Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has revealed that RM700 million has been spent since 2020 to promote the government.
He said the bulk of the spending was handled by the Prime Minister’s Office for advertisements and media buys to promote government initiatives.
“Some media outlets were also paid to promote the prime ministers,” he told the Dewan Rakyat.
Anwar said RM500 million was spent during former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s tenure, and that this included promoting the government’s Covid-19 initiatives.
“During Bera’s (Ismail Sabri Yaakob) tenure as prime minister, he didn’t spend that much and there were leftover allocations,” he said, adding the present administration only honoured agreements signed during Ismail’s tenure.
“For 2023, there were no additional allocations,” he said during the prime minister’s question time.
Anwar was responding to the question from P Prabakaran (PH-Batu) about the total amount spent by the government for promotional activities since 2020.
He said that for next year, the finance ministry has been instructed to only approve a maximum of RM100 million for the same purposes.
“The government should not be burdened by adverts and publicity, other than our programmes reaching out to the people, and explaining through the mass media, including social media,” he said.
In promoting the current government initiatives like the Madani economy policy, he said, ministers and MPs are also encouraged to explain government initiatives to the grassroots.
Earlier this year, the government revealed that Ismail’s administration spent a little more than RM62 million for his “Keluarga Malaysia” government.
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