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Freedom of Information In Penang Is A Mockery

over 2 years ago DenningMR



This article is for general informational purposes only and is not meant to be used or construed as legal advice in any manner whatsoever. All articles have been scrutinized by a practicing lawyer to ensure accuracy.

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BN MP Datuk Jahara Hamid has questioned the Freedom of Information (FOI) legislation that was enacted by the State Government. Datuk Jahara's gripe is that the enactment does not live up to its name.

“If you are serious with freedom of information, make sure you do what the literal meaning of the act says. Is this FOI or Akta Menyekat Maklumat (Block Information Act).” - Datuk Jahara Hamid

As part of the process to obtain information the applicant has to execute a statutory declaration that states, amongst others:

  • they would not reveal the contents of the document to anyone else
  • it is for personal use only

Pulau Betong assemblyman, Muhammad Farid Saad commented that the provisions are 'troubling'.

The whole notion of FOI is to ensure that there is transparency as to how a government conducts its affairs. The citizen is entitled to have information.

What is the use of information if it's only for the application's personal knowledge?

The move to introduce FOI legislation was hailed by many NGOs as a very bold move as Barisan National has failed to allow the free flow of information but in reality, the FOI legislation has no real bite to it.

In the past, AskLegal has covered issues that have arisen with the FOI legislation, introduced by the Pakatan Government in Penang and Selangor.

The icing on the cake looks great but the cake is still your cheap sponge cake.

Freedom of Information Enactment - 4 years down the road