Saturday, May 07, 2011

1Malaysia Email: Truth & Lies

Pakatan asks why public funds used to defend Tricubes
By Boo Su-Lyn May 06, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, May 6 — Pakatan Rakyat (PR) today demanded the government explain why public funds were spent to buy newspaper advertorials defending the 1 Malaysia email project when it was a private initiative.

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.

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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.

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Pua also questioned why the government conducted a selection process if the project was merely a private initiative. “If it’s completely private, [they] don’t need to go through Pemandu or Mampu (Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit). Just go to the government department and sell their services,” said Pua.

Jala said today that the selection process was an assessment to find out which company would likely succeed in rolling out the email service. “Other parties who are not selected or did not submit a proposal earlier can still pursue the opportunity if they see a viable business case for it,” said Jala.

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For the full article, read it here.
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