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Giat calls on Putrajaya to expedite FOI laws

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Pakatan Harapan has been urged to fulfil its promise to enact freedom of information policies to ensure good governance.

The Governance, Integrity, Accountability and Transparency (Giat) coalition said it was willing to collaborate with the government on the implementing of such principles.

"A clear legal and policy framework should be established to better facilitate dissemination of information.

"This move is key to ensuring accountability and transparency in the administration of the country," the coalition said in a statement today.

As a first step, Giat said Putrajaya should publicise contracts of "mega-projects" that are currently being reviewed.

This would enable members of the public and civil society to play a check-and-balance role.

Harapan had promised to enact a Freedom of Information Act and to allocate a budget to implement the new law.

Giat also urged Harapan to include an independent enforcement mechanism in legislation to regulate political financing.

"(Only with) an independent enforcement mechanism can political financing be transparently and effectively regulated," the coalition said.

It also urged Harapan to reinstitute local government elections, although item 25 of Harapan's election pledges did not promise so.

The coalition said that the current practice of political appointments to the local government councils does not guarantee accountability to ratepayers.

Harapan's manifesto had only pledged to "strengthening local democracy" by ensuring more accountability and an amendment of the Local Government Act 1976.

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