RM1.8mil … for a Facebook page?

By Joseph Sipalan
June 14, 2011

The Tourism Ministry came under fire again today, as MPs questioned why it had spent RM1.8 million to start and maintain its Facebook page – yet another on the list of controversial projects.

Anthony Loke (DAP-Rasah) slammed the decision to use so much money when the social networking site can be used free of charge.

“On my last check, there are 20,308 fans on the ministry’s Facebook page. Comparably, the ‘Visit Penang’ Facebook page, for which the Penang government did not spend a sen, got over 100,000 fans. Why spend RM1.8 million?” he asked during Question Time.

Loke said it is hard to believe that not one person in the ministry has knowledge of how to maintain or update a Facebook account.

He stressed that the Tourism Ministry could have easily sought advice from various parties, including BN and opposition MPs, many of whom are ardent users of social networking sites.

“You don’t even have to ask members on this side (opposition). There are those among the backbenchers, such as Kota Belud and Rembau… they can come in as consultants,” he said, referring to Umno MPs Abdul Rahman Dahlan and Khairy Jamaluddin, who are both heavy Twitter users.

Deputy Tourism Minister James Dawos Mamit said the budget covers the cost of hosting various activities on the Facebook page, including six interactive Flash applications, development and maintenance work and advertising, which was tendered out to a company, Impact Creations Sdn Bhd, on a three-year contract from 2011-2013.

James, who stood in for Minister Ng Yen Yen despite being sick and suffering a sore throat, added that the ministry spent nearly RM300,000 to develop each of the six applications on their Facebook page.

‘It looks like a waste of money’
Khairy, in a supplementary question, agreed with Loke that the RM1.8 million budget “looks like a waste” of funds, stressing that the low interest in the ministry’s Facebook page is not reflective of the expenditure.

He acknowledged that it would take money to maintain the page and its various activities, but insisted that by engaging a company to focus on promotional work, there should already be big returns.

“Currently there are 2,013 ‘likes’, and the page design is nothing extraordinary. It’s only using the same template. We don’t even have to look at the Penang tourism page; some of the MPs here are even more popular,” he said, while asking how the ministry will measure the success of its campaign.

James pointed out that Impact Creations was engaged to run an advertising campaign to promote domestic tourism, particularly among Generation Y Malaysians who are generally more tech-savvy.

He said the success of the ministry’s social networking campaign, including advertising, will be measured based on the national return of investment in terms of an increase in domestic tourists.

  1. #1 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Tuesday, 14 June 2011 - 6:22 pm


    Rais blow half year budget on artiste event….
    Yen Yen blow RM1.8 million on facebook face….
    Who blew what on 1Email……

    Alaueh….Najib’s idea of high-income Malaysia for BN cronies-kah?

  2. #2 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Tuesday, 14 June 2011 - 6:37 pm


    Looks like either Malaysian Ministers or their ministries are good at blow-jobs. Yikes!

  3. #3 by sheriff singh on Tuesday, 14 June 2011 - 6:39 pm

    If got budget, just spend, spend la. It is legal what. Besides, the economy needs a blow-up job.

  4. #4 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Tuesday, 14 June 2011 - 6:40 pm

    Chua Soi Lek, can you give a clinical comment on ministerial bow-jobs, please?
    We need an authoritative voice who knows the deep dangers and diseases spread by blow-jobs, ministerial only, please.

  5. #5 by dagen on Tuesday, 14 June 2011 - 6:44 pm

    Next yen2 would walk with a little hop after every three strides and claim that as an exercise of tourism promotion in malaysia. And for that the ministry would spend RM1.8m on her every month.

    Tu dia. Macam tu baru boleh kaya. Power of creativity. Mestilah.

  6. #6 by sheriff singh on Tuesday, 14 June 2011 - 6:49 pm

    Kinabatangan might say “Its a big leakage”.

  7. #7 by Bunch of Suckers on Tuesday, 14 June 2011 - 6:56 pm

    What? RM1.8million!? I am promoting my Facebook without even spending a dime or nickel!!!! What RM1.8million?

    Does it mean those money paid to Facebook for what? What?

    Oh! Bunch of suckers just suck those off… This is how our Bolehland BN/UMNO government keens on pursuing and implementing new projects!!!

