National Stakeholders Consultation on the Right to Information Legislation

 

On 27 November 2019, C4 Center attended the National Stakeholders Consultation on the Right to Information Legislation, organised by the Centre for Independent Journalism ( Cij M'sia ) and the Coalition of CSOs on Freedom of Expression (FoE) in collaboration with the Legal Affairs Division of the Prime Minister's Department (BHEUU).

We managed to present our brand new report on freedom of information to Minister Liew Vui Keong. He assured us that the FOI bill will be tabled in Parliament next year.

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Cynthia Gabriel also spoke on the panel on Charting the Opportunities and Potential Barriers/Challenges in Uploading the Right to Information in Malaysia.

 

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Cynthia with the late Law Minister Datuk Liew Vui Keong after the report launch. 

 

Cynthia with author Ho Yi Jian.

 

In order to make informed choices, citizens must have a right to information in order to access documents which the government collects and holds. The right to information opens up opportunities for citizens to scrutinise government decisions and spending that directly or indirectly affect them.

C4 Center has long advocated for a Federal Freedom of Information (FoI) Law, especially under the oppressive conditions of the Official Secrets Act, which, either by design or implementation, was anathema to the spirit of freedom of information. This report clearly spells out best practices necessary to prevent such loopholes from denying citizens their right to information.

We are advocating for a transparent administration that publishes its reports in a timely manner and for an FOI law that gives any citizen the right and the ability to access any information on public spending and activities.

We work towards embedding the culture of transparency and accountability in government, establishing a Federal FOI Law, increasing the proactive publication of data, strengthening whistle-blower protection rights, and aiding communities in using their right to access public information.

This empowers even ordinary citizens to hold their elected representatives accountable through scrutiny, from the local municipality all the way to the Executive, allowing for meaningful feedback on the grassroot level that strengthens democracy.

C4 is a member of the Freedom or Expression (FoE) Cluster, a coalition of CSOs working with the government to among others draft a new FoI Law which is scheduled to be tabled in 2020. We work towards embedding the culture of transparency and accountability in government, establishing a Federal FOI Law, increasing the proactive publication of data, strengthening whistle-blower protection, and aiding communities in using their right to access public information.

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.. " - Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). #MYRightToKnow

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The Right to Information Report can be read and downloaded here.