Tony Pua jumps on a Pemandu disclosure that Tricubes will charge government agencies for using the service
PETALING JAYA: DAP has accused Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak of misleading the public about the 1Malaysia email, pointing to a disclosure yesterday that government agencies will have to pay to use the service.
DAP publicity chief Tony Pua said it was now clear that the project was “a scheme designed to fleece taxpayers with a service that is completely unnecessary.”
In a radio interview yesterday, an official of the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) said Tricubes Bhd, the company appointed to provide the service, would charge government agencies 50 sen per email.
That would be “cheaper than the RM1.00 printing, stationery, postage and dispatch cost of sending a regular letter”, Pemandu’s Dr Fadhlullah Suhaimi Abdul Malek told BFM radio.
“This disclosure comes as a complete shock to Malaysians because the Prime Minister has assured us that the government will not be paying a sen for the project,” Pua said.
He told the government to withdraw the project to save itself from further embarrassment.
“Clearly the design and nature of the 1Malaysia email project is to create an artificial need for a concession to provide rent-seeking opportunities for companies which may find it difficult to provide real value-added services in a competitive environment,” he said.
He also demanded that the government disclose the details of the contract awarded to Tricubes.
“Najib and Pemandu must come clean with the 1Malaysia email project details by revealing all terms and conditions of the concession awarded to Tricubes Bhd, and stop digging a deeper hole for themselves with flip-flopping answers.”
Withdraw the project
Pua accused Najib and Pemandu of “heaping layers of misleading and contradictory statements” in what he said were attempts to cover up the fiasco.
“Pemandu should protect its reputation by calling a spade a spade and call for the withdrawal of the project which has, without a doubt, become an international embarrassment for the Najib administration.”
Pua noted that while the project was called a “government initiative” when it was first announced, it had quickly become a “private sector initiative” in the wake of widespread criticism.
“(This is ) despite the fact that Tricubes Bhd has announced on Bursa Malaysia that it was awarded the email project by the Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (Mampu).”
Echoing many other critics, Pua said an official email account was “absolutely unnecessary” for dealings with the government.
“Even Maybank and Citibank are able to send my monthly bank and credit card account statements to my Yahoo or Gmail accounts,” he said. “I also have no problems receiving my monthly mobile phone bills from Digi Telecommunications.”
He said Fadhlullah failed to explain in yesterday’s interview why government agencies would have to fork out 50 sen per mail when banks and telecommunication companies paid “absolutely nothing” to send bills and statements.