GEORGE TOWN, Jun 17 – Documents pertaining to Penang’s infrastructure projects can only be disclosed through the state Freedom of Information Enactment (FOI), if authorities want to access documents on the development of three pairs road projects and the Undersea tunnels project which was signed between the State and Concortium Zenith BUCG Sdn. Bhd. (CZBUCG).
State Public Works Committee Chairman Lim Hock Seng said claims by state Gerakan acting Youth chief Jason Loo that federal ministers like Rahman could cut through the FOI formalities were not true. He said this FOI also applies to federal minister, who is also Minister of Housing and Local Government Minister, Abdul Rahman Dahlan and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Datuk Mah Siew Keong, if they want to access the official documents.
“Loo said we gave special treatment to Umno ministers which State does not charge any fee and sign a Declaration Form to the Minister Umno ‘who want to see the documents under FOI authorities. Let me tell you, even if Gerakan President Mah Siew Keong comes, we will give him the same treatment. As for Rahman, yes, I invited him to come to my office and he wanted to view the documents. He also needed to apply (go through the FOI),” Hock Seng told a press conference at Komtar today.
Loo had told reporters yesterday that the Penang state government had ‘kowtowed’ to the federal government and its ministers, but ignored grassroots leaders like him. He said Hock Seng was “nice enough” to invite Rahman to his office to peruse the documents related to the undersea tunnel project.
Loo asked Hock Seng if there was double standards in play, especially when Rahman was invited to his office to view the documents for free, while he (Loo) had to pay RM500 to get the FOI documents related to the matter. Meanwhile, Hock Seng said Jason Loo should need to understand the true facts about the project as the State Government had held a press conference four times to answer every accusation of Rahman.
“Loo repeatedly to find the reason, for example want to debate with me and I have already said that I would not treat him, but he still continue to rent hall and invite reporters. Without inform me he is coming, while ‘trying hard’ to come to Komtar on June 16, 2016, supposedly want meet me. This is his motive, just wanted to get ‘cheap publicity’ to stand himself. Everyone knows he is doing this to gain political mileage, so that he will be picked as a candidate in the next general election,” he said.