Assignment on Law in Communication - Malaysia
According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco), Freedom of Information (FOI) is the right to access information held by public bodies and an essential part of the fundamental liberty of free speech and expression. The right to freedom of information has been recognised by Resolution 59 of the UN General Assembly adopted in 1946, as well as by Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948).
Under Article 10(1)(a) of the Malaysian Federal Constitution, freedom of speech and expression is a fundamental liberty. However, the right to freedom of information has not be explicitly recognised in Malaysia. Only the states of Selangor and Penang have enacted legislation on Freedom of Information. Furthermore, the Official Secrets Act enables government officers and authorities to prevent the release of information that is deemed to be private and confidential.
Discuss if the Official Secrets Act is justified or whether it should be repealed. Also discuss if the state legislations on Freedom of Information in Selangor and Penang have been effective, and whether the government should enact a Freedom of Information Act at federal level.
Your paper should cover the following areas:
1.1 Overview of the universal concept freedom of information and its relationship to freedom of speech and expression.
1.2 Overview of the freedom of speech and information in Malaysia
1.3 Overview of the legislation relating to freedom of speech and information, as well as its restrictions.
Body of Paper
2.0 Review the Official Secrets Act, including aims and scope.
Identify two (2) cases in Malaysia whereby action was taken under the Official secret Act.
Discuss whether the actions of the authorities can be justified or valid. In your discussion, you may support or critique the cases/examples.
(for 2.1 and 2.2)
2.1 Case study 1
2.2 Case study 2
2.3 review the Freedom of Information Act in Selangor, Discuss whether the state legislation has been effective and whether similar laws should be enacted at federal level.
2.4 review the Freedom of Information Act in Penang. Discuss whether the state legislation has been effective and whether similar laws should be enacted at federal level.