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Only 0.75% spent on public relations exercise, says Pemandu

 | July 12, 2012

The Government efficiency unit hits out at PKR for baseless accusation.

KUALA LUMPUR: Government efficiency unit Pemandu said today only 0.75% of the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) funds was used on public relations for its crime-fighting initiative.

Yesterday PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail claimed the government spends as much as 71% of GTP money to boost public perception towards the police amid concerns of purported rise in crime.

The unit’s anti-crime department director Eugene Teh called the accusation “totally erroneous and irresponsible”.

“We believe that Wan Azizah mistakenly considered the cost of putting police officers on the ground as the cost for the public relations exercise,” he said in a statement handed out at a media briefing on crime.

He added that Pemandu’s operating and development expenditure is available for scrutiny through GTP budget presentations in Parliament available to all MPs.

The PKR leader could have verified the allegation before “passing false statements to the media which are meant to mislead the public” he said.

The efficiency unit is facing tremendous pressure to respond to the national panic over the recent rise of crime including a spate of high-profile kidnappings and alleged political assaults.

Balanced reporting

The Najib administration claimed crime has drastically decreased since it made crime-fighting one of its key targets under the National Key Result Area (NKRA) programme, but this had so far failed to quell fears over public safety.

Opposition leaders claimed the statistics are highly questionable. Some accused Putrajaya of covering up and embellishing them in a bid to boost Prime Minister Najib Razak’s reformist image.

Wan Azizah also alleged that more money was spent on shaping public opinion on crime than to fight it.

But government leaders, the police and Pemandu said much of the disconnect between public perception and crime reduction was caused by media sensationalisation.

“Managing public perceptions is not within the remit of our role.

“In so far as Pemandu performs various public relations exercises, it is with the aim of being available to the rakyat by showing consistency in our approach towards reducing crime,” it said.

Teh called on the media to do its role in the fight against crime by providing “balanced reporting” on crime.

Also read:

‘Be fair to the police’


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