GEORGE TOWN: Jun 12, 2008 By PRISCILLA DIELENBERG
Penang has formed an ad hoc committee to set guidelines on information that the public and the media can access directly from government departments without any hassle.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the committee’s aim was to create a "freedom of information" culture at a level that was comfortable to all.
“We want to provide an avenue and opportunity for the mass media and the public, where information that is not sensitive or classified as secret can be obtained freely and for free,” he told a press conference after chairing the state executive council meeting on Wednesday.
He said state Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Committee chairman Abdul Malik Abul Kassim would head the committee, assisted by state Town and Country Planning and Housing committee chairman Wong Hon Wai and a representative from the state secretariat.
Lim said the committee would direct the departments to categorise and classify information that can be released to the public.
He said it would also ascertain whether these categorisations were proper, appropriate and reasonable.
He said the committee would then hold discussions with media representatives and non-governmental organisations for their opinions, and come up with guidelines on how such information could be obtained directly from the departments.