Putrajaya spent RM618,250 to print booklets explaining the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) controversy and the “red shirt” rally to the public, said the communications and multimedia minister.
The booklets were published to maintain the country’s security and wellbeing, Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak said in a written parliamentary reply.
“The two books were published to explain the issues. This is because both issues were politicised to the extent that they had a significant impact, especially on the country’s security and wellbeing.”
He said 125,000 copies of the booklet “1MDB: Siapa kata tidak dijawab?” (1MDB: Who says there are no answers?) were printed in three languages, with 100,000 copies in Bahasa Melayu, English (10,000) and Tamil (15,000).
“Each copy cost RM4.85 for a total of RM606,250.
“Meanwhile, 2,000 copies of the book ‘Red Shirt Rally’ were published. Each copy cost RM6, with the total being RM12,000.”
Both books were produced by Putrajaya’s propaganda unit, the Special Affairs Department (Jasa).
Titled “Kebangkitan Baju Merah” (The Rise of Red Shirts), the 104-page book on the rally in September 2015 said it was held in response to certain quarters who tried to create chaos and provocation through street rallies.
The book said the “red shirt” rally was initiated by patriotic Malaysians and listed nine criteria which defined it, including unity, loyalty, bravery, determination and peace.
The rally was staged by a coalition of Malay groups in the capital on Malaysia Day, September 16, to oppose the Bersih 4 gathering calling for democratic reforms and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s resignation.
The 79-page booklet “1MDB: Siapa Kata Tidak Dijawab?” was distributed to university students to counter allegations against the Finance Ministry-owned firm.
The book addresses several accusations by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad against 1MDB.
Among others, it denies that the firm had “lost” money and accuses Dr Mahathir of “twisting” statements.
“Dr Mahathir makes allegations based on assumptions without referring to documents and actual financial statements,” it said, along with infographics summarising its finances.
It said Putrajaya never shied away from giving answers on 1MDB, adding that the firm itself issued 90 statements to answer various allegations from January to November last year. – March 14, 2016.