Dare Minister for Communications and Multimedia Saifuddin Abdullah say that the purpose of reviving JASA is to undo its previous two-prong campaign to demonize the DAP and to glamorize Najib’s 1MDB scandal, and if not, would he come out openly to oppose JASA’s revival
Dare the Minister for Communications and Multimedia, Saifuddin Abdullah, say that the purpose of reviving the Special Affairs Department (JASA) is to undo its previous two-prong campaign to demonise the DAP and to glamorize Najib Razak’s 1MDB scandal, and if not, would he come out openly to oppose JASA’s revival?
When Mohd Puad Zarkashi was director-general of JASA, his salary was more than the then Minister for Communications and Multimedia although JASA was parked under the Ministry for Communications and Multimedia, but Puad was not answerable to the Minister concerned as he reported directly to the Prime Minister.
The 2021 budget must ensure that such gross abuse of Prime Ministerial power is not repeated and that there is no repeat of a ridiculous situation where a post-holder in any Ministry enjoys a higher salary than the Minister – as if he is a super-Minister – and where he is not answerable to the Minister as he reported directly to the Prime Minister.
Can the Finance Minister, Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz assure the nation that such a shocking and anomalous position will not be repeated in his 2021 budget?
During Puad’s tenure as JASA director-general, JASA’s budget were as follows:
2015 – RM20.7 million
2016 – RM22.8 million
2017 – RM22.9 million
2018 – RM30.0 million
Total – RM97.4 million
As I have pointed out, Paud spent some RM100 million of JASA budget from 2015 – 2018 on a two-prong campaign to demonise the DAP and mislead Malaysians and Malaysian students inside and outside the country by falsely glamorizing the 1MDB scandal.
Puad should give a full accounting how he spent some RM100 million in four years as director-general of JASA in his two-prong campakign to demonize the DAP and to glamorize 1MDB scandal – the countries he had visited to mislead the Malaysian students abroad in his misinformation and disinformation campaign?
It was fortunate that Puad’s two-prong campaign which misused some RM100 million of JASA public funds was a great flop, as evident from the outcome of the 14th general election or Najib would have continued as Prime Minister of Malaysia and would not have been convicted and sentenced to 12 years jail and RM210 million fine in the first series of 1MDB-related charges concerning corruption, abuse of power and money-laundering.
It has been pointed out by Mandeep Singh, the former special functions officer to former Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo that Information Department has the staff, expertise, equipment and reach needed to communicate government information and policies to the ground to promote patriotism and unity as well as to counter disinformation related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Can the Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul and the Communications and Multimedia Minister Saifuddin Abdullah then explain why there is need for another agency involving the revival of JASA?
Saifuddin has not contradicted the report five days ago that he did not know that JASA was being revived with a whopping allocation of RM85.5. million
If Saifuddin is not the person who would finally be in charge of JASA, who will finally be in charge of JASA?
What type of a governance do we have in Malaysia where a Minister is not in charge of an agency in his Ministry?
What other examples of a Minister who is not the final authority over an agency in his Ministry are there in 2021 Budget?
Although JASA’s revival is awaiting the green-light from Parliament in the 2021 Budget, the pre-JASA Revival propagandists and cybertroopers are already hard at work targeting the critics of JASA’s revival.
Among the arguments used by these pre-JASA Revival propagandists and cybertroopers is the following – “2021 Budget is RM322.5 billion. The proposed allocation to Jasa is RM81 million, or 0.025 per cent of the entire Budget. Stop playing politics with the Budget and help put the nation first.”
Such pre-JASA Revival propagandists and cybertroopers - who will probably claim payment for these pre-revival pieces on the social media from a revived JASA - cannot be more wrong, for one is precisely putting the nation first by opposing any revival of JASA as it is a clear misuse of public funds at a time when every available ringgit should be spent on the war against Covid-19 epidemic whether to support the front-liners or other anti-Covid-19 measures.