Malaysia

‘Minister’s salary’ to update Tourism Facebook pages, says DAP Youth

By Shannon Teoh
November 30, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 — The Tourism Ministry paid RM30,000 per month to update its six Facebook campaigns, DAP Youth alleged today.

Youth chief Anthony Loke told a press conference in Parliament today that the ministry paid RM240,000 over eight months “for a job that can be done by one person.”

“This is a minister-level data entry clerk,” the Rasah MP said after showing reporters a reply by Deputy Tourism Minister Datuk James Dawos Mamit.

The reply to Loke (picture) dated November 23 said that RM10,000 was paid per month to “give feedback to questions by fans for eight months concerning the campaigns and contests and “to collect and update the database” of information collected from users who logged onto the Facebook pages.

It also said RM160,000 was spent over eight months to “manage wall posts, develop and monitor official information related to tourism, give feedback to views of fans” and to “monitor negative and irrelevant views.”

The reply also said that RM558,432 was spent on contests for the six campaigns.

Loke questioned why such an amount needed to be spent when the most expensive prizes were Canon DSLR cameras and iPad 2 tablet computers.

“How many iPads did they give away to spend over half a million?” he said.

He added that other prizes were expense-paid holidays including a 4D/3N tour of Penang.

“I’m sure if she asked Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, he will ask the Penang Tourism Board to give for free,” he said, referring to the DAP secretary general.

Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen had come under fire from both the opposition and her Cabinet colleagues in June when it was first revealed that her ministry spent RM1.8 million on six Facebook campaigns.

Critics attacked her for spending such a sum on Facebook pages which cost nothing to set up.

But Dr Ng insisted, however, the Facebook pages were free and the money was spent on advertising, promotions, data collection and contests.