By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
June 17, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider
KUALA LUMPUR, June 17 — The DAP’s Anthony Loke today accused Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen of not answering why six Facebook pages cost RM1.8 million.
“This is unsatisfactory. She has not yet explained what exactly is integrated social media campaigning…what is the scope of social media? Facebook and Twitter? If it’s not a website, what is the money for? Advertisements? Where?” the DAP socialist youth chief (Dapsy) told The Malaysian Insider.
The Tourism Minister said yesterday she did not contradict a detailed account of the costs, and that the sum of money was for an “integrated social media campaign.”
Ng said that so far RM250,000 had been spent on the campaign, and that RM1.8 million would cover the cost of six different campaigns over seven months, and included the cost of contests and advertising on Google and Facebook.
Her deputy, James Dawos Mamit, had told Parliament that each Facebook page had cost RM293,072. He said that the RM1.8 million included costs for designing, flash programming and coding, testing and debugging, uploading and launching the application, system server deployment and campaign management.
Ng has not pointed out which part of her deputy’s speech which stated that the RM1.8 million was not used for the ministry’s Facebook page, despite repeated questioning by reporters yesterday.
“She has not answered questions…when asked about technical details, she cannot answer reporters…all we want to know is exactly where the money is going, and if we don’t understand, make us understand,” Loke added.
The Rasah MP also accused Ng of defending a company which had been awarded the contract to develop the Facebook pages.
Impact Creations Sdn Bhd had been hired by the ministry on a three-year contract from 2011-2013, and the scope of its operations included hosting various activities on the Facebook page(s), six interactive Flash applications, development and maintenance work as well as advertising.
“Why is Ng Yen Yen bent on defending a crony company, the sole company which awarded to carry out this so-called campaign? Is that why she is insisting on defending the exorbitant figures?” asked Loke.
Ng will be meeting the Cabinet today to provide details on the RM1.8 million expenditure.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has said that if the tourism minister’s explanation was not satisfactory, the government might investigate the matter.