Puad spent RM100 million of JASA budget to demonise DAP and “beautify” the 1MDB scandal but the efforts were a big flop as shown by the result of the 14th General Election

As Director-General of Special Affairs Department (JASA) from 2015 to 2018, Mohd Puad Zarkashi spent RM100 million of JASA budget to demonise DAP as anti-Malay, anti-Islam, anti-Royalty and communist and went overseas to “beautify the 1MDB scandal” particularly among Malaysian students overseas, but it was a big flop evident from the outcome of the 14th General Election on May 9, 2018.

But in the two years after the 14th General Election, hundreds of millions of ringgit were again found and used to fund UMNO cyber operations to continue to paint the DAP as anti-Malay, anti-Islam, anti-Royalty and communist, and it must be conceded that these efforts to spread lies and falsehoods about the DAP were more successful this time than Puad’s efforts as JASA director-general using RM100 million of public funds.

Will the RM85.5 million allocated in the 2021 Budget to revive JASA be used to counter Puad’s campaign of lies from 2015-2018 and the UMNO cybertroopers’ campaign of lies, falsehoods and misinformation that the DAP being anti-Malay, anti-Islam, anti-Royalty and communist?

Puad had said that JASA is political and there is nothing to be apologetic about it.

No wonder that during the time he was director-general of JASA, he was acting like a Super-Minister as his salary was bigger than the Minister of Communications and Multimedia that JASA was formally parked under – though he was not answerable to the Minister concerned but only to the Prime Minister.

Is the Perikatan Nasional government reviving a JASA where the director-general is more powerful and paid more than the Minister for Communications and Multimedia, which is probably the reason why the Minister, Saifuddin Abdullah, was not aware that the quantum of allocation was as high as RM85 million, which is even more than the annual budget allocation of JASA during Puad’s time.

Who will be the boss of the revived JASA – who can even override the Minister himself, i.e. Saifuddin Abdullah?

Can Parliament establish an agency when the line of responsibility for the head of the agency is so vague and uncertain, and with terms of reference of the agency clouded in so much mystery?

Puad cannot be more wrong when he said that the DAP feared JASA. Why should Puad’s JASA be feared when it was such a great flop or Najib Razak would be still be the Prime Minister of Malaysia and would not be convicted of corruption, abuse of power and money-laundering in the first series of 1MDB-related charges and sentenced to 12 years’ jail and RM210 million fine.

The question is why Malaysian public monies should be used by JASA to manufacture and spread lies and falsehoods?

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri