Your MP's Question of the Week #45

Was this the attitude of the Ministry of Health? …

“Who cares about the message and quality, let’s spend the budget!”

Soalan Mingguan WR Anda ke-45

Adakah ini sikap Kementerian Kesihatan?  …

“Usah bimbangkan maklumat dan mutu iklan, habiskan peruntukan dulu!”

– – – – – – – – o – – – – – – – –

Recently, a reader of this blog cared enough to highlight to me what most of us would normally have let slide.

Apparently just before the end of 2008, the reader noticed that the Ministry of Health had suddenly embarked on a blitz of mass-media public awareness advertising campaigns like there was no tomorrow.

Obviously what amazed and disgusted the reader was the number of different campaigns that were running simultaneously and the frequency at which the various messages were bombarding the rakyat. What’s more, the majority of the campaigns were poorly conceived and unprofessionally executed. To be honest, they were mostly amateurish and atrocious!

Who were the people at the Ministry of Health tasked and responsible for the selection and hiring of the public relations and/or advertising agencies to carry out these awareness campaigns? What were the criteria for selection? How much budget was allocated and spent? How much was the production cost? How much was the media cost?

The reader’s biggest beef was that this person had expected the ministry would have had exercised a little more responsibility and caution in spending the rakyat’s money during such economic hard times instead of just ‘blowing’ the budget away with seeming abandonment.

According to the reader, “Why the hurry? Was this another classic case of ‘finish the budget before the deadline is up?’ Was there any hanky-panky involved?”

After briefly going through the facts of the case submitted to me, it would appear that the Ministry of Health was culpable and had been ill-advised and became grossly irresponsible with the public’s monies.

Judge for yourself here, too, as I would now take the opportunity to publish verbatim extracts of the said reader’s analyses and comments below. I am grateful that this same person had gone to great length to compile the materials and taken precious time to submit some opinions to me.

At the end of the day, arising out of this matter, here’s the question I would like to put forth for your consideration:

Should the Ministry of Health, plus all other government departments, be more responsible and adopt an austerity drive policy not to willy nilly use up precious budgets (which are in fact the rakyat’s monies) for wasteful and unnecessary projects in view of the current global economic slowdown?

– Terjemahan oleh Lee Wee Tak – Ucapan ribuan terima kasih dari Wee Choo Keong –

Baru-baru ini, seorang pembaca blog ini prihatin menarik perhatian saya terhadap sesuatu yang kebanyakan daripada kita tidak perasan.

Sebelum berakhirnya 2008, pembaca tersebut mendapati Kementerian Kesihatan tiba-tiban melancarkan pengiklanan nan bertubi-tubi tanpa kawalan.

Pembaca ini ketara berasa hairan dan jijik sebab rancangan pengiklan tersebut dilancar serentak serta kekerapan rancangan pengiklan diudarakan memang keterlaluan sikit. Apatah lagi kebanyakan ikaln tersebut nampaknya digubal dengan lemah dan dilaksanakan bawah taraf profesional. Memang rancangan pengiklan ini bermutu rendah!

Siapakah pegawai Kementerian Kesihatan yang bertanggungjawab memilih dan mengupah syarikat hubungan awam dan pengiklanan nan melaksanakan kempen kesedaran ini? Apakah syarat pemilihan? Berapakah jumlah peruntukan telah dibelanja? Berapakah ongkos pembikinan iklan? Berapakah belanja ruang media?

Rungutan utama pembaca adalah sepatutnya pegawai bertanggungjawab harus lebih prihatin dan berasa tanggungjawab dalam mengatur perbelanjaan wang rakyat dalam waktu iktisad yang genting ini dan bukanlah menghabiskan peruntukan tanpa kawalan.

Menurut pembaca blog, “Mengapa perlu bergegas macam ini? Adakah ini satu lagi tindakan ‘habiskan peruntukan sebelum tarikh muktamad?’ Adakah apa-apa penyelewengan yang terlibat?”

Setelah memerhatikan fakta yang dikemukan kepada saya sebentar, nampaknya pihak Kementerian Kesihatan boleh dianggap bertanggungjawab dan dinasihat dengan lemah dan cuai dalam amanahnya dengan wang rakyat.

Buatlah rumusan anda sendiri kerana saya membentangkan petikan pemerhatian dan ulasan pembaca tersebut tanpa sebarang perubahan. Saya amat berterimakasih kepada beliau mengambil masa mengumpul maklumat dan menghantar pendapatnya kepada saya.

Mengenai peristiwa ini, soalan saya untuk renungan semua adalah:

Patutkah Kementerian Kesihatan, dan semua perbadanan kerajaan lain, bersikap bertanggungjawab dan mengadakan dasar berjimat cermat dan tidak membazirkan wang rakyat dengan sewenang-wenangnya atas rancangan yang tidak perlu ada memandangkan kegentingan iktisad sejagat kini?

Wasteful MOH advertisements!

As a concerned citizen, I wish to point out the recent barrage of Ministry of Health (MOH) advertisements in December 2008 that had left me wondering if the Ministry had indeed spent our taxpayer’s money sensibly.

I have counted at least 5 different campaign messages in the span of 3 weeks …

  • Dengue
  • AIDS/HIV
  • Avoid food poisoning
  • I practice a healthy lifestyle
  • Tak Nak!

It appears as though MOH is very quick to implement all 5 campaigns in a very short duration of time (3 weeks). It is as though the budgets need to be fully utilized before the end of the year.

