Monday, May 5, 2008

Penang urged to have law on freedom of information - The Star

PENANG: May 5, 2008

The Penang Government has been urged to introduce a law on freedom of information to allow for easier access to information on state matters.

Komtar assemblyman Ng Wei Aik said the Penang Government should be the first state to table and pass such an enactment.

“I hope the enactment will be introduced in the coming state assembly this July,” he added.

The former journalist said such an act would ensure journalists had easier access to information related to the state government.

“This was part of our manifesto during the election and I think we must fulfil this. We do not want to keep the people waiting for too long.

“However, exception will be made on certain matters classified as state secret, such as defence and national security,” said Ng, who is also the chief minister’s political secretary.

He said he would draft the bill with the help of legal experts at the launch of the State Chinese (Penang) Association website yesterday.

On the Printing Presses and Publication Act, Ng said it was not relevant now, especially when no permit was needed to start a blog or website.

The website is a Peranakan network that links all the Peranakan associations in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.

Its president Datuk Seri Khoo Keat Siew said the Internet allowed many cultural organisations to close the gap between their members and other similar organisations in the region.

The website can be accessed at

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