YOURSAY | ‘J-Kom, or whatever they want to name it, is still Jasa.’
Dr Raman: I think nowhere else in the world is there a budget prepared like this. Mind you, this is a national budget with many competing demands. Ministers may well go for a crash course on Budgeting 101.
First, it was proposed to revive the much-maligned Jasa (Special Affairs Department) with a three-fold increase in budget to RM85.5 million. You would think much thought and detailed proposals would have been prepared to justify every sen of the requested amount.
But even the minister in charge allegedly was not aware of it. To make it worse, no cogent answers were given to the many queries raised. We were expecting that this proposal would be dropped.
But suddenly out of the blue, Jasa has been changed (rebranded) from political propaganda to "community empowerment" through the "supply of accurate and timely information". As if all the existing numerous government agencies/media are not capable of providing accurate information.
Okay, never mind, but how much money do you need? This is the first time I heard a budget is proposed with no fixed amount.
How can our leaders be so callous about taxpayers’ money, and this, in the midst of suffering due to the Covid-19 pandemic?
I was in the government preparing budgets, which starts in the first quarter of the year with a Treasury circular. Up to Budget day, the proposals would have gone through many layers of scrutiny and screening. I just hope this time-honoured due process is still been followed.
BusinessFirst: The problem is the credibility of the minister and the government. Even if he is sincere, he could well be replaced and the new person can claim he is not bound by the decision.
Next, as for spending less, this also is too vague. Instead of RM85.5 million, what if he spends RM85.499999 million - less RM1 - that is also spending less.
Finally, nothing has been canvassed why existing infrastructure and ministries cannot do what Jasa is being asked to do. This, I think is the main point.
It is a waste of money and resources for a purpose that was vague then, and even more vague now.
In a time of crisis where funds are short and need to be deployed to fight Covid-19, Jasa by no stretch of the imagination is a priority and we should instead be spending more on healthcare or economic relief for businesses, especially those in the tourism sector.
Sphzxcv: The re-branding doesn't change a thing. J-Kom, or whatever they want to name it, is still Jasa. Don't hoodwink the politicians and the rakyat. It's still a government propaganda unit whether it's run by non-politicians or not.
Get rid of Jasa or J-Kom and channel the money to better use.
Apa Nama: Indeed, the re-branding is more towards just changing to a new shirt but the body of the person remains the same. Not to forget the brain and mentality.
Scrap this RM85.5 million for Jasa, or whatever name you call it, and close it down, and channel the money to healthcare and education, especially primary and secondary schools.
Newday: J-Kom - it’s good to know what brand the fresh propaganda will come under. Of course, it is political - after all, you are promoting government messages.
Just like any other government department, there is a politician at the top as the minister and a civil servant head of department who reports to the said minister.
Do not attempt to dress this up any other way. By the way, will you be buying more vans and megaphones as part of the budget?
BlueLynx2013: At a time when the B40 (bottom 40 percent) are struggling to put food on the table, the Bersatu government is using taxpayers’ money for propaganda purposes.
No amount of propaganda can boost Bersatu’s image. They are all social rejects who came through the back door.
Pegasus: The fact is this money could be spent elsewhere on something more important like helping the jobless and starving families, or helping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), or help the students with their education if their parents are out of a job.
Delay this J-Kom to next year if you have to. Prioritise what is urgently needed now to ride out the pandemic.
Fredtan: "I want to give my assurance that J-Kom will not be a propaganda machine. Not under my charge," said Multimedia and Communications Minister Saifuddin Abdullah.
Saifuddin, don't make my toes laugh. Trust you? You betrayed Malaysians by joining party traitors in PKR to topple the Harapan government and join backdoor Perikatan Nasional (PN) government.
Trust? Your words worth less than my toilet paper.
Steven Ong: According to Saifuddin, J-Kom will ''focus of patriotism''.
1. Firstly, most likely this money is used to reward loyal supporters to keep them happy. And to hire new loyal supporters.
2. Like BTN (Biro Tatanegara) and Jasa, J-Kom is also about patriotism, meaning loyalty and obedience to the government, and where disobedience, criticising and questioning the government is an offence under the guise of insulting the government, race, religion or the rulers.
Further brainwashing and conditioning of the already heavily tamed supporters will bring Malaysia nearer to a theocratic state.
FairMalaysian: Hasn't Saifuddin heard of the phrase "lead by example"?
Saifuddin and the ministers should go for a one-month course to New Zealand to get an eye-opening course on how to win people's heart and mind from the NZ PM, Jacinda Ardern.
Perhaps the rural folks may buy this "propaganda" but most urbanites need a lot more than this to buy the propaganda.
The above is a selection of comments posted by Malaysiakini subscribers. Only paying subscribers can post comments. In the past one year, Malaysiakinians have posted over 100,000 comments. Join the Malaysiakini community and help set the news agenda. Subscribe now.
These comments are compiled to reflect the views of Malaysiakini subscribers on matters of public interest. Malaysiakini does not intend to represent these views as fact.