Penang Govt: FOI Documents Only For Own Use

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GEORGE TOWN, Jun 17 – Penang State Secretary Dato’ Seri Farizan Darus today said the documents obtained via Penang’s Freedom of Information Enactment (FOI) are only provided to the applicant and not disclosed to third parties even though in orally or written. 

He said the reason they do not allow documents of the State Government being reproduced, orally or written, is they do not want people to be confused. He said people might misinterpret the documents. He told this in a press conference in Komtar here today.

Asked what if documents obtained through the FOI were to be used by politicians when they gave a press conference, he said: “It is an offence as well.” Earlier, Farizan and State Executive Councillor Lim Hock Seng revealed the standard “Declaration Form” given to applicants of the FOI.

Besides personal particulars, the form requires applicants to state the purpose of the application, and that he or she would not commercialise the document by sale, reproduction, loan or making copies for any parties. Also, they must promise not to amend or edit the documents in any way.

Under the FOI Enactment, after a sworn statement is signed, it will be the state’s prerogative to release the documents. Lim said state Gerakan acting youth chief Jason Loo had paid a RM500 non-refundable fee to obtain four documents pertaining to the RM6.3 billion undersea tunnel and three paired-roads projects. He said Loo has yet to sign his sworn statement, so they can’t proceed his application for the four documents.

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