KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 11 — Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today added his criticism of the mammoth RM85.5 million injection to the revival of a controversial government unit following public outcry.
The Pekan MP said that while he supported the move to bring back the Special Affairs Department (Jasa) as an agency under the Communications and Multimedia Ministry to disseminate government policy, he is not in favour of the four-fold increase to its funds under Budget 2021 when the country is facing a health and economic crisis.
“However in this crisis era whereby funds are more in need to save the people, a four-fold increase for Jasa compared to that given during BN’s time is very hard to be accepted by many, and courts people’s anger
“I can accept it if the fund is spent to buy face masks or hand sanitisers for the people. Given to parents to replace the Supplemental Food Plan (RMT) for children denied breakfast, because schools are closed until early next year
“But I cannot digest the suggestion of RM81 million for Jasa,” Najib said while debating Budget 2021 in Parliament.
Jasa, which was disbanded in May 2018 when Pakatan Harapan took federal power, was brought back in June after the Perikatan Nasional coalition became government.
It was given two allocations under Budget 2021 amounting to RM85.5 million. The first was RM4 million for strategic communications under the Communications and Multimedia Ministry and the second was RM81.5 million for new policies.
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