Sarawak PKR Women: Why allocate RM85.5 mln to Jasa but cut public healthcare funding?

Cherishe Ng ... learning from her community

KUCHING, Nov 8: Sarawak PKR Women believes that the PN government must explain to the public the reason behind the RM85.5 million allocation to Jasa under the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia.

In a statement, Sarawak Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) secretary Cherishe Ng asserted such allocations have been increased by 185 per cent compared to the previous allocation by the Barisan Nasional (BN) government in 2018.

She claimed that the Special Affairs Department (Jasa) was in fact an agency used by the BN government to further their political propaganda at the time.

She asserted these ‘unnecessary’ funds should be cancelled and put towards assisting the people, especially the B40 and M40 groups, as a more meaningful and impactful measure.

Ng opined such an allocation is irrelevant in solving the current Covid-19 pandemic which is unprecedented. She lamented that although the Prime Minister has repeated said the budget is to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic, the high allocation for an unnecessary department showed otherwise.


Ng pointed out that when Pakatan Harapan (PH) took over as the federal government in 2018, Jasa was abolished in order to save unnecessary expenses and improve administrative efficiency. In fact, many units were shuffled to reorganise the administrative structure.

Now that Perikatan Nasional (PN) has taken over, not only has Jasa been reintroduced but the allocation for 2021 has been greatly increased. In her statement, Ng highlighted the past figures for BN’s funding for Jasa as follows:

Year
Allocation for Jasa
2011
21,759,400
2012
21,392,000
2013
23,127,100
2014
24,572,800
2015
21,718,100
2016
22,801,000
2017
22,886,500
2018
30,000,000
2019
PH disbanded Jasa

“The President of PKR (Datuk Seri) Anwar Ibrahim has also criticised the allocation for Jasa and opined that the sum is higher than the allocation for disadvantaged groups such as the poor and the disabled (OKU),” Ng pointed out.

She also noted that the funds allocated to Jasa will be higher than certain medical fundings, which have been significantly reduced in the 2021 Budget. Citing data from the 2021 Budget which was compiled by CodeBlue, Ng highlighted the following:

Item
Budget 2020 (RM)
Budget 2021 (RM)
Overall Change
Nephrology
252,118,400
56,444,800
-77.61%
Pharmacy and Supplies
1,941,786,500
512,984,300
-73.58%
Cardiothoracic
180,523,200
60,116,300
-66.70%
Radiotherapy and Oncology
328,711,900
136,432,900
-58.49%
General Medicine
1,731,394,200
1,484,110,300
-14.28%
Anesthesiology and Intensive Care
499,564,100
449,452,600
-10.03%
Respiratory Medicine
38,452,100
34,428,900
-10.46%
Psychiatry and Mental Health
344,816,500
313,402,600
-9.11%

Ng opined that if the 2021 Budget is aimed at addressing the Covid-19 pandemic, the supply of medical care must be increased rather than decreased.

“In such an unprecedented time, the Budget must reflect changes that will help the nation cope,” she pointed out. She expressed hope that PN will properly consider the purpose of Budget 2021 and effectively allocate and use the funds for the purposes of alleviating Covid-19. — DayakDaily