Faced with a barrage of criticism over its Endless Possibilities campaign, Putrajaya said it launched the campaign in January, months before Israel launched its version.
According to a statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office yesterday, the Israel campaign titled “Israel. One place. Endless Possibilities” came out four months after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak unveiled the Malaysian campaign at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, this year.
The Malaysian Insider had reported the campaign will be launched on September 17, a day after the country celebrates its 50th Malaysia Day.
Endless Possibilities is seen as an effort to rebrand 1Malaysia, a theme that was introduced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak when he first took office in April 2009.
A new website, www.malaysia.my, has also been put in place.
The introduction of a new slogan has prompted netizens to mock the government’s efforts to “complement” the 1Malaysia theme.
The Jebat Must Die blog took exception with the government for spending money on a campaign that is similar to the Israel tourism slogan pitch.
“Please give the world something original. If you can’t even sort out a proper slogan and had to copy from other countries, then your implementation and grandiose ideas are doubtful to begin with,” the blogger posted on the site.
This is the second time Putrajaya is accused of lifting a campaign idea from Israel.
Two years ago, opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was suspended from parliament for six months for making a false statement.
Anwar was punished for claiming Prime Minister Najib Razak’s government got the idea for its “1Malaysia” campaign from media consultancy Apco Worldwide, which he claimed was also behind the One Israel concept. The government denied this.
However, Putrajaya is going ahead with rolling out the campaign despite the heavy criticisms.
“The campaign Endless Possibilities kicked off earlier this year but its launch is on September 17, all ministers are already briefed about this,” a source told The Malaysian Insider early this week.
The source also mentioned that Najib had been seen wearing the 1Malaysia button badge alongside another button badge with the Endless Possibilities logo – with the alphabets M and Y in red, yellow and white, enclosed in a circle against a blue background.
The 1Malaysia tagline of “People First, Performance Now” has been constantly criticised for its vague meaning and critics, including former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, have said that the slogan cannot unite Malaysians. - August 24, 2013.