The Government Spent Over RM600,000 To Print 1MDB And Red Shirt Rally Books

Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak said that the books were published to "present facts".

Cover image via SAYS

On 14 March, Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak revealed that the government has spent more than RM600,000 on 1MDB and Red Shirt rally books

Image via SAYS

In a parliamentary written reply to Teo Kok Seong (DAP-Rasah), Salleh said the books were printed in three languages Malay, Chinese and Tamil.

He also said 125,000 books were printed to explain issues pertaining to 1MDB and 2,000 books were printed with regard to the Red Shirts rally.

“The book ‘1MDB: Who says it’s not answered’ cost RM4.85 per book and the total cost was RM606,250. Meanwhile, the Red Shirts rally book cost RM6 each and the total cost was RM12,000,” he said.

According to Salleh, it was necessary for the Department of Special Affairs (JASA) to publish these books to give explanations on both pressing issues.

However, Rasah MP Teo Kok Seong said that it was a waste of public funds.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak

Image via Sabahkini

He said the books were published to present "facts regarding the two issues" in the light of the "heavy political climate" surrounding the state sovereign fund and the racially charged gathering.

"The two issues had been politicised to the extent that it caused a significant effect on the country's safety and peace," said the minister.

Responding to the answer, Rasah MP Teo Kok Seong said he was "shocked" at the expenditure, which he described as a waste of public funds.

"The Government said it intended to cut costs, but it spent RM606,000 just to address one 1MDB issue," Teo said.

So, what’s in the 1MDB book?

Image via Malaysia Today

• The 62-page book Siapa Kata Tidak Dijawab (Who Says It’s Unanswered) contains answers given by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah and the company’s president and group executive director Arul Kanda Kandasamy over the past months.

• The book has three sections – a foreword, 32 frequently asked questions (FAQs) and the 1MDB story as well as infographics and photographs for easy understanding.

• Among the contents include a denial that RM42 billion had gone missing, pointing out that of the amount, RM18 billion was used to buy independent power plants (IPPs).

• It also made clear that the company only received RM1 million in equity from the Government in 2009 and a short-term loan of RM950 million in March 2015.

What about the Red Shirt rally book?

Pictures from Bersih 4 rally in the Kebangkitan Baju Merah book.

Image via Kamles Kumar/The Malay Mail Online

• Titled 'Kebangkitan Baju Merah' (The Rise of the Red Shirts), the 104-page book starts by describing the rally as a “reaction to a group that always creates havoc and provocation through street demonstrations”.

• The book described the Bersih rallies as, “rallies that hide under the guise of peaceful rallies.

• The book credits Persekutuan Silat Kebangsaan Malaysia (Pesaka) led by former Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam, as the organisers of the rally.

• The book then depicts pictures of the Red Shirt rally calling it a show of “patriotism and the love for religion, race and peace”.

• The book also stated the 14 red shirt rally resolutions:
“Defend democracy, encourage respect, love and unity in the country, defend the nation’s stability, reject chauvinistic DAP, reject foreign intervention in local affairs, reject Bersih, reject abuse of Islam, always stand by the government to solve economic problems, defend Malay and Bumiputera rights, defend the democratically elected government, defend the Rukun Negara, reject politics based on slander, reject efforts to bring the government down and to reinstate the Internal Security Act.”

The 1MDB booklets were distributed to local universities to provide students with a clearer understanding of the issue, in addition to countering allegations against its ventures:

There are several controversies surrounding PM Najib Razak's brainchild, 1MDB, as there are allegations of mismanagement of funds. However, the PM was cleared by the Attorney-General of any criminal offences in January this year.

The Red Shirt rally was held on 16 September 2015 as a sign of protest against the Bersih 4.0 rally:

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