the right to classify certain matters which can jeopardise national security as confidential," he said. To a supplementary question from Saifuddin Nasution (PKR-Machang) whether the government planned to make it easier for the people to get access to credible information on official secrets, Rais said the matter had to be studied in detail.
"In determining whether certain information or data should or should not be be made public, objectivity would be the main yardstick and the ministry sees this from the aspects of universality and demands for official secrecy," he said. BERNAMA