Penang Freedom of Information (FOI) 2010 enactment is for show only and is mostly useless to expose any wrong-doing in the Penang govt. It also excludes the documents that matters most - the EXCO decisions and their justification.
Even whether to grant you the request is entirely at the discretion of the Penang State Govt.
And even if they give you, you cannot use it to make public the information and must use for yourself only. You cannot also clip out certain part of the data to give negative impression of Penang.
The FOI is thus wayang only to fool the zombies - just like the many false propaganda given by DAP such as the following:
- Penang number one in investment (no longer true since 5 years ago),
- DAP govt eliminated 95% of their state debt due to good governance (untrue as Federal govt changed their debt to a lease),
- Federal govt doesn't give Penang any money (untrue, Fed govt even changed a loan or RM1.2 billion to build a dam into a RM1.2 billion grant),
- DAP not racist (proven false by Superman's SCREW video)
- Penang is prudent in its spending due to good governance (untrue as their yearly state spending almost quadrupled from RM280m in 2008 to RM800m to RM900m in 2013 and 2014.
- Penang never approved any hill-top projects (untrue, at least 55 hilltop projects were approved by DAP govt themselves).
- The BN govt sold more land and got less money because BN sold land at only RM1psf (untrue, it was a reclamation project and company also must build certain low-cost housing projects, paying premiums and surrender 10% to 20% of the land back to the state govt when completed).
This is what the Sinar Project says about the FOI:
Penang FOI Enactment doesn’t comply to international definitions due to multiple exceptions that restrict access to information such as minutes of state executive committee decisions and their justifications (MTES). Unlike the Selangor FOI Enactment, there are no penalties for information officers of Penang state government agencies that do not comply with FOI requests that are valid under the enactment.
Recently the Penang Executive council added further restrictions for the FOI request procedure with conditions that limit freedom of expression by requiring the public to sign a statutory declaration to agree not to copy or quote the received documents, or make any modifications on the document for purpose of negative statements against the state government. This is against international principles.