Penang’s FOI joke


All kinds of hurdles are placed in the way of releasing information under the Freedom of Information Enactment in Penang.

First, you have to apply. Fair enough.

Then you have to pay a fee. Not a small one either.

Then’s there’s a declaration form:

– the documents obtained under the FOI Enactment cannot be reproduced. (Say what?)

– the documents cannot be used in press conferences. “(This) is an offence as well.” (Huh?)

– the documents are only for the applicant’s own consumption.

– and the applicant has to state the purpose of obtaining the info? (Oh, puh-lease!)

If the documents are not meant for public consumption, what is the point of the FOI Enactment? The whole reason for FOI legislation is to allow access to information to protect the public interest. This access to info and contracts etc is especially crucial given the controversial mega projects in the pipeline in Penang.

But here, we are told that the documents obtained are only for private consumption. What a joke!

Wait, the joke’s not over. Here is the punch-line:

“The reason we do not allow documents of the State Government being reproduced, orally or written, is we do not want people to be confused…. People might misinterpret the documents,” said the state secretary.

Oh, I see, we are so easily confused and might misinterpret stuff…

I have a better idea. Just repeal the FOI Enactment and do away with this charade and all the nonsensical statements to justify the obstacles and limitations.

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FOI in CAT governed Penang? My foot!
Can korek others sky-high, but when it comes to state info (political or development) will act like Kia Su (learnt from SingLand???) Kia Si.
The more you try to hide, the more we will suspect.
Anyway, we didn’t vote for a Kia Su Kia Si state gomen!

David Loman

For the past year, the Malaysian government has said a company called Good Star Ltd, which received US$1.03 billion from the scandal-hit 1MDB investment fund, was owned by the fund’s joint venture partner, PetroSaudi International Ltd. Now, an official with knowledge of a regulatory investigation, has confirmed what Malaysia’s central bank has recently asserted: Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho was the sole owner of Good Star during its five years as a company. “What I can say for sure is that Jho Low is the exclusive beneficial owner of Good Star,” the official said. According to a registration document seen… Read more »


anil are you a crony of tokong? penang gomen follows dr m’s style and dr m choses crony otherwise how to be member of ptc? also they say penang is cat. my foot! so is ptc not a cat? why the same person congratulate you. brutus?


Well, many Penangites thought the DAP govt will usher in the Golden Age of prosperity and good governance. They assumed that the word democratic in DAP meant democracy as practiced in the First World countries. However the reality is different. The promise of people-centric govt turned to Mahatir-style strongman regime. The good-intentioned Open Tender system was (allegedly) abused to award projects to ill-qualified companies and fund unwanted, wasteful mega projects. FOI Act is being used to suppress information. Public consultation meetings have been converted to sessions where leaders pressure NGOs and public to support govt mega projects. Not only that… Read more »


The same with the Penang Local Plan in perpetual hiding or missing.
How long does one need to translate a plan into Bahasa?
My hunch is: until the last inch of Penang Island is covered in cement, the the Pg Local Plan will emerge from the Indian Ocean together with MH370.


If you are willing o pay RM 500.00 for some info, it must be quite important. Who would want to pay RM 500.00 for info unless you have a very good reason be it good or evil. I think if we compare this to OSA etc etc. this is better. But allowing public to comment and/or complain is a very good step. Remember, not all reading your articles are ordinary good citizens. We have very clever professionals out there reading your articles also with all kinds of motives. As Government, especially one which is not with BN, you must appreciate… Read more »


foi at least one can get info. osa not only one unable to get info , you also get charge and go to jail. of course like sg besar and kk voters they loves osa and critise foi


u deposit into ur OWN account is to under AML. no politics involvement


Maklumat dokumen bwh FOI hanya utk pemohon, bukan pihak ke-3 – Farizan Darus


This is targeting at GERAKAN lah. Simply shoot off the waist and we all landed with FOI. If GERAKAN wants it, then apply, pay and use it privately. If found something amiss, get lawyer and talk to Pg GOV face to face. They are not allowed to call press conference and confused the people and leaft the scene after their objectives achieved. PERIOD.

Wan zaharizan bin wan zan

Why everything must be gerakan? If um no bogeyman is dap then is dap bogeyman gerakan lol! Stupid remark for or no foi,easy don’t hoodwink the rakyat pls


Because IT IS directed to GERAKAN ?


too many pasar mlm traders. soon the foi will be selling like dvd in pasar mlm

David Loman

Welcome back Gerakan in the next GE.


they promise to build telor anson university. penang under gelakan will have more unis, more people, more housing, more conc jungle, more cars and more traffic jams. they will sell more cheap land under tua koh.

Moshe Gibran

Dang!! Havent heard fm u for awhile bro’ …


more he dang hide more will dig. we love osa than foi

David BC Tan

That’s why no govt must be above scrutiny. Especially the one we vote into power.


why not telling sg besar, kk and all voters. even analysts do not consider this issue. more inportant can he sing tamil songs and distribute rice no rice no say.


Take away all the worshipping of this Deity or Tokong & ‘it’ will be an Emperor with no clothes!!!


this deity is certainly worse than one in telor anson promises uni in sinking water tower and free wifi. but voters are already without clothes keep voting the deity in telor anson with false promises or deity charm with tamil song and a rice of bag

Lee George

BN or PH what is the difference between them?


one is under osa and the other foi. why bank needs your ic just to bank your money into your account? worse than foi?


no need ic to bank in money into your own account. what a stupid comment


you are real stupid. you never go to bsn


BN cash $ in the closet, DAP cat skeletons in the closet?


It is our democratic right to choose who rips us off.r


learn from smart voters from s. besar and kk. who cares about local plans or whatever plans. important is 5kg rice and he can sing tamil song