Jul 25, 2008
THE publication of Suara Rakyat Pulau Pinang, a state government magazine that keeps readers abreast of state policies and developments, will soon be open for tender.
State ad-hoc information committee head Abdul Malik Abul Kassim said any company could apply to publish the magazine starting from its second edition that will be released in September.
“We are planning on changing certain aspects of the magazine and are currently identifying things we want in the new edition,” he told reporters during the lunch break of the state assembly sitting.
He said the new publication would incorporate views and suggestions of the rakyat, adding that the state was looking into changing the format and concept of the publication.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng launched Suara Rakyat, a 52-page trilingual publication, on Wednes-day as an incorporated version of three state-published magazines – Wawasan Rakyat, Hong Yuan (Vision), Makkal Madal (Message to the Rakyat).
Abdul Malik said the printers of the three magazines were retained to print the first edition of Suara Rakyat but they would have to submit tender applications for future editions.
On criticism from opposition leader Datuk Azhar Ibrahim that the publication’s annual RM276,000 allocation could be better used, Abdul Malik said Suara Rakyat was an important communication tool for the state government.
“The previous state administration was spending this amount but they did not say it was wasting the money then. Moreover, the state will be able to get a much better price for the publication after going through the tender process,” he said.
He added that RM85,000 was spent to publish 20,000 copies of the first edition.
“The editorial board, which consists of media members, non-governmental organisations and representatives, will meet after the state assembly sittings and we hope to start the tendering process in mid-August,” he said.