Put J-Kom under communications ministry, PN man says after ‘A&W’ scandal

Tasek Gelugor MP Wan Saiful Wan Jan says the ministry should take control of J-Kom to optimise cost-effectiveness and improve departmental performance.

(FMT) – An opposition MP today suggested that the community communications department (J-Kom) be placed under the purview of the communications and digital ministry following recent allegations of misconduct.

Wan Saiful Wan Jan (PN-Tasek Gelugor) said it was clear that J-Kom had failed, citing a scandal dubbed as “A&W”.

The “A&W” scandal involved former J-Kom director-general Agus Yusoff, who was recorded having a purportedly lewd conversation with department official Abdul Wahab Abdul Kadir Jailani in a video which recently went viral.

The three-minute clip was posted on TikTok by blogger Chegubard, the pen name of Badrul Hisham Shaharin, a member of Bersatu’s information committee, Utusan Malaysia reported. The report said Badrul had asked whether the man in the video was the J-Kom chief.

Agus later claimed that the video had been doctored, with the matter currently under police investigation.

“Until today, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, who appointed Agus himself, has not commented on the issue,” Wan Saiful said in the Dewan Rakyat when debating the 2024 supply bill at the committee stage.

“If our ‘part-time’ prime minister cannot fulfil his responsibilities regarding J-Kom, then let the communications and digital ministry take over the department because it would be more cost-effective and could make J-Kom’s role more effective.”

Earlier, Wan Saiful asked if there was an overlap in roles between J-Kom and the Komuniti Madani initiative, which was allocated RM18.7 million in the 2024 budget.

The Komuniti Madani initiative, announced by communications minister Fahmi Fadzil in June, aims to establish community centres with volunteers promoting unity and accurate information dissemination on Putrajaya’s policies.

Wan Saiful also voiced concern that the community centres might be used for political purposes and urged the government to ensure that this does not happen.

“If we’re talking about Penang, there will be 120 of these centres. We have 40 state constituencies and each of them gets three centres. That will be a lot,” he said.