KUALA LUMPUR: The government and those who wield power must be held accountable for their actions and decisions, said Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim.
He said the administration must be transparent and that is imperative from the principle of “open government”.
“Hence, shady dealings and dodgy decisions cannot be used to pull wool over the people’s eyes in the name of the Official Secrets Act,” he said in his address at the 2023 Asean Law Association General Assembly and Asean Law Conference here today.
He said the rule of law warrants that government power must be used in accordance with the law.
Then there is the doctrine that laws must be fair and just and that all must have accessibility to the hallowed halls of justice, he said.
Last month, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) announced that the government has agreed in principle to enact a Freedom of Information Act.
The PMO said the Act will involve clear parameters and guidelines to grant the public access to obtain information from the government and other public agencies or companies.
“In line with this decision, the Official Secrets Act (OSA) will also be amended accordingly,” it said.
Anwar’s administration has declassified several vital reports since it took over Putrajaya, including the report into the 1976 plane crash, known as the “Double Six tragedy”, that claimed the lives of then Sabah chief minister Fuad Stephens and 10 others.
Yesterday, the government also declassified the forensics report into the Batang Kali landslide, which occurred in December last year and claimed the lives of 31 people, including 13 children, and injured 61 others.
The declassification of both reports, however, has left the families of victims of both tragedies dissatisfied with the lack of answers and accountability.
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