Jasa being revived with 500 staff, says deputy minister

A Jasa event at Lembah Pantai, Kuala Lumpur in April 2018. (Facebook pic)

PETALING JAYA: The former information ministry’s Special Affairs Department, commonly known as Jasa, is to be revived soon, according to deputy communications minister Zahidi Zainul Abidin who was quoted in a media report.

He said that the decision to bring back Jasa was aimed at helping the former staff that were terminated by the Pakatan Harapan administration.

“We have appointed a deputy director-general and opened up job vacancies, conducted interview processes to rehire them. Jasa used to have over 1,000 staff but we can only take 500 of them for now,” he said.

“Those who used to be in the National Civics Bureau (Biro Tata Negara, or BTN) and Seranta Felda can also apply,” he was reported to have said in Langkawi yesterday.

Jasa was abolished by the government of Dr Mahathir Mohamad after Pakatan Harapan came to power in 2018.

The department and BTN had been criticised as being propaganda arms of Umno as well as being misused for indoctrinating civil servants in Ketuanan Melayu beliefs of Malay superiority.

Zahidi said: “It was a wrong move for PH to dismiss them,” according to Sinar Harian.

Zahidi said the Communications and Multimedia Ministry is to submit a proposal to the Cabinet seeking an additional budget allocation so that Jasa’s former staff can return to their previous jobs.

Last week, Umno secretary-general Ahmad Mazlan had mooted the revival of Jasa, BTN and the National Service Training Programme. Speaking in the Dewan Rakyat, Ahmad (BN-Pontian) said “each of the programmes and institutions had brought a positive impact to the country”.