Posted on 1 June 2018 – 06:42pm
PUTRAJAYA: Tourism Malaysia has denied its former chairman Wee Choo Keong’s allegations that the promotion contract under its Smart Tourism project was made in contravention of the Tourism Ministry’s procurement regulations.
Its chairman, Datuk Dr Siew Ka Wei, said Tourism Malaysia inked a contract with the Tencent Group, the largest internet and digital corporation in China with a reach of 980 million Chinese nationals, to increase the number of tourist arrivals in the country.
He said all documents signed for the digital marketing initiative were made in a clear and transparent manner according to administrative procedures.
“In fact, copies shown in Wee’s blog are not of the actual contract signed with the Tencent Group. They were copies of a draft proposal and Tourism Malaysia has come up with a different document that protected the interest of the board and the nation.
“The final agreement that was signed was the one that Tourism Malaysia came up with,” he said in a statement, here today.
Wee in his blog post today labelled the RM99 million deal with a local company, which acted as a go-between for Tourism Malaysia and Tencent Group to promote Malaysia on social media platforms, as a “Speedy Gonzales contract”.
He claimed that the deal was made against the ministry’s procurement regulations and done hastily without proper due diligence.
Siew said Geeko Technology was the local partner chosen by Tencent to implement the project here.
“The principal officers are known to the Tencent Group. The choice of Geeko as a Special Purpose Vehicle for the project was made by Tencent,” he said.
Siew said Tourism Malaysia stood by its actions and insisted that its administrative actions were made in accordance with proper procedures with full transparency and integrity.
“We welcome any authority to check and verify his claims,” he said.
Tourism Malaysia demanded that these allegations be stopped and withdrawn immediately as it may jeopardise the Smart Tourism project and could result in tourism economic losses, Siew said. — Bernama