Just use free email, says Pua
By Shannon Teoh April 28, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, April 28 — DAP publicity chief Tony Pua today said the government should ditch the 1 Malaysia email project and use free email services to communicate with the public instead.

The Petaling Jaya Utara MP said millions would be spent by government agencies if they paid 50 sen per email to Tricubes Berhad.

He called on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to direct government agencies to register citizens with their own email accounts.

“Whether Gmail, Yahoo!Mail, Hotmail… by doing so, government agencies will be able to communicate with ordinary Malaysians by sending unlimited email at absolutely no cost,” he said.

Pua added that banks and credit card companies were already doing so and there was no reason for government bodies not to do the same.

Tricubes Berhad chief executive officer Khairun Zainal Mokhtar said on Tuesday that each email sent through its myemail.my accounts to its database of verified users would incur a maximum cost of 50 sen an email.

“This will result in millions being spent by each government agency should they be sending just one email to the forecasted 15 million users,” said Pua in a statement today.

He said that this contradicted the Najib administration’s denial that the project would be funded by the government, as there was “obvious complicity of various agencies under the prime minister’s department and the finance ministry.”

The RM50 million project was announced last week by Najib, who said it will have a gross national income (GNI) impact of RM39 million up to 2015 and allow direct and secure communications between Malaysian citizens and the government.

But critics say the government should focus on infrastructure project such as providing clean water or broadband across the country rather than a free email service which is already available through other providers.

Detractors also question why loss-making Tricubes, at risk of being delisted after its weak financial standing triggered Bursa Malaysia Securities’ Guidance Note 3 (GN3) in October last year, was tapped to spearhead the project.

Tricubes has said it is collaborating with Hotmail service owner Microsoft Corp for the project but provided no further details on the cooperation.

“The above circus over the ‘simple’ RM50 million 1 Malaysia email project, instead of showcasing a reformed government machinery under the various initiatives like the GTP, ETP, EPP etc, has instead exposed the fact that all is not well within the Najib’s administration.

“The various government departments, whether due to sheer incompetence or vested interest, is the biggest hindrance to a successful implementation of government ‘transformation’ programmes,” Pua added.