    Our 1Malaysia Email already devoted over RM5million. Soon it will spin up to RM10millions!!! My Gmail and Yahoo emails span nothing out of my pockets! Both pretty well with a lot of new features and permitting your to embed your own company logo or images onto email without any charges!

    What RM1.8million on Facebook and over RM5million on just a simple email system? Pigs can talk and walk like humans, man!

    Bolehland BN/UMNO suckers are pretty good in sucking business… By 2020, we will suck our own Ubi-kayu…

  8. #8 by sheriff singh on Tuesday, 14 June 2011 - 6:58 pm

    The missus needs a new handbag?

  9. #9 by cemerlang on Tuesday, 14 June 2011 - 7:31 pm

    The founders of Facebook would be the first ones to charge you for using their service and yet it is free but because you are using it, you contribute to its’ huge profits. So much so that it is still free today. But like many would testify saying that even their grandmas are using it. The people who always visit them are people who know them. But in other cases like this 1.8 million ringgit, it is to pay the users to come to their Facebook. It is not because they know the ministry of Tourism, it is not because Datuk Ng would write on their walls, it is because they have this network thing going on and they are paid to do so. That is why you need so much money like all the other government websites. The government pay you to go to its’ websites. So you are working except you do not run around, you only sit and you only respond to comments. See and that is why the real Datuk does not know what is going on. Ask Datuk Najib what he remember after reading your comments. None because the others are paid to read on his behalf. Your own website. How many actually read your own website ?

  10. #10 by Joshua on Tuesday, 14 June 2011 - 9:12 pm

    BN needs to stock up exceedingly abundant cash for GE13..


  11. #11 by undertaker888 on Tuesday, 14 June 2011 - 10:40 pm

    Zuckerman must be a happy man. He must think this umno man and MCA man are either stupid man or very corrupted man.

  12. #12 by waterfrontcoolie on Tuesday, 14 June 2011 - 10:40 pm

    It is RE-INVENTING THE WHEEL with a motive of easy money! I can just wonder if BN leaders are actually preparing for a quick exist. With so many incidents being blown up practically every week, they still bent on repeating all these scamps. WHY????? Are they admitting the FINAL VERDICT and getting financially prepared?

  13. #13 by sheriff singh on Tuesday, 14 June 2011 - 10:54 pm

    They used alot of gold ink. You know the price of gold is at record high.

    They should have engaged a couple of 10 year old school kids during the school holidays who will gladly do it for free. Just buy them some fried chicken, chips and colas and they will do a better job than the con-sultants whom I believe were engaged through ‘negotiated’ basis .

  14. #14 by ktteokt on Tuesday, 14 June 2011 - 10:57 pm

    Everybody, including primary school children, knows that FACEBOOK is FREE! My children all have FACEBOOK pages of their own and they DID NOT SPEND RM1.8 MILLION!

    Just what is this stupid woman trying to prove to Malaysians? That she is ignorant that FACEBOOK IS FREE? That she is capable of throwing away rakyat’s money? That she wants only the best for her ministry? Utter rubbish! God knows where the RM1.8 million has gone to!

    Anyway, the rakyat is not accusing her for no reason, not after she went HONEYMOONING with her husband on public funds! She can do it once, she can do it twice!

  15. #15 by Thor on Tuesday, 14 June 2011 - 11:24 pm

    Grab whatever you can before the last curtain falls.
    That’s what every BN’s ministers are doing.
    Take whatever and “cabut”.

  16. #16 by Joshua on Wednesday, 15 June 2011 - 5:46 am

    Maybe the whole story yet to be told and obvious some money going to some pockets.

    It is likely that a whole gang of readers including hackers are employed to check out those postings for further action on those deemed offensive.

    If that is the case, then a lot more money would be incurred..

  17. #17 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Wednesday, 15 June 2011 - 6:17 am

    Make no mistake Raub-citizens.

    You know Yen Yen must be given her last bus ticket to go back home next GE. Never mind if she is MCA Wanita Chief, which is all the more tragic – monumentally catastrophic – for all Chinese citizens. Maybe she should be given a ticket back to Australia to revive her PR there. Think she might go back to Australia after she finishes her political term. Don’t know, just maybe. After all, do u honestly believe she cares for Malaysians. I don’t. If u do, get yr head checked.

