PETALING JAYA: A proposal has been made today for all local councils in the state to form a separate Right to Information section where all state documents will be accessible to the public.
This proposal came about after a meeting between the Klang local council (MPK) and two NGOs – human rights center Komas and Dignity International which is based in Netherlands.
The proposal is line with the Selangor Freedom of Information Enactment 2010, which allows public access to state documents, in a move to curb corruption and increase better governance.
“Information is power and with the various layers of government and the paperwork, the people have the right to know what are the projects that the government is undertaking,” said Tsu Choong, a participant at the three-hour meeting.
Klang councillor V Raju supported the proposal, saying that Right to Information offices are a must to achieve transparency in governance.
“I believe that every taxpayer should have the right to know every process and decision-making made by the government,” he said.
He said without such offices, the issue of Human Rights could not be pursued properly.
India is a good example of how the Right to Information Act has worked, in that the number of cases of corruption has dropped and there are more stringent levels of enforcement from the authorities.
Klang MP Charles Santiago, cited India specifically when stating that such a proposal could only bring tremendous benefit to both the country and the public.
“To deepen democracy, these offices are the link, be it at the state or national levels, between a transparent government and the curious public,” he said.
He also mentioned that all parties should push to be sincere in making this proposal a success as it gives a chance to the public to govern their own country.