The government company set up to build affordable homes for the lower-income group was criticised today after it paid for full-page advertisements in Umno’s Utusan Malaysia and the MCA’s The Star to congratulate Datuk Husni Hanadzlah on his reappointment as second finance minister.
The advertisements by Syarikat Perumahan Negara Berhad (SPNB) feature a colour photograph of Husni and is from the board of directors, management and staff.
According to an official from The Star, SPNB was charged RM59,529.60 for the advertisement.
An Utusan Malaysia official said the advertisement cost about RM37,000.
“Why is a statutory body using taxpayers’ money to congratulate the reappointment of a minister? This is the ultimate ball-carrying exercise.
“Whoever authorised this should be punished,” DAP lawmaker and national publicity chief Tony Pua told The Malaysian Insider.
SPNB is a fully-owned subsidiary of the Finance Ministry.
This is the second term Husni has held the finance portfolio together with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak who appointed himself finance minister I.
PKR communications director Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad has described the advertorials as a “waste” of public funds and typifies the administration’s obsession with glossy public relations exercises that had proven to be of little impact as seen from the just-concluded Election 2013.
“It’s highly unusual for a company, especially a government company, to congratulate one individual minister. It is a waste and sets a bad precedent.
“It typifies the kind of political fiefdom and obsession with public relations exercises that is becoming so prevalent under Najib but has no impact whatsoever,” he told The Malaysian Insider.
The Malaysian Insider had reported that the ruling Barisan Nasional’s (BN) poorer standing in Election 2013 had put a spotlight on its “war room” strategists whose plans with a substantial budget did not appear to stop the ruling coalition from losing more federal and state seats in the May 5 general election.
According to party sources, BN had also outsourced some of the strategy to public relations and branding experts such as APCO’s Paul Stadlen and TV3’s Datuk Seri Ahmad Farid Ridzuan but it appeared to no avail.
Stadlen has been Putrajaya’s main contact with the international media while Farid had been seconded from TV3 parent, Media Prima Bhd, to the Prime Minister’s Department for the past few years.
“They were spending money on local newspapers with shrinking circulation and TV stations that did not appeal to the young. What a waste of time and money,” said the source.
It has been estimated that BN had spent more than RM100 million directly and indirectly for the massive media campaign that encompassed print, television, billboards and online sites for Election 2013.
BN formed the government with a simple majority of 133 seats, which is seven fewer that what it garnered in Election 2008. The ruling coalition also lost the popular vote for the first time since 1969, scoring 48 per cent against PR’s 52 per cent.
The coalition, however, denied claims that its war room strategists had failed to achieve the pact’s Election 2013 targets, pointing out that it still retained control of Putrajaya and regained Kedah.
It also boasted that it managed to keep Perak from falling into PR’s control. The swing state was one of the four states that fell to the federal opposition in the 12th general election.
Almost 100K spend for a day of advertisement???
Do they know how long it take to earn 100K and they spend it in 1 day!!
Do they know how many extra unit of low cost flat can build with 100K!!
So if any family that can't get draw to buy the low cost flat, you should know why....
If only the Umno supporters could be informed of this waste of public fund and why, the opposition would have started their work to win over the 'blind' Malaysians. Telling your own supporters and not publicly to all , is just a waste of time as the root cause had not been corrected.
they have already started their gerrymendering ways. they are not going to change one bit. god save malaysia
Haul up the persons involved! What a waste of public money!
Unfortunately, we can expect to SEE NO ACTION taken against the persons involved, and on the contrary. the persons involved MAYBE PRAISED for such senseless, idiotic acts.
Please STOP making Malaysia a LAUGHING STOCK.
Laughing stock No.1: Locking up a reporter using ISA for her "safety".
Laughing stock No.2: Buying condos for cows.
Laughing stock No.3: Paying money for FaceBook.
and the list goes on.
This won't be the last as this is one of the way of keeping paper like the Utusan alive as the boycott by the people are showing effects on their circulation especially on their advertisers.