FOI Penang



What is the Penang Freedom of Information (FOI) Enactment 2010?

The Penang FOI Enactment 2010 was passed by the State Legislative Assembly of the State of Penang on 4th of November 2011 and assented to by His Excellency the Yang di-Pertua Negeri on the 9th of January 2012. The enactment serves to provide for disclosure of information for public interest and right to access to information made by every department of the State Government. Ultimately, the purpose of this enactment is to promote accountability and transparency, which serves to eliminate corruption.


Who can apply for information?

  • Any individual


Where can this application be made?

  • Relevant Penang state government departments
    *Refer to appendix for list of officers


What information can you obtain?

  • Any information that is under the jurisdiction of the Penang state government (it is unlawful for the state to withhold information that does not fall under the following categories);
  • Exemptions on information access:
    • Information is listed as confidential
    • Information is already publicly available.
    • Information would endanger the life, health or safety of any individual.
    • Information would affect enforcement or administration of the law.
    • Information involves documents that is to be produced in court proceedings
    • Information would involve disclosure of personal information of a third party individual (unless applicant is a legal guardian/next of kin; third party individual has consented to the disclosure; or the third party has been deceased for more than 20 years.)
    • Information belongs to a third-party and communicating it would constitute to a breach of confidence.
    • Third party information contains trade secrets or communicating it would jeopardise the owner’s financial or commercial interests.
    • Third party information belongs to another state or international body, and communicating it may jeopardise Penang state’s relations with them.
    • Accessing the information infringes copyrights, other than the department’s copyright.
    • Information would likely affect the economic or financial interests of the state.
    • Information involves a draft, copy or final document submitted, or to be submitted to the State Executive Council for its consideration
      *Statistical, technical or scientific material can be disclosed unless it would cause the disclosure of any deliberation/decision made by the State Executive Council.
    • Disclosure of information would be in contempt of the State Legislative Assembly



  • Applicant will be granted access to confidential information listed above if:
    • The public interest for its disclosure outweighs the risk of it;
    • The State Government has the power to disclose or declassify the confidential information and allow access to it;
    • The information is necessary foe the investigation of an offence/misconduct/
    • The exempted information can be removed from the information/documentation. Applicant will be informed about the removal of information.
  • If the applied information are governed by other existing laws, the access to the information is subject to that law.


How can you obtain information?

  • Identify the department that your informational need falls under.
  • Refer to appendix to obtain your Information Officer’s contact details.
  • Submit a hard copy of the application by hand*:
    • Fill out Borang A Jadual Pertama found in the appendix below, addressed to the specific Information Officer;
    • Include your full name and address;
    • Describe the information applied;
    • And include payment of: RM50 nominal fee (+ RM100 for information other than from the current year)
  • Information Officer will provide an acknowledgement of application and receipt of payment upon submission.
  • If information application is made to the wrong department, the Information Officer is required to transfer the application to the appropriate department and notify the application upon transfer.

* The Information Officer will fill out the application for those who require writing assistance (due to illiteracy or inability to read/write).


Post submission

  • Information Officer will process your application and provide a written reply within 14 working days from the date of application (general information), or between 48hours and 7 days of application if required information involves life liberty.
  • If the application is successful, you would be required to pay additional processing fees, if necessary, as seen in the table below:


No. Category Fee (RM)
1 Photocopy (A4, b&w) 1.00 per page
2 Hiring our equipment or facilities to enable an applicant to view or listen to disc, film or tape Actual cost
3 Other services to enable an applicant to physically access information Actual cost
4 Copies of discs, films or tapes Actual cost
5 Written transcripts Actual cost
6 Packaging materials for delivering or posting articles Actual cost
7 Delivery or postage charges Actual cost
  • Once payment is made, you would be either given a copy of the information (if it can be reproduced in writing) or allowed to view/hear the information (if it cannot be reproduced in writing).

*Any person who is unable to access the information in the form in which it is stored or reproduced (due to illiteracy or inability) will be given the option for the information to be conveyed to him in other forms that can be accessed by him.


Unsuccessful application & Appeal

  • If the application is unsuccessful, the Information Officer will provide, in writing, the reason for rejection within fourteen days from the date of application,
  • You may then submit an appeal to the Board of Appeal within 21 days of the Information Officer’s response by:
    • Submitting Borang A ­– Jadual Kedua to the Registrar of the Appeal Board (as many copies as required by the Registrar, a copy of the appeal should also be sent to the Information Officer)
    • Together with an appeal fee of RM50
    • If your appeal is successful, you would then be required to pay the appropriate service fees:


No. Category Fee (RM)
1 Fee for preparation of document for hearing 50
2 Fee for issue notice of hearing 50 per notice
3 Fee to issue summons to every witness 50 per summon
4 Fee to issue summons to produce documents 50 per summon
5 Fee to supply notes of evidence of hearing of the Appeal Board 100 per copy
6 Fee for preparation of documents of the decision and the grounds of decision of the Appeal Board 100 per copy
7 Fee for extension of appeal period 100 per application


When can you submit your application?

  • Mondays to Fridays, 8.00am – 5.00pm.
  • Offices will be closed on public holidays.


For more information regarding the Penang FOI 2010:

  • Freedom of Information Counter
    3rd floor Menara KOMTAR
    10450 George Town
    Pulau Pinang, Malaysia


Note: Please thoroughly read the Penang Freedom of Information Enactment 2010 and/or the Rules & Regulations prior to your application as the above is merely a summarised guide.





Disclaimer: Information displayed here is sourced from the Penang State Government’s website (unless stated otherwise), and thus accuracy and precision of information gathered is dependant on the information provided on


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