GEORGE TOWN, Oct 14 ― Penang Gerakan said today they have yet to receive any of the government documents on various projects in the state that they had applied for 12 times under the state's Freedom of Information (FOI) Enactment 2010.
Penang Gerakan acting youth chief Jason Loo Jieh Sheng claimed he had applied for documentations for the proposed undersea tunnel project, the Bayan Bay reclamation project, the Bayan Mutiara reclamation project, the withdrawal of BUCG from the undersea tunnel project, the affordable housing guidelines, a list of affordable housing projects, as well as the agreement between the state and PLB for affordable housing projects in Paya Terubong and Sungai Nibong.
“For eight of the applications, I was not given the documents as I had refused to fulfil their requirement to sign the statutory declaration (SD) and the four others, my applications were rejected due to various funny reasons, such as the DAP-led state government does not have the relevant documents,” he told a press conference today.
Loo said he received a reply from the state government for his latest application that he still needed to sign an SD, despite the state's announcement last month that it plans to waive the SD requirement for FOI applicants.
“The contents of the SD now is almost similar with the SD a few months ago even though the state government repeatedly claimed that they have relaxed the regulations on applying documents via FOI,” he said.
Since the state government had already said it will waive the requirements to sign SD, he said it should now produce all the documents that he had applied and paid for previously.
He urged the state government to immediately produce all the documents he had applied for.
He questioned the state government's sincerity in wanting to declassify documents through the FOI.
“They could have exercised Section 11(2) of the Penang FOI Enactment 2010 in which the state authority shall have the power to disclose or declassify confidential information and shall give the applicant access to the exempt information if the public interest for its disclosure outweighs the risk of it,” he said.
He said the documents he had asked for pertaining to the undersea tunnel, land reclamation and affordable housing are of public interest.
“If they have nothing to hide, they will gladly declassify the documents to anyone who wants to read them. If they are reluctant to do so, then the rakyat have to assume that they do have things to hide,” he said.