Minister Assures Malaysians That He Will Slash The RM85mil Allocation For JASA

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Minister Assures Malaysians That He Will Slash The RM85mil Allocation For JASA

Turning a new leaf?

The Budget 2021 was tabled two weeks ago and since then, discussions are still ongoing as political parties from both divides are scrutinising every detail.

One that got a lot of flak both offline and online was the RM85mil allocation for the Special Affairs Department (JASA), which has been described as a "political propaganda department".

If you have no idea what that is, you can check out our explainer here:


Will it be reduced?

On Thursday (25 November), Communications and Multimedia Minister Saifuddin Abdullah was quoted by Free Malaysia Today as saying Parliament that he will ensure that JASA will get less than RM85mil as previously tabled.

Saifuddin was responding to a question posed by his predecessor, DAP's Gobind Singh Deo (PH-Puchong), who questioned the need for the revival of JASA.

Following widespread criticism that the sum was unjustified, Saifuddin told the Parliament that he will find ways to reduce it.

“I guarantee it will be reduced,” he was quoted as saying.

The rebranded department will do good for the people.
On top of that, Saifuddin added that the government will be restructuring JASA, starting with its name: the Community Communications Department.

There will also be no political appointments, Saifuddin said, and those interested to work in the department will have to go through a stringent interview process.

The department is being set up to be used for "two-way communication between the rakyat and the government", Saifuddin said.

The minister also promised that the department will not be used as a propaganda machine, "not on my watch".

We, for one, certainly don't mind if the department is used for the good of the country, but our experience has taught us that it's better to not trust any politician 100 per cent.

We guess we'll just have to wait and see.

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