Yen Yen, explain ‘Curi-curi’ M’sia

Tarani Palani
Free Malaysia Today
June 15, 2011

If the minister fails to provide a proper explanation for the RM1.8 million ‘splurge’, an opposition MP warns that netizens may bay for her blood.

KUALA LUMPUR: Due to the growing discontent, an opposition leader urged Tourism Minister Dr Ng Yen Yen to explain why RM1.8 million was spent on six Facebook pages to promote Malaysia.

Speaking in Parliament, DAP’s Rasah MP Anthony Loke said there was palpable discontent against the amount spent when it could have been attained at almost no cost.

Loke highlighted two Facebook pages regarding the matter, the “1 million Malaysians say no to RM1.8 million” and “Curi-curi wang Malaysia”, the latter being a twist of the ministry’s famous tagline “Cuti-cuti Malaysia”.

“These are very creative. Within 18 hours the ‘Curi-Curi wang Malaysia’ page already has 11,380 ‘likes’ – already half of the Tourism Malaysia’s Facebook site. And it is free!” he told reporters.

The Citrawarna 1Malaysia Facebook page attracted a total of 20,292 Facebook “likes” since its launch on May 21 this year.

A quick check by FMT revealed that “Curi-Curi wang Malaysia” currently had 14, 232 “likes” whereas “1 million Malaysians say no to RM1.8 million” had 749 “likes”.

Loke said the online community was upset that taxpayers’ money was being splurged on things that could have been done for free.

Yesterday, Deputy Tourism Minister James Dawos Mamit told Parliament that his ministry spent close to RM1.8 million to create six Tourism Malaysia Facebook applications.

He had justified the cost, saying: “This covers the creative works, concepts and ideas, design, flash programming, coding, testing and debugging, uploading and launching of applications, system server development and maintenance, development of database from the contest, campaign management and monitoring as well as online advertisements and fan recruitment on Facebook and Google.”

However, Loke had rubbished this, arguing that DAP created similar Facebook fan pages and flash applications at no cost.

‘Another splurge campaign’

During this afternoon’s press conference, the Rasah MP said: “No one can explain the situation except Yen Yen herself.”

He also warned that if the minister did not provide an adequate response, then there could be online campaigns calling for her resignation.

Loke also criticised Ng for not coming to Parliament to “face him or the media” to explain the matter.

“Rather, she has given a statement to MCA’s mouthpiece, the Star. She said that the costs were important as the tourism sector was one of the main revenue earners for the country,” he said.

“We agree that the tourism industry is important but why spend so much on something that can be gotten for free,” asked Loke.

According to the Star report, Ng said the RM1,758,432 allocation by the ministry to develop its Facebook page professionally was part of its social media campaign.

She added that it was a small amount compared to that spent by other countries in the region.

However, Loke said the contract awarded to Impact Creations should be suspended immediately and the money given to the company returned.

Impact Creations was engaged to run an advertising campaign to promote domestic tourism among younger Malaysians who were more tech-savvy.

Loke also said that the latest development would dent Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s effort to engage the online community.

Najib, he added, had been active in engaging the online community but Ng was jeopardising this effort.

DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang, who was also at the press conference, said this was another splurge campaign by the government.

“RM27 million was spent on the youth gathering for three days and now this… (it just shows) there is more unrestrained and uncontrolled expenditure (now),” he said.

  1. #1 by Godfather on Wednesday, 15 June 2011 - 6:56 pm

    Watch out for the possibility of joint holidays by Ng YY and June Ewe, the owner of Impact Creations, the sole beneficiary of the RM 1.8 million contract.

    “Lu tolong gua, gua tolong lu”

  2. #2 by asiaone on Wednesday, 15 June 2011 - 8:33 pm

    their website was registered on 22/04. when i clicked ,it read “coming soon”.. the minister claimed “it is a professional and globally run well-monitored social network”. They dont even have a website to begin with!

  3. #3 by monsterball on Wednesday, 15 June 2011 - 8:33 pm

    Yen Yen must be thinking…if all can do it…why can’t see?
    Rafidah can do it…Samy can do it…Ling can do it…Tamy can do it….broomstick dentist can do it.. and the list goes on and on.
    Little stealing also cannot?
    Not fair…….not fair.

  4. #4 by ktteokt on Wednesday, 15 June 2011 - 8:57 pm

    It would take a freshie graduate earning RM1800 per month more than 80 years to earn RM1.8 million!!!!! Does NYY know this??? How can she throw away RM1.8 million on something which every Malaysian knows is FREE????

    • #5 by waterfrontcoolie on Wednesday, 15 June 2011 - 10:25 pm

      Please do your maths first; otherwise she will think we bloggers are so BODOH that we keep on complaing without knowing what we are talking about!!

  5. #6 by -e- on Wednesday, 15 June 2011 - 9:17 pm

    that is where the funding for mca interest free scholarship coming from…..trace the $.

  6. #7 by sheriff singh on Wednesday, 15 June 2011 - 10:47 pm

    Yen Yen. Just show us the contract with Impact Creations. Then we will know the truth.

    Auditor General, where are you?

  7. #8 by hallo on Wednesday, 15 June 2011 - 11:19 pm

    These are how they steal and rob the money

    Just a few paper less than 1 dollar….write any amount you can steal with arrangement works or arrangement projects so call development

    BN = Bankrupt Nation

  8. #9 by cemerlang on Wednesday, 15 June 2011 - 11:42 pm

    Pay the cybertroopers. Well monitored, see.

  9. #10 by yhsiew on Thursday, 16 June 2011 - 12:10 am

    My conclusion is either Yen Yen has shares in Impact Creations or have relatives/friends working in Impact Creations.

  10. #11 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Thursday, 16 June 2011 - 5:52 am

    Tourism ministry: yen for lies!

    Deputy tourism minister says RMxxx,xxx for each facebook page.

    Now Yen Yen says facebook page is for free.

    Hello, who is speaking the truth or is it a yen for lies.

  11. #12 by k1980 on Thursday, 16 June 2011 - 7:51 am

    Now Yen Yen says facebook page is for free. So the RM1,800,000 goes into her pocket after all

  12. #13 by k1980 on Thursday, 16 June 2011 - 7:53 am

    //It would take a freshie graduate earning RM1800 per month more than 80 years to earn RM1.8 million!!!!! //

    And yet, sad to say, those freshie graduates earning RM1800 per month would cast their precious vote for bn! Serves them right?

  13. #14 by dagen on Thursday, 16 June 2011 - 8:35 am

    My 10yr old daughter had a facebook account. She set it up all by herself. Easy. And she was able to work the pages and communicate with her friends through that social site.

    And yen2 needs experts to do it? Come on. A solicitor working on the sale and purchase of a say 100m ringgit property earns only (max allowed) 400,000 ringgit as fees and even then that amount is negotiable downwards. Six facebook pages and the consultants charged yen2 1.8m? Where is her sense of proportionality? I would say anything more than RM20,000 for setting up those pages is excessive!

  14. #15 by Bigjoe on Thursday, 16 June 2011 - 9:00 am

    First she mouth on the cost of the Facebook pages, then she changed her tune to say it was for advertising campaign. Why aren’t the Chinese community screwed when they have mealy-mouth housewifes representing them in Cabinet?

  15. #16 by best4rakyat on Thursday, 16 June 2011 - 10:42 am

    Our leader with wisdom is going to see it “impact and creative” for malaysian to learn the lesson!
    KIT, may be we are too kidding :-))

You must be logged in to post a comment.