Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Communications ministry budget passed after debate on rebranded Jasa

A total of 107 MPs voted in support of the allocation while 100 were against it and 13 absent.

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The budget for the communications and multimedia ministry was passed by bloc vote after the committee-level debate in the Dewan Rakyat today.

A total of 107 MPs voted in support of the allocation while 100 were against it and 13 absent.

This makes the 22nd ministry budget to be passed so far, and the eighth to be passed by bloc vote.

The communications and multimedia ministry, under the leadership of Saifuddin Abdullah, was allocated RM2.347 billion following the deduction of RM45 million from the allotment for the Department of Special Affairs (Jasa), now known as the Community Communications Department or J-KOM.

The opposition had earlier brought a motion for J-KOM’s allocation to be entirely cut.

The motion was brought by Wilfred Madius Tangau (Warisan-Tuaran), Maria Chin Abdullah (PH-Petaling Jaya), Ahmad Fahmi Fadzil (PH-Lembah Pantai), Fuziah Salleh (PH-Kuantan) and Mukhriz Mahathir (Independent-Jerlun).

They said among others that the allocation should be given to other ministries and departments such as the health ministry to aid in the fight against Covid-19.

The motion was opposed by Nazri Aziz (BN-Padang Rengas) and Bung Moktar Radin (BN-Kinabatangan).

The decision was made by majority vote for the allocation to be maintained.

The budget for 2021 – RM322.5 billion, the country’s largest ever – was passed at the policy stage on Nov 26 in what was seen as a crucial test of support for Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

It was passed by voice vote after the opposition failed to garner enough support to force a bloc vote.

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