Thursday, April 16, 2009

Assemblymen echo need for greater transparency

PAKATAN Rakyat assemblymen, when asked on their stand on the use of the OSA, focused on the need for caution in the handling of government documents.

“While I support greater transparency and the state itself has initiated discussions with several NGOs under the Coalition for Good Governance to look at a Freedom of Information enactment (FOI), the existing regulations are still in effect,” said Seri Setia assemblyman Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad.

“MBPJ’s public hearing meetings have been done in the open where the press can report on the different interests at play.

“However, certain sub-committee meetings might need to be closed-door due the nature of their discussions. I think a balance between being transparent and having an efficient decision-making process must be struck,” said Nik Nazmi.

Kampung Tunku assemblyman Lau Weng San echoed Nik Nazmi’s concerns and said that the minutes should be made available to the public to promote more transparency but cautioned that until the documents were declassified, there would be legal implications involved in presenting the documents publicly, which was the case with the leaked MBPJ meeting minutes.

Kota Damansara assemblyman Dr Nasir Hashim differed in his view and said that the meetings should be made available to the public and where necessary, decisions must be open to review.

“Meetings tend to be secretive or not transparent when there are possible hidden agendas or the fear of being unnecessarily sued or accused for being insensitive.

“It is the ongoing hope that those involved, be it the council members, people’s representatives or the public have understood the rules of the game so that they will always be responsible enough to make their own decisions.

“We should push for transparency and I strongly believe that the public is mature enough to participate and judge us. Such a move will certainly build confidence and empower the people,” said Nasir.

No comments: