Recently in the Malaysian 2021 Budget, there was talks on allocating RM85.5 Million to the Special Affairs Department (JASA). According to the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia, the money allocated is to turn it into an agency focused in uniting the country and to galvanise the efforts in fighting Covid-19.
Did you know that JASA has a long history?
JASA was established in 1959 after the Malayan general elections and was initially called Badan Hal Ehwal Khas (BHEK). Their purpose was to aid with religious, government and political stability within the country.
BHEK was later renamed as Cawangan Hal Ehwal Khas (CHEK) under the purview of Jabatan Perkidmatan Penerangan or Information Service Department in 1960. In 2000, the Jabatan Hal Ehwal Khas (JHEK) or the Department of Special Affairs was formed and replaced CHEK.
In 2004, the acronym was changed to JASA and work in the departments remained the same. Former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad later abolished the department in 2018 after the general election.
Malaysians were frustrated and shared their opinions on social media.
A petition was started to reject the 2021 budget allocation towards JASA. Click here to sign it.
Credits to The Star and RojakDaily for the initial coverage and references.