A two-page advertorial headlined “Truths and Lies about MyEmail” by the Performance Management & Delivery Unit (Pemandu) on the controversial project was published in major newspapers today.
“If it’s a private initiative, then obviously advertisements and [efforts] pushing for its use should be done by the private company, instead of the government,” Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad told The Malaysian Insider today.
“If it’s private, (there) shouldn’t be anything (that’s) spent by the government. To me, it’s propaganda,” the PAS central political bureau member added.DAP publicity chief Tony Pua similarly denounced Pemandu’s advertorial.
“I think it has come to a really silly stage where the government is spending tens of thousands in advertorials to defend a so-called private initiative because ‘Pemandu believes in integrity and transparency’,” said Pua.
“If that’s really the case, then just disclose the request for proposal (RFP) documents from the government as well as the full contract terms and letter of award given to Tricubes. Publish them online and save the tens of thousands of tax-payers’ money,” the Petaling Jaya Utara MP added.
Pemandu refused to divulge the cost of the advertorial when questioned by The Malaysian Insider today.
“We have answered your question... I have nothing to add,” Pemandu corporate communication chief Ku Kok Peng told The Malaysian Insider on the phone.
Pemandu also emailed a statement to The Malaysian Insider and said it commissioned the advertorials to “make sure that the general public is not misinformed by people who distort the truth.”
In the advertorial, Pemandu CEO Senator Datuk Seri Idris Jala said Tricubes Bhd would invest 100 per cent of the RM50 million MyEmail project that was conceptualised as an Entry Point Project (EPP) under the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP).
Jala also stressed that the government “will not spend a single sen” in the project’s investment and operating costs.
“On the other hand, it is estimated that the government stands to save at least RM200 million over 10 years,” he said.
He explained that government agencies would make savings of almost 50 per cent by paying 50 sen per email to myemail.my accounts, as government agencies currently paid up to RM1 per mail and RM2 for each returned hardcopy correspondence.
Pua pointed out government agencies should instead encourage the public to register their own email accounts.
“Now you’re paying 50 sen to someone else to send it [electronically]. Why not send it to (email) addresses provided by people and save the entire RM1?” asked Pua.Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar agreed that Tricubes should be the one promoting the project, instead of Pemandu.
“Pemandu has had a horrible track record with regards to disclosing accurate information about their ongoing initiatives.
Smells of rotten bailout if you ask me,” said Nurul Izzah in a text message to The Malaysian Insider.