Sunday, June 19, 2011

Datuk Ng Yen Yen on RM 1.8 million spent for six Facebook pages: justified?

The financial scandal revolving around Ministry of Tourism, Malaysia has generated huge uproar among Malaysian citizens. It's also becoming an international joke.



Datuk Seri Ng Yen Yen was caught in the defensive trying to explain the spending of 1.8 million Malaysian Ringgit for social media campaign to promote Malaysian tourism.

A whooping 1.8 million dollars spent for six Facebook pages?! Are you kidding me? Remember Facebook pages are free to create! With such a sum, we can buy a mass spectrometer to be placed in a research institute to find the next cure for a disease. It can be used to help the poor and needy.

Opposition politicians joked about her as "Menteri suka melancong" (The Minister who likes to tour) instead of doing her job as "Menteri Pelancongan" (Minister of Tourism).

I don't care if anyone has spent 1.8 million bucks on anything. What makes this 1.8 million bucks to not become a joke is each buck is made up of taxpayer's hard earned money. We have toiled hard, not enjoying the living standard we deserve for the effort we contributed and coping with rising living costs. We have paid our taxes. After knowing that money has been wasted in the hands of the government on trivial matters, of course we are not pleased.

Netizens expressed their discontent by "Liking" the Facebook page of Curi-curi Wang Malaysia.

Curi curi wang malaysia

The Facebook page is named after a play on the slogan "Cuti-cuti Malaysia" (Vacation in Malaysia) to "Curi-curi Wang Malaysia" (Stealing money from Malaysia). To date, the page has garnered 118,392 "likes".

We don't make our wealth for you to spend like a queen! Even Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom has to cut down on Her Royal Highness' expenses. The citizens are not there to "sponsor" your overseas trips.

[UPDATE]

Read Was It Worth 1.8 Million? on marketing-interactive.com for the social media experts' perspective on the issue. Had our tourism minister explained the breakdown of the 1.8 million bill for social media campaign, things would have been different.

But... she still needs to answer questions on her trips!

Related links:
Curi-curi Wang Malaysia Facebook page
Facebook fiasco earns Yen Yen Cabinet colleagues’ ire
‘Social media scandal’ rocks Malaysia tourism ministry
考验部长花人民的钱

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