LAST week, Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim shocked the Parliament when he said the previous regimes headed by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob spent over RM700 mil on advertising, promotion and publicity.
Today, the Finance Ministry (MOF) confirmed the assertion made by the PM.
“The MOF would like to confirm that the total expenditure of the Federal Government for advertising, promotion and publicity works in publicising the Government’s agenda for a period of three years, ie 2020 to 2022 during the past two administrations has reached RM700 mil.
“The expenditure was used by the past two administrations to publicise the Government’s achievements and efforts through all mass media platforms including billboards, print media, electronic media (television and radio) and social media,” MOF stated in the statement.
MOF also said that most of the expenses for this purpose are coordinated by the PM’s Office.
In response to Anwar, Muhyiddin accused Anwar of attempting to smear the coalition’s image with claims that his administration spent RM500 mil on promoting the government, including its COVID-19 initiatives.
The Perikatan Nasional chairman also pointed out that advertisements on billboards, television and radio were focused on COVID-19-related messages including on aid and stimulus packages, after the country was struck by the pandemic.
The Pagoh MP also called out Anwar for reneging on his promise not to waste public funds on billboards.
“Yet, today, we see huge Madani billboards everywhere.”
Nevertheless, the MOF noted there is an excess of the value of the communication contract signed during the previous administration that was not spent in 2022.
For 2023, the Madani government’s communication expenditure has so far used only part of the excess value of the communication contract of the previous administration, amounting to RM56.9 mil.
No new communication contracts have been awarded during the year 2023 by the administration of the Madani government.
For 2024, the administration of the Madani government will reduce expenses for advertising, promotion and publicity to not exceed RM100 mil, which is half of the average value of previous expenses. – Nov 11, 2023
Main photo credit: FMT