    Utterly incompetent. Her records at the ministry are suspicious at best.

  18. #18 by monsterball on Wednesday, 15 June 2011 - 6:42 am

    Yen Yen no make some pocket money?…not fair.
    Everyone do that and make millions.
    It is a trend.
    It is an opportunity when you are a BN minister.
    It is an incurable disease.

  19. #19 by k1980 on Wednesday, 15 June 2011 - 7:55 am

    Grandma NYY has learnt from that MARA director’s purchase of RM25,000 laptops in 2009— the more the merrier the bank account shall be. After all, despite AG’s report, no reprimand at all.

  20. #20 by Thor on Wednesday, 15 June 2011 - 8:09 am

    What are you waiting for???
    Ng Yen Yen wants a “bungee” jump out of Plaza Masaalam’s window.

  21. #21 by yhsiew on Wednesday, 15 June 2011 - 8:57 am

    BN always does something to benefit its cronies because the party wants their votes.

  22. #22 by drngsc on Wednesday, 15 June 2011 - 8:58 am

    Fleecing you in clear consciousness, daring you to do something about it. It is almost akin to rape. I will rape you, catch me if you can.
    If this goumen can do things properly, thinking of the rakyat, it will not be called BN, it will be called DAP.

    That is why, we must change the tenant at Putrajaya.

  23. #23 by Godfather on Wednesday, 15 June 2011 - 9:00 am

    Impact Creations is owned by a 55 year old woman, a long time active member of Wanita MCA. This lady also “won” the Oceanic portion of the “Malaysia Truly Asia” advertising campaign for the next 3 years. The link to NYY is so blatant, but this issue will be swept under the carpet, like all corrupt cases in Bolehland.

  24. #24 by Jeffrey on Wednesday, 15 June 2011 - 9:02 am

    Nobel Laureate Economist Milton Friedman talked of 4 ways how money is spent:-:
    • When one spends one’s own money, one spends carefully to match what is required/needed against the best value/cost expended. The Dollar goes farthest here in careful spending.
    • When one spends one’s own money on someone else, one still spends carefully, but whether one cares that the other person’s preferences are met as against amount spent depends. Still one economizes and makes the dollar go as far as it can.
    • When one spends someone else’s money on oneself – here one gets what one wants but one will not spend as carefully as one would do with his own money!
    • When one spends someone else’s money on someone else. One does not spend as carefully, and one is not unduly concerned about preferences or value for money spent. This point speaks for organisations whether governments or corporations at all levels. There is little incentive to spend company’s or tax dollars carefully.

  25. #25 by Jeffrey on Wednesday, 15 June 2011 - 9:03 am

    One may add to what Milton said that when there is endemic or systemic corruption the spending of public moneys by elected officials or bureaucrats is not only not careful but often down downright careless if not absolutely cavalier because it isn’t their money. They’re also not terribly concerned about meeting the preferences of the people they serve. Even if they are, how is it really possible to know what thousands – or millions – of people actually want their tax dollars spent on? Some may want one thing, and some another. Most officials or bureaucrats in a corrupt culture are more concerned with what’s there for them in a particular spending. If they’re getting some benefit whether a spending that allows them perks or otherwise based on a percentage that may be earned, then the greater the spending and the more careless the better because of the margin available for financing the perk or round tripping to their benefit.

    This is moral hazard, a universal problem varying in degrees depending on places culture people and the kind of institutions available for check and balance.

  26. #26 by k1980 on Wednesday, 15 June 2011 - 9:43 am

    Nyy is just making sure that once she loses her seat in the coming 13GE, she has something to fall on. After all, CSL does not want her since he already has his Angela Yummy.

  27. #27 by sheriff singh on Wednesday, 15 June 2011 - 10:15 am

    Don’t rely on MACC to investigate. There might be another another unfortunate incident. In addition, they are not reliable.

    Ask the Auditor General to look into all these shenanigans. I trust the Auditor General more than the other institutions.

    The PAC can also look into this.

  28. #28 by sheriff singh on Wednesday, 15 June 2011 - 10:19 am

    Milton Friedmee said that when one is given someone else’s money to spend as one likes, chances are that all care, accountability and transparency goes out the window almost immediately.

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