Malaysia

Tourism Ministry: RM1.8m spent on Facebook pages

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
June 14, 2011

Rasah MP Anthony Loke wants Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Ng Yen Yen to explain the “exorbitant” costs involved in developing the Facebook pages. — Reuters file picRasah MP Anthony Loke wants Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Ng Yen Yen to explain the “exorbitant” costs involved in developing the Facebook pages. — Reuters file picKUALA LUMPUR, June 14 — A whopping RM1,758,432 was spent on developing six Facebook pages to promote Malaysian tourism, the Tourism Ministry said today.

Deputy Tourism Minister James Dawos Mamit said this today in reply to a question from Anthony Loke (Rasah-DAP).

Each Facebook page cost RM293,072 — Cuti-Cuti 1 Malaysia, Citrawarna 1Malaysia, Karnival Jualan Mega 1 Malaysia, Festival Pelancongan Seni Kontemporari 1 Malaysia, Kempen 1 Malaysia Bersih and Fabulous Food 1 Malaysia.

The Citrawarna 1 Malaysia page has so far attracted 20,292 Facebook fans since it was launched on May 21.

Mamit said that the RM1.8 million included costs for designing, flash programming and coding, testing and debugging, uploading and launching the application, system server deployment and campaign management.

“You need RM1.8 million to run Facebook pages and applications? A six-year-old can start a Facebook page.

“If Datuk Seri Ng Yen Yen has problems getting people to help start Facebook pages, DAP headquarters can help her out, we have people who can develop these things at no cost,” Loke told reporters later at a press conference.

Loke said that unless Ng explained the reasons behind the “exorbitant” costs for the “social media branding” exercise by her ministry, he intends to lodge a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).