GEORGE TOWN: Documents obtained via Penang’s Freedom of Information Enactment cannot be reproduced and are for one’s own consumption only, State Secretary Farizan Darus said.
He said for this reason, sworn statements were required upon receipt of the documents applied.
“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,” Farizan said at a press conference in Komtar 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.
“Loo has not signed his sworn statements, and hence, we cannot go ahead and process his application for the documents,” Lim said.
Penang’s Freedom of Information rules ‘open to changes’