Malaysian Personal Data Protection Act 2010: Does It Apply to Government Agencies?


Section 3(1) of Personal Data Protection Act 2010[1] (“the Act”) provides that “This Act shall not apply to the Federal Government and State Government”. So, what do Federal Government and State Government mean in this context? Section 3 of Interpretation Acts 1948 and 1967[2] (“IA 1948 and 1967”) then defines the Federal Government as the Government of Malaysia and State Government as Government of a State. The question here is whether the definition in section 3 is broad enough to cover government agencies.

To date, there are no cases that interpret the meaning of Federal Government or State Government in the context of the Act and this makes the definitions too general and broad. Therefore, since there are no clear limitations or restrictions by any statutes and case laws to the definitions provided in the above, it can be argued that the definition of Federal Government may also include the government agencies since these agencies are invariably part of the government.

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