Gerakan leaders who are upset over confidentiality clauses in agreements involving reclamation projects should blame the previous BN government, said Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.
Lim said the clause was entered into contracts inked between the previous BN administration and developers carrying out reclamation works.
“The agreements were not signed by this present government,” Lim said.
“They (Gerakan) should be attacking the previous administration and former chief minister Koh Tsu Koon.”
On Thursday, Penang Gerakan acting Youth chief Jason Loo complained that his application under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act for three agreements on the reclamation of Seri Tanjung Pinang 1, Seri Tanjung Pinang 2 and Gurney Wharf were rejected by the state government.
The lawyer, who accused the state government of hiding behind the FOI, plans to challenge the rejection of his application at the Appeals Board.
Lim decried that BN, which he dubbed “the destroyer of freedoms”, apparently now wants to project itself as the defender of freedom of information.
Developer has right to refuse
Lim noted that the FOI, which was enforced in Penang in January 2015, is subject to existing legal conditions.
“It cannot be retrospective,” said the chief minister, who is also DAP secretary-general.
Lim added that his administration could provide the requested information if it were not prohibited by the confidentiality clause. However, it must honour the clause stated in the agreements signed by developers and the previous government.
“The developer has the right to refuse to reveal any information without their permission - this is commonly known as the confidentiality clause,” he explained.
“If the developer wants to adhere to this clause, there is nothing we can do.”
Lim said it was up to Gerakan to challenge the matter at the Appeals Board. However, the party must be aware of the facts of the matter, he stressed.
“If they are unhappy with the confidentiality clause, please attack the previous BN government. We should not be attacked for the sins of the previous government,” Lim said after attending the Vasakhi celebrations yesterday.
“On this holy day, when you want to forgive, do ensure you know where the sins came from.”- Mkini