Iklan Kementerian Kesihatan yang membazirkan!

Sebagai seorang rakyat yang berprihatin, saya ingin menyatakan iklan Kementerian Kesihatan baru-baru ini yang disiarkan bertubi-tubi dalam bulan Disember 2008 yang menyebabkan saya khuatiri sama ada ihak Kementerian Kesihatan boleh lebih berhati-hati dan cermat dalam menggunakan sumbangan semua pembayar cukai.

Saya dapati sekurang-kurangnya 5 kempen iklan dalam tempoh 3 minggu…

* Dengi
* AIDS/HIV
* Mengelakkan keracunan makanan
* Saya mengamalkan gaya hidup sihat
* Tak Nak!

Nampaknya pihak Kementerian Kesihatan pantas melaksanakan 5 kempen iklan ini dalam waktu singkat (3 minggu) dan kelihatan ingin menghabiskan peruntukan sebelum tahun berakhir.

Amateur-Quality Advertisement (Dengue)

The advertisement suffers from poor copy and visuals. It states the fact: Dengue is on the rise but does not educate people how to eradicate them.

dengue-on-the-rise

Also, it doesn’t specify what the public can do in 10 minutes every week.

In a nutshell, it tells you Dengue is alarming but does not tell you where to search and how to eradicate it.

The public must first know where to search before they can destroy Aedes.

Such important details are knowingly/unknowingly left out!

Iklan bermutu amatur (Dengi)

Iklan ini bermutu rendah dari segi penggubalan dan pembentangan. Ia hanya menyatakan apa yang ketara iaitu kejadian dengi sedang meningkat tanpa memberitahu orang ramai bagaimana boleh membasmikannya.

(Iklan: Kejadian dengi meningkat)

Juga, ia tidak menyatakan apakah pihak umum boleh buat untuk 10 minit saban minggu.

Secara ringkasnya, ia memberitahy kejadian dengi mencemaskan tetapi tidak memaklumkan kita bagaimana mencari dan membasmi puncanya.

Pihak umu harus diberitahu di mana mereka boleh dapatkan puncanya dan bagaiman nymauk aedes boleh dihapuskan.

Butir-butir mustahak macam ini telah diabaikan!

Amateur-Quality Advertisement (I practice a Healthy Lifestyle)

Instead of stating the obvious, the Ministry should go on an education platform to tell citizens how to “stay active, at right, manage stress, avoid drinking alcohol”

i-practise-a-healthy-lifestyle

Does the Ministry also expect discerning citizens to follow the lifestyle of a fictitious cartoon figure and be inspired?

Don’t advertise for the sake of advertising. If you don’t have something important to say, don’t waste our tax payers money on such meaningless advertisements.

Iklan tidak bertaraf professional (Saya mengamalkan gaya hidup sihat)

Daripada menyatakan apa yang ketara, pihak Kementerian Kesihatan haris memberitahu umum bagaimana kita boleh mengamalkan gaya hidup yang “terus bergiat, pemakanan nan sihat, bijak mengurus tekanan jiwa, megelakkan arak”

(Iklan: Saya mengamalkan gaya hidup sihat)

Haruskah pihak Kementerian Kesihatan harap semua rakyat akan dipengaruhi dengan seorang watak lakaran sahaja?

Jangan buat iklan untuk tujuan beriklan sahaja, Jika anda tiada maklumat penting disampaikan, jangan bazirkan wang pembayar cukai atas iklan nan tidak bermakna ini.

Amateur-Quality Advertisement (Avoid food poisoning)

Again, the Ministry must avoid stating the obvious and pay more attention to the copy. The advertisement suffers from poor grammatical error such as “The staff are clean”. It should read “The staffs are clean”.

where-are-you-eating-today

The copy “The food is safe and clean” is rather vague / ambiguous. Does it mean safe from Melamine? Or safe from contamination? How would we know?

The advertisement have nonetheless made the Ministry a laughing stock with such poor command of English and have successfully diverted readers attention to focus on the poorly-written copy and also wonder how this advertisement could have passed through the relevant MOH department head with such glaring errors!

Iklan nan tidak bertaraf (Elakkan keracunan makanan)

Sekali lagi pihak Kementerian Kesihatan mesti mengelakkan daripada menyatakan apa yang ketara dan memberi perhatian kepada pembentangan iklan. Iklan ini banyak mengandungi kesilapan tata bahasa seperti “The staff are clean” di mana sepatutnya adalah “The staffs are clean”.

(Iklan: Anda makan di mana hari ini?)

Erti ayat ini “makanan ini adalah selamat dan bersih (“The food is safe and clean”) kurang jelas. Adakah ia bermaksud selamat daripada pencemaran Melamine atau kekotoran lain? Bagaimanakah kita boleh memastikan ini?

Iklan tersebut menjadikan Kementerian Kesihatan tajuk sembang lawa dengan penguasaan bahasa Inggeris yang bergitu lemah dan telah mengalihkan perhatian pembaca kepada kelemahan penguasaan bahasa dan kita juga rasa hairan bagainmanakah penulisan sebegini lemah boleh diluluskan oleh ketua jabatan Kementerian Kesihatan yang berkenaan!

Amateur-Quality Advertisement (Tak Nak!)

The advertisement suffers from poor execution whereby the sequence of the Tak Nak! consecutive ads appears in the opposite direction of how a reader would usually read the Sports section.

anti-smoking

Any seasoned Sports-section reader will tