Govt to table amendments to OSA next year

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Hanipa Maidin.

KUALA LUMPUR: Putrajaya is expected to table an amendment to the Official Secrets Act (OSA) 1972 next year, aimed at curbing leaks in government agencies, deputy law minister Hanipa Maidin said today.

He said the amendment will likely be tabled in 2020 once it is approved by the Cabinet.

“The government, through the Chief Government Security Office and several ministries as well as agencies, is reviewing the amendments needed to streamline the existing provisions to prevent information from being leaked, especially in this era of information communication technology and threats,” he said during the question-and-answer session in the Dewan Rakyat.

He was responding to Che Abdullah Mat Nawi (PAS-Tumpat), who asked if the government was going to amend the OSA as well as the Whistleblower Protection Act 2010 and Witness Protection Act 2009.

Hanipa also said the ruling coalition would not abuse the OSA, unlike the previous government.

He said the government would also table a new Freedom of Information Act to “offset the rigidity” of the OSA.

He said the government would emphasise the need for secrecy while at the same time ensuring transparency.

Earlier, Hanipa said the government was reviewing the Whistleblower Protection Act 2010 for improvements, especially in terms of transparency.

He said a committee had been set up to review the act, with a report expected by the end of the year.