Why was the same company which was awarded the incinerator projects in Cameron Highlands and Pulau Tioman also awarded an advertising contract from the Ministry of Tourism last month?

Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang, on the 6th of December 2014

On the 27th of November 2014, the Malaysian Tourism Promotion Board or Tourism Malaysia, announced a list of 9 companies that would undertake its three year global and domestic advertising campaign. The company that was awarded the domestic portion of Tourism Malaysia’s advertising and promotion campaign is a company called Sumur Mutiara Sdn Bhd.[1]

Sumur Mutiara Sdn Bhd was also the company that was awarded the small scale incinerator projects in Pulau Tioman and Cameron Highlands which were highlighted in the 2012 Auditor General report for suffering long delays in the construction period and not operating according to the required standards.

A check of Sumur Mutiara’s company profile shows that its nature of business is as a General Contractor.

A Malaysian advertising industry trade magazine had to google Sumur Mutiara and call its office to find out who they were.[2] Its website – http://www.sumurmutiara.com.my/ – is still under construction. (See Attachment 1 below) This is a very strong indication that Sumur Mutiara is an unknown company in the advertising industry.

Tourism Malaysia’s website states that it has a total operating and promotion budget of RM454million for 2015, much of which goes into advertising and promotion campaigns.

Given the large amount of government spending which goes into tourism promotion campaigns, why is it that a company that was previously awarded two scale incinerator projects and failed to deliver on time and within the specifications was awarded a big tourism promotion contract? Are the skills and expertise for building incinerators similar to those needed for tourism promotion?

I call upon the chairwoman of Tourism Malaysia, Tan Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen, as well as the Ministry for Tourism Dato Seri Mohamed Nazri bin Abdul Aziz to disclose the amount of the 3 year contract awarded to Sumur Mutiara and explain the reason why this contract was given to a company that is virtually unknown in the advertising industry and whose current claim to fame is its failure to deliver on time and in good operating condition the two small scale incinerator projects in Pulau Tioman and Cameron Highlands in Pahang.

Reference: Company Profile of Sumur Mutiara Sdn. Bhd.

Attachment 1: Screenshot showing Sumur Mutiara’s website still under construction

[1] http://corporate.tourism.gov.my/mediacentre.asp?page=news_desk&news_id=1111

[2] http://www.marketingmagazine.com.my/index.php/categories/breaking-news/10626-who-is-sumur-mutiara-and-hbr-media-asia