Popular Daily Fresh News
|It Appears The Story Has Not Ended:|
|Friday, 13 May 2011 11:13|
Updated Version Of Tourism Saga!
Updated Version Of Tourism Saga!
Continuation from http://goo.gl/QOgih
February 10: In an interview with TheSun, Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen says, "After 12 years, I think Malaysia should be given a chance. If Austen Zecha is a US citizen with Indonesian permanent residency and the Tourism Ministry has already given him 12 years, it is time we groom Malaysians. Otherwise, how will Malaysians have a chance? I wonder if ISC withdrew their bid because they know they were not going to get it? How do they know they were not going to get it?"
February 22: Malaysian Tourism Promotion Board releases official figures on tourist arrivals last year which say Malaysia registered 24,577,196 tourist arrivals in 2010, an increase of 3.9% compared to 2009.
February 27: TheSun reports that Tourism Malaysia’s practice in not calling for shortlisted agencies to make presentations before deciding on the winning advertising and promotions bidders is unconventional. The Association of Accredited Advertising Agents (4As) vice-president at that time Tony Savarimuthu said the calling for final presentations is an established industry practice before a decision is made on the winning bid.
Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen had said that the Finance Ministry had decided to do away with the presentation process as the submissions were 'good enough'.
“I don’t know the quality of the presentations but it is conventional to see final presentations, also to have a question-and-answer session between the clients and the agencies," Savarimuthu told theSun.
He added that to ensure no disputes arose and for greater transparency, the services of pitch consultants or independent parties can be roped in to oversee the pitching process, saying steps that can be taken to improve the process are having a clear assessment criteria and to communicate them clearly, a set timeline to announce who the winners and losers are and for independent parties like senior marketers to oversee pitches to prevent disputes.
“The best way to see a due process is to apply tools that allow you to operate better and have the best possible results,” he said adding that this was not the first time the pitching process had caused controversy.
March 14: TheSun reports MACC raids the Tourism Ministry. The visit was part of investigation into claims that the tender process aiming for a share of the RM381 million advertising and promotions contract budget was not above board. The MACC officers spent about two hours taking documents and questioning officers and staff of both the ministry and the company in question, Impact Creations (M) Sdn Bhd. MACC investigations director Datuk Mustafar Ali confirmed that it was a routine procedure in gathering evidence. It was reported that investigations have also been extended to properties owned by senior government officials and whether there could be any link to any of the tender bidders
March 14: The Star reports that former Culture, Arts and Tourism Minister Tan Sri Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir declares the slogan 'Malaysia, Truly Asia' was created by him for the Colours of Malaysia annual celebration. “I got the help of ISC to make the creative presentation for the first Malaysia, Truly Asia campaign. ISC was, in fact, initially apprehensive on the slogan as people might 'accuse us of being presumptuous by claiming us to be Asia.' I was a bit worried, too. There was even a suggestion that I should consult the Cabinet on the matter. I agonised over it and, finally, stood firm that it’s a good slogan."
ISC once again says it conceived and produced the campaign for the past 12 years despite the claim by Tan Sri Abdul Kadir that the initiative had been his.
March 16: The Star reports Tourism Minister Ng Yen Yen as saying that the ad contracts were awarded in right manner, "The advertising and promotion contracts to five companies from the Tourism Ministry were given out through an open tender and made according to procedures stated in tender documents. She refuted allegations a contract was awarded to a company purportedly owned by her friend Ms Juni Ewe. Dr Ng explained that Ewe was the managing director of a company known as Impact Challenger Sdn Bhd. However, she said Impact Creations (M) Sdn Bhd, which was a 100% bumiputra company, was one of the five companies awarded with a contract. She said Impact Creations and Impact Challenger were two separate companies. Impact Creations, she said, was owned by Hamidah Yussof and Siti Alwiyah Jally.
Both companies share the same address and phone numbers.
March 17: The Malaysian Insider news portal reports that the ad agency Integrated Strategic Communications’ (ISC) says it withdrew a bid to renew its contract with the Tourism Ministry after being asked for bribes in exchange for the deal. ISC CEO Austen Zecha alleged both he and his deputy were jointly approached on January 19 to 'offer the client' (the ministry) a 50% rebate or an annual share of the firm’s income from the account. In exchange, he said, ISC would then 're-win' another three-year Tourism Malaysia contract for the Europe, North America and Oceania tender.
April 15: Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen sues Austen for defamation. Writ of summons and statement of claim served on Zecha’s solicitors and Austen Victor Zecha was named sole defendant.
April 21: The Star headlines "Yen Yen sues Dutchman" and reports that Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen is suing Dutch businessman Austen Zecha for allegedly defaming her by saying she had solicited a bribe through a third party from him over the ministry’s advertising tender process in a radio interview over BFM89.9 on March 18.
Austen Zecha, obviously disturbed by the 'Dutchman' reference, clarifies that he started his working career as a journalist with the then Straits Times from 1962 to 1964, then again in advertising and public relations since 1974 to this day and received his Malaysian Permanent Residency in 1987.
May 5, 2011: Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, the country's longest-serving Minister of International Trade and Industry becomes new Chairperson for ad agency ISC. She replaces Dato' Mukhriz Mahathir who stepped down from the post when he was named Malaysia's Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry two years ago. When asked about ISC's ongoing tiff with the Tourism Ministry and the impending defamation suit brought by its minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen against Zecha, Rafidah said it was time to look forward.
May 6: TheSun's Terence Fernandez laments the country's advertising and promotions jobs abroad were supposed to have started on Jan 1. "It's already the first week of May and some of these jobs have only just taken off. Three weeks ago, the 29 other companies which bid for the contracts were officially told they had not been successful, following which the successful bidders were informed officially that they could start work on the long-overdue advertising and promotions work."
May 16: Suit against Austen for case management before the Kuala Lumpur High Court.
|Last Updated on Friday, 13 May 2011 11:19|