Malaysia’s ‘stupidity’ sizzles Internet

By Casey Lee
June 17, 2011 | Free Malaysia Today

KOTA KINABALU: Malaysia, it seems, is fast becoming the purveyor of laughs on the worldwide web.

On the heels of the Obedient Wives Club which aimed to turn ‘good wives into first class whores’, there’s now the Malaysian government spending RM1.8 million (US$590,000) on six Facebook, which incidentally is free, applications.

The Internet application (app) developer world is abuzz with humour and bewildement at the ‘stupidity’ of the move.

The common view across the web is that the move to spend just over half a million US dollars is “seriously stupid” and an “utter waste of tax-payers’ money.

Speaking in Penn Olson – The Asian Tech Catalogue site – Willis Wee said in an article headlined “Spending US$100,000 For a Facebook App is Just Plain Stupid” and many other experts in the business think so too.

Wee said he forwarded the news about the Malaysian government’s largesse to Preetham Venkky, the Business Head at KRDS India, one of the Facebook authorized app development firms in Asia, to seek his opinion on the matter.

Preetham’s reply was that spending RM1.8 million (USD$590,000) to develop six Facebook applications was ‘impossible’ and ‘seriously unjustified’.

He said: “For an app like Citrawana (one of the six) to costs close to US$100,000, this is impossible since the app is pretty straight to the point.

“The money paid is seriously unjustified. It should cost anywhere between US$12,000 – US$15,000 inclusive of two iPads being given away as prizes.

He added that “these costs would include (to quote directly) – “creative works, concepts and ideas, design, flash programming and coding, testing and debugging, uploading and launching of application, system server development and maintenance, and development of database from the contest.”

Potentials not exploited

Earlier this week, the Tourism Ministry, through Deputy Minister James Dawos Mamit, set off a storm when it revealed it had paid that amount for the Facebook apps.

In his reply, Venkky said it was important to note that based on the minister’s statement “cost did not include campaign management, monitoring, Facebook ads, or fan recruitment through Facebook and Google”.

“In most cases, the costs can escalate quite rapidly if a key deliverable is fan count.

“If there’s a target to acquire one million US fans for the page (this could be a realistic expectation since the client is a tourism client) where the CPC (cost per click) is US $1.10 (on average) then it might be a good deal.

“If I were to make a guess, I think it would make sense if $90,000 includes the development of six apps with the remaining money spent on media (buying ads) to propagate and rapidly increase engagement,” he added.

Venkky was also shocked at the quality of the apps that were developed which, he said, did not fully utilise the full potential of the social network site and was not encouraging more ‘fans’ to ‘like’ the pages of the Tourism Ministry.

“The agency hasn’t used the basic mechanics involved in Facebook fans acquisition.

“For instance, a user can play the game without ‘liking’ the page. There’s a micro-leaderboard but no global leaderboard.

“How would the user be motivated if he doesn’t know where he stands globally?

“And honestly, it’s extremely difficult to get 50,000 points which will only encourage the users to give up soon.

“Also, the developer hasn’t used any ‘virality’ at all in the app.

“For instance it doesn’t prompt the user to share their score as an update, it doesn’t have an option to ‘challenge’ and invite your friends to join the game etc.

“There’s a lot that could’ve been done with the app, but it looks like the development agency has missed out on the core features to make the app go viral and hence increase fans and awareness,” he said.

  1. #1 by k1980 on Friday, 17 June 2011 - 2:48 pm

    //“The money paid is seriously unjustified. It should cost anywhere between US$12,000 – US$15,000 inclusive of two iPads being given away as prizes.//

    So the RM1,800,000 cost should include Fatso NgYY being given away as consolation prize. Any takers? I believe even Bung Moktar would run home screaming for Zizie if he were to be offered such a good-for-nothing prize weighing close to 200 kilograms

  2. #2 by Godfather on Friday, 17 June 2011 - 2:49 pm

    We are so stupid we always end up paying more than we should….or maybe the stupidity was deliberate so that some people end up making a lot more money than they should. Hmmmm…….who says stupidity is bad ?

  3. #3 by Bigjoe on Friday, 17 June 2011 - 3:01 pm

    Seriously, do we need the Indians to tell us how pathetic we are in holding our politician accountable? The Indians – their govt and corruption is just as bad or worst than us and they can’t hold thers accountable too. Have we arrived at that state of pathetic that we need them to tell us?

  4. #4 by Bunch of Suckers on Friday, 17 June 2011 - 5:05 pm

    Absolutely! They knew exactly Facebook is FREE social Networking!!!! Apparently, they own their Facebook individually! Why they wanted to pay expensively and unnecessarily for those promotional Pages!

    Understandably, all they want is to rip and pocket Malaysia Tax Payers’ money to get rich! Therefore, they are so keen and happy to introduce, pursue and implement Projects to make and suck off Tax Payers’ money! She have houses in Down Under; yet she greed and own half of the suburb??? The entire world is laughing at this Doctorate Holder to rip and pocket heaps of money in those 6 pages of Facebook for RM300,000 each with the total of RM1.8millions.

    Presumably, a Doctorate person won’t be that stupid as this moronic lady. I wonder how and where she earned and awarded her Doctorate? Bought or given freely by her local monkey universities??? Obviously, she thought all Malaysians are stupid as she presumed… Bunch of suckers!!!!

  5. #5 by rockdaboat on Friday, 17 June 2011 - 6:03 pm

    Ripped off and made sucker yet again?

  6. #6 by dagen on Friday, 17 June 2011 - 6:09 pm

    Dear Ng Yen Yen, PhD (Cheating cara-umno),

    Actually you are better than umno. Umno charged the government 42,000 for a 2,000 laptop. That is 20X more expensive.

    Now the 6 FB applications can be had for something like (by my reckoning) 20,000 ringgit. Here the minister paid 1,800,000. Now that is 90X more expensive.

    This seems to be the trend for barisan these days. Everyone is working hard to outdo each other on how stupidly and ridiculously much their projects could be overpriced!

    What I now honestly fear is this. Our MRT project. Umno will surely overprice it. That is as certain as day follows night. The question is by how much? More than Ng Yen2? Lets work on say 100X more expensive. Heck the project would cost us wot? 40b x 100 = 4,000 billion ringgit. 4 trillion ?%$#@!(*&@?

  7. #7 by boh-liao on Friday, 17 June 2011 - 6:22 pm

    Although she sounded like she has permanent head damage, plz don’t upgrade d cheat 2 a PhD holder when she is just a bachelor something
    She n d entire cabinet r just plain crooks, n thick skin, no shame – sigh!

  8. #8 by undertaker888 on Friday, 17 June 2011 - 6:28 pm

    Yum yum is one of the people we like MACC to throw out of the window. but then again, MACC will only throw witnesses and good people only.

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