April 8, 2010


By Abu Bakar Munir

The long wait is over. On Monday 5 April 2010, the Dewan Rakyat at about 7.30 p.m, after quite an exciting and interesting debate, passed the Malaysian Personal Data Protection Bill. It was a special privilege to be able to assist the Minister in responding to the questions from the Members of Parliament (MPs). All of them, from BN and opposition parties, acknowledged and supported the Bill. They differ, however, in term of what should be in it. It is a special thrill to see the passage of this crucial law.

The first in ASEAN, the law provides rules and regulations as to how data users should manage and process personal data of their workers, customers, suppliers, etc. The law also gives certain rights to the data subjects. Some new criminal offences have been created in relation to processing of personal data.

For the existing data users, they are required to comply with the law within three months from the date of coming into operation of the Act. Companies and organizations are required to be registered as data users to enable them to process personal data.

Data subjects, under the law, among others, would have the right to prevent processing likely to cause damage or distress. More importantly, the law empowers data subjects the right to prevent processing of personal data for purposes of direct marketing.

Data protection is not rocket science. It is about respect and common sense. Good data protection is good business.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Prof for that information. Personal data protection is very crucial and I was vexed at the delay it took to get through the readings. I was assured that it would become an Act of Parliament this year and looks like it is...finally.