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Freedom of Information

To engage government for FOI requests and to enable easier public engagement and access to current requests.
Freedom of information (FOI) is not guaranteed in Malaysia either constitutionally or through any specific legislation. FOI legislation sets rules on access to information or records held by government bodies. In general, such laws define a legal process by which government information is required to be available to the public. Over 70 countries around the world including China, India and Thailand have implemented some form of such legislation, and other countries are working towards introducing such laws.

The Malaysian government has repeatedly rebuffed requests for FOI legislation from opposition Parliamentarians, civil society representatives and journalists' groupings and so on. Its chief argument is that access to information could "affect race relations" within the multi-ethnic population. The Official Secrets Act (OSA) and several other related laws limit access to any information deemed an official secret by the government. Those who make public such information risk criminal prosecution, and may be subject to stiff fines or even imprisonment.

However, Freedom of Information Enactment passed in Selangor in year 2011 and Penang in year 2014.

Current Initiatives

  • Make strategic test case requests
  • Map out administrative bodies and officers
  • Website to track and make public requests for information based on Alavateli open source platform
  • Strategic Litigation to challenge FOI denials

Contact us

Our team based in Malaysia. We love discussing project ideas and challenges. Drop us a line at 

Funding & Support

Grants by


ISIF Asia Logo

MySociety Logo

Support this project

Making monetary contributions for this project is easy. You can make a bank transfer or deposit to the following account:

BANK Malayan Banking Berhad 
ACCOUNT 512307614259

Please indicate in email to  that your donation is in support specifically for this project "Freedom of Information Malaysia"

Project Lead

Michael Leow

Michael Leow