JASA gets RM85.5 mil revival

Propaganda unit was disbanded in 2018 when Pakatan took power

KUALA LUMPUR – The Perikatan Nasional government will revive the propaganda unit, Special Affairs Department (JASA).

The allocation of RM85.5 million under Budget 2021 for JASA was found under the Communications and Multimedia Ministry’s budget, which is publicly available on the Finance Ministry’s website.

Jasa got only RM17 million under Barisan. – The Vibes file pic, November 6, 2020

Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman immediately slammed the decision to bring back the controversial unit, saying JASA will receive more funds than other initiatives.

“Jasa has been revived. The allocation for the government cybertroopers (JASA) is now RM85.5 million!!! Previously, under the BN government, only RM30 million.

This is significantly higher than when the propaganda arm was operational under the Barisan Nasional administration, which saw it receiving RM17 million in 2017.

“Unfortunately, the funds for dilapidated schools’ refurbishment have been reduced to RM58 million. Allocation for mental health is only RM24 million,” he tweeted.

It was given a RM4mil allocation under the strategic communications budget and a second allocation worth RM81.5mil under new policies.

JASA, which was criticised by some as a propaganda unit, was dissolved after Pakatan Harapan took over Putrajaya following GE14 in 2018.

In Budget 2018, JASA was merely allocated RM30mil compared to the RM85.5mil in Budget 2021.

Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who spoke in Parliament after the tabling of Budget 2021 on Friday (Nov 6), criticised the allocations of RM85.5mil, saying it was a figure that was larger than allocations for the poor and disabled.

“Therefore, our debates next Monday will point out these figures, ” he added.

Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin previously said in July that Jasa would be revived soon in order to help staff terminated after the department was disbanded by the former Pakatan administration.

Source : THE STAR / THE VIBES

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