The FOI empowers ordinary citizens by allowing them to obtain information from govt as long as national security is not compromised.
Most developed countries have the FOI to ensure that there is competency, transparency, and accountability in govt. Without FOI, govts can release selective and misleading information that lead ordinary citizens to wrong conclusions. Secrecy is often associated with dictatorships and totalitarian govts whose main interest is to control the populace for its own benefit rather than the benefit of ordinary citizens.
In Singapore, instead of FOI, we have the draconian OSA (Official Secrets Act)[Link] which limits the communication of information.
A transparent and open govt has nothing to hide and should be willing to adopt legislation that allows citizens to request for information.