Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, 19th June 2011:
“Creativity cannot be quantified” - Malaysians must thank their lucky stars, for it only costs RM1.8 million
Going by the logic of MCA President Datuk Seri Chua Soi Lek, Malaysians must thank their lucky stars that they had not been charged RM18 million or RM180 million for six Facebook pages to promote tourism to Malaysia although Facebook pages are free as “creativity cannot be quantified”.
Chua’s logic is impeccable when he said it might cost nothing to start Facebook but “maintenance had costs” particularly when he stressed that it is difficult to put a dollar figure to the creativity of the IT consultants used.
If Chua is right, did the Cabinet at its meeting on Friday recorded its appreciation for the acumen and services of the Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Ng Yen Yen for only billing RM1.8 million when it could be RM18 million or RM180 million for the “unquantifiable” consultancy fees for the six free Facebook pages?
Why then are there reports of Cabinet unhappiness at its Friday meeting over the Tourism Ministry’s latest RM1.8 million Facebook fiasco to the extent that Ng Yen Yen had to issue a late-night statement the same day insisting that the Cabinet had accepted her explanations?
However, the conspicuous silence of the other MCA and non-MCA Cabinet Ministers (including the Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin who had earlier demanded that Ng explain to the Cabinet) had been so deafening that the MCA President Chua Soi Lek had to come to her public defence – although Chua is not a member of the Cabinet!
What Chua did is not unexpected as he Is reciprocating Ng Yen Yen’s support for him when he was facing his greatest political crisis in his public life – but it does raise the question of public propriety especially when Chua said he had asked Ng for Cabinet minutes of its Friday meeting on the RM1.8 million Facebook fiasco.
Isn’t this a breach of Cabinet confidentiality and a violation of the Official Secrets Act for a Cabinet Minister to reveal Cabinet minutes without authority to a non-Cabinet member, even though he is MCA President?
But Chua is defending the indefensible! What creativity is Chua talking about?
Why don’t Chua ask Ng to invite those who started the “Curi Curi Wang Malaysia” Facebook to take over the “Cuti Cuti Malaysia” Facebook as at 10 am today, there have been over 115,900 support for “Curi Curi Wang Malaysia” Facebook though started in less than five days since last Tuesday evening or some three times the hits for the official Tourism Ministry Facebook “Cuti Cuti Malaysia” started in May.
Malaysians cannot accept Ng’s self-serving statement that she has got Cabinet endorsement for the RM1.8 million splurge on six Facebook pages especially as the Deputy Prime Minister had gone public demanding an explanation from her.
Either Muhyiddin or the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak himself should declare to Malaysians whether the Cabinet fully backs Ng in the RM1.8 million Facebook fiasco and if not, what the Cabinet proposes to do as remedy to the extravagant and reckless expenditure of public funds at a time of economic austerity.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor