KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 27 — The Community Communication Department (J-Kom) will remain under the Prime Minister’s Department, Deputy Communications and Digital Minister Teo Nie Ching has said today.

She said the decision to move the department under the Prime Minister’s Department was made during the Perikatan Nasional’s (PN) administration, and the government will continue doing so.

“The decision to move J-Kom to the Prime Minister’s Department was made in 2021, if I’m not mistaken at the time it was Pagoh (Bersatu’s Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin) who was the prime minister, and over that side Indera Mahkota (Bersatu’s Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah) was the communications minister.

“I’m not sure what was discussed in the Cabinet meeting during that time, but for now, the unity government’s decision is that J-Kom will remain under the Prime Minister’s Department,” Teo told the Parliament during the Question and Answer Time.

However, she said that if Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in the future decides to move J-Kom back to the Communications and Digital Ministry, the ministry will adhere to the order.

Teo was responding to DAP’s Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng who asked why J-Kom is placed under the Prime Minister’s Department when its mission is to strengthen the community’s digital skills.

Lim asked if J-Kom should be shifted to the Communications and Digital Ministry to prevent wastage of public funds, and to prevent overlapping of duties leading towards good governance.

LIm’s call came after PN’s own Tasek Gelugor MP Wan Saiful Wan Jan who said the Communications Ministry should take control of J-Kom to optimise cost-effectiveness and improve departmental performance.

In 2021, the then Opposition bloc, Pakatan Harapan (PH) MPs had deemed J-Kom as unnecessary.

During the Budget 2022 debate, PH MPs said they would reject the Budget 2022 if the government put aside a large allocation to J-Kom.

It was reported that in the Budget 2021, J-Kom was initially allocated RM85.5 million but the amount was slashed to RM40.5 after protests from the Opposition MPs.