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People are once again going nuts about how the government spends money. The most recent one is about the RM1.8 Million spending by the Tourism Ministry for 6 Tourism Facebook Applications. Many are shocked to learn that the Malaysian government paid millions for 6 Facebook Fan Pages that could be created for free.

I have to admit that I was shocked too upon reading the headlines about this that reads:

“Tourism Ministry: RM1.8 Million Spent On Facebook Pages”

“RM1.8 million for six Facebook pages”

“Tourism Minister spend RM1.8 million for Facebook page”

However, after reading and visiting the said FanPage (only one was provided), I think the RM1.8M total cost of the project is logical.

Here’s why I think that the cost is logical.

It’s actually more than just 6 Facebook Fan Pages.

It’s a Tourism Malaysia Marketing Campaign with 6 Facebook Fan Pages as the front end. Behind the Facebook Fan Pages are applications, games, email marketing, databases, hardware, infrastructure, consultancy, development, training and many more items that involve costs. These we don’t see.

Hardware and Infrastructure?

Well, if you are asking why do they need hardware and infrastructure for Facebook Fan Pages, read on. Unless you are building your FanPages using Static FBML (which is no longer made available easily), you need a webserver to host your Fanpage.

Yes, they could probably save some of the hardware costs by hosting the pages, applications and games on the cloud with services from EmbunWeb, Amazon and many more. However, those still come with costs.


These are backend applications that provide the Ministry with data collection, management and manipulation. It integrates the Facebook front end Fan Pages and games with the Ministry’s existing applications for reporting and whatnot. There may be a number of applications already or being developed for the Ministry.


The Fan Pages are built with games on them to entice people to “Like” and become “Fans” of the page. Admittedly, the game presented on the Tourism Malaysia ~ Cuti Cuti 1Malaysia page is not something that I would talk about nor recommend.

I can only hope and wish that they do have many more games (better ones, too) in the pipeline.


Where else should they keep all the marketing data they’ve gathered? They’ll definitely need a decent database to really collect, organize, analyze and monetize the data they collect during this marketing campaign. Without a database, all data will be simply worthless.

How The RM1.8 Million Was Spent By My Calculations

How The RM1.8 Million Was Spent

The RM1.8 Million Tourism Malaysia Marketing Campaign

Here’s how I think the money was spent in this RM1.8 Million huha.


FB App Server68,00048,000
Email Marketing Server18,0008,000
Reporting Server18,0008,000
Spare Server28,00016,000
DB Server220,00040,000
App Dev420,00080,000
Games Dev3610,000360,000
Software License300,000
Support & Maintenance250,000
Facebook Fan Page64972,982

It’s certainly conceivable that the entire Marketing Campaign will cost RM1.8 Million. As a matter of fact, if that’s the only amount they are going to spend to promote Malaysia, not enough.

What do you think? Is RM1.8 Million too much to promote Malaysia to the world?