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Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Putrajaya renews controversial APCO contract

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal

July 06, 2010
KUALA LUMPUR, July 6 — The Najib administration has renewed its contract with the APCO Worldwide for another year, despite the firm’s alleged links with Israeli intelligence operatives.
Political foes have made the public relations consultancy’s work for the government a major focus point, as any link with Israelis is a taboo in Muslim majority nations.
It is understood that APCO has hired more local consultants for the new contract, which sources in the Prime Minister’s Department say is not as lucrative as the whopping RM76.8 million paid for the first year from July 15, 2009 to June 4, 2010 in exchange of its public relations services to boost Malaysia’s image internationally.
“The Najib administration has renewed its contract with APCO Worldwide for at least another year,” the government source told The Malaysian Insider.
It is understood approval in principle was given a few weeks ago, with both sides told to keep it confidential due to the opposition uproar over the firm’s links to former Israeli agents.
The source also told The Malaysian Insider that the conditions of the newly-signed contract differed from the deal.
“This time around, the agreement between APCO and Malaysia is more open-ended. Under the new deal, both sides have an option to terminate the agreement at any given time before the contract expires in approximately a year’s time,” said the source.

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