By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
The Malaysian Insider
Jun 16, 2011
KUALA LUMPUR, June 16 — Datuk Seri Ng Yen Yen blamed DAP for “distorting” facts on the tourism ministry’s RM1.8 million expenditure to develop six Facebook pages, insisting today she did not contradict a detailed account of the costs.
Her deputy, James Dawos Mamit, had told Parliament that each Facebook page had cost RM293,072.
“My deputy minister had answered it very clearly… Facebook is free.
“The cost is for the integrated social media campaign, the DAP has taken the campaign and distorted it… I accuse him (Anthony Loke) of distortion,” she told reporters today.
The tourism minister said that so far RM250,000 had been spent on the campaign.
She said yesterday the 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.
But Ng did not point 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.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said today that the Cabinet would seek an explanation from her over the matter.
He said that if the tourism minister’s explanation was not satisfactory, the government might investigate the matter.
The government has been on a cost-cutting drive after complaints that it was not walking the talk of asking people to adjust their lifestyles to mitigate the effects of subsidy cuts for fuel, electricity and sugar in recent months.
DAP Youth chief Anthony Loke had said that unless Dr Ng explained the reason behind the “exorbitant” costs for the “social media branding” exercise, he would lodge a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
Citrawarna 1 Malaysia, the most popular page, has so far attracted 20,292 Facebook fans since it was launched on May 21.
The ministry had 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.