Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the Ninth Meeting of the Special Cabinet Committee on Anti-Corruption, which he chaired, had agreed in principle that sufficient time must be given to the process of drafting the law.NSTP/Luqman Hakim Zubir

PUTRAJAYA: The government will draw up a Freedom of Information Act to replace the Official Secrets Act 1972.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the Ninth Meeting of the Special Cabinet Committee on Anti-Corruption, which he chaired, had agreed in principle that sufficient time must be given to the process of drafting the law.

“The drafting process must focus on public engagement and sufficient outreach programmes must be held with the people,” he told reporters after the meeting.

Pakatan Harapan’s 14th General Election manifesto had pledged to introduce the Freedom of Information Act and review the OSA, along with the Whistleblower Protection Act 2010 and the Witness Protection Act 2009.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Liew Vui Keong was previously reported as saying that the government would study the OSA as well as the Freedom of Information Act for improvements before tabling in Parliament.

The cabinet committee today also discussed the recommendations on the scope of the Government Procurement Act which will be drafted by the Finance Ministry.

“The bill is expected to be tabled in Parliament, mid-2020,” said Dr Mahathir.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng had previously said that the government’s reform initiatives included introducing the Fiscal Responsibility Act and the Government Procurement Act to further enhance the credibility and accountability of public finance.