BN opposition attacks Selangor’s Information bill
SHAH ALAM, July 14 — Selangor’s opposition Barisan Nasional (BN) assemblymen lashed out today at the state for its move to table a Freedom of Information bill.
The opposition called the bill a waste of time and argued that it was against the Federal Constitution.
“The state government has no authority to pass this law because it’s contrary to the Official Secrets Act (OSA),” said Sulaiman Abdul Razak.
The Umno Permatang assemblyman added that the OSA also had a provision for a mentri besar or chief minister to declassify documents.
“So they are wasting time,” he said.
Meanwhile, another Umno representative, Ismail Sani, described the move as a “political gimmick”.
“There is no need for it,” said the Dusun Tua assemblyman.
The Freedom of Information (Selangor) Bill 2010 sets rules on access to information or records held by state government agencies.
Selangor is the first state to table such a bill.
“Selangor will not wait for the federal government to take action,” said state executive councillor Elizabeth Wong.
Wong pointed out that the greater transparency from the proposed law comes with greater accountability.
“Corruption will go down and the responsibility will increase in every decision-making process,” she said.
She added that such a law would instil more confidence in the state government.
“The truth is, the government is given the task to govern and not ‘dominate’ and do as they wish (without accountability),” she said.
She added that with the new enactment, Selangor will head to a new and different era.
Separately, DAP’s Hannah Yeoh said government projects involved the spending of taxpayers’ monies, and therefore, such information should not be classified.