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Legal And Policy Frameworks To Overcome Public Information Lock Up In Malaysia

Table 2:

Action Plan Legal Measures Policy Measures
To amend Article 10 of the Federal Constitution. To insert a provision that protects citizens’ right to seek, receive and impart information, essential to the exercise of their democratic right. N/A
To introduce Right to Information legislation which incorporates established and universal principles of right to information.To introduce a Policy on Access to Information To impose statutory duties on the Government arising from citizens’ right to information that include:mandatory publication scheme of public authority and government department, institution and organization;offences involving acts which deny right to information with the intention of preventing disclosure i.e. destroying, mutilating, altering, deface, blocking, erasing, concealing public record and information;Publication of dataset and information on the websites and in an electronic form which is publicly accessible and capable of re-use. To impose moral obligations on the Government arising from citizens’ right to information that include:An obligation to respect: the government must respect the rights of the citizens and refrain from violating these rights.An obligation to ensure: the government shall actively work to give direct and concrete substance to the rights of citizens.An obligation to promote: the government has an obligation to foster the realization of these rights, by means of long-term policy programs.An obligation to protect: the government must protect citizens against unlawful violations of their constitutional rights.
To amend s 124M and s 130A(i) of the Penal Code To introduce a Mandatory Reporting and Disclosure Policy - To exclude an act of obtaining and receiving sensitive information for the purpose of exercising citizens’ right to information, from the offence of espionage under s 124M of the Penal Code.- To redefine Sensitive Information under s 130A (i) by excluding any sensitive information listed under the Code which are not classified by the Government as Top Secret, Secret, Confidential or Restricted. To impose a mandatory reporting and disclosure policy on relevant Ministries and Government agencies pertaining to:- government budget, spending and expenditure;-government contracts and procurements;-government’s aid spending and contributions programs;- Payments made to government related for sales and commercial development of oil, gas and minerals.
To amend s 8(1) of the Printing, Presses and Publication Act 1984 To insert a provision that recognizes the exercise of citizens’ right to information as a lawful excuse to possess a prohibited publication under the Act. N/A
To amend s 8 of the Computer Crime Act 1997To introduce an Open Government Data Policy To insert a statutory exception for access to computer program, data or information for the purpose of exercising citizens’ right to information. To impose an obligation on the relevant Ministries and Government agencies to provide in their official websites/repositories open access to:public register of foreign companies dealing, purchasing property or bidding of government contracts;forward or future regulatory plans;updates of government institutions’ information and prescribed forms;ministries/government agencies’ performance index;legislations, standards and policies;right to information’s compliance data and statistic; data and information resources of business value;Publicly funded scientific research data and publication.
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