Information and Communications Technologies and Policy Development for E-Democracy in Malaysia

Information and Communications Technologies and Policy Development for E-Democracy in Malaysia

Bakar Abdul Gapar Abu (Monash University, Australia) and Graeme Johanson (Monash University, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-100-3.ch705

Abstract

This chapter discusses the prospect of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) enhancing Malaysia’s policy development processes through citizen engagement to enhance the development and implementation of electronic democracy (e-democracy). The Malaysian government promotes a diverse range of ICT initiatives which this chapter seeks to examine through a series of key questions: What are the initiatives and their objectives? How do these initiatives provide opportunities for civic education and citizen empowerment? Has the government through its public administrators actually started to engage citizens in policy development processes online? Are citizens ready to take part in these online initiatives? What sort of contribution can citizens provide to government online? In order to answer these questions, this chapter discusses the role of ICT planning, strategies, and initiatives to improve democratic practices. The chapter discusses four factors influencing the thinking of the Malaysian public service toward local conceptualization and implementation of e-democracy for better policy development. The answers are based on publications in the public domain and preliminary interviews with a handful of key informants.

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