Thursday 16 June 2011

MCA sidles away from Yen Yen’s Facebook fiasco

KUALA LUMPUR, June 16 — MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai sought to distance his party today from the RM1.8 million Facebook controversy vice president Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen was currently embroiled in.

Tourism Minister Ng and her ministry came under the public spotlight again after it was revealed in Parliament that the ministry had spent RM1.8 million to develop six Facebook pages.

“This is a government matter,” Liow told the Malaysian Insider when asked if Ng had the full support of the party.

Earlier today, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said Ng will be made to explain the matter to the Cabinet.

Yesterday, Ng appeared to contradict her ministry’s detailed account of the cost for each page when she said that the Facebook pages were free. Her deputy, James Dawos Mamit, earlier told Parliament that each Facebook page had cost RM293,072.

Instead, Ng said the RM1.8 million would cover the cost of six different campaigns over seven months, and included the cost of contests and advertising on Google and Facebook.

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

In his response, 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.

In March last year, Integrated Strategic Communications, the advertising agency behind the award-winning “Malaysia, Truly Asia” tourism campaign, charged that it withdrew a bid to renew its contract with the Tourism Ministry after being asked for bribes in exchange for the deal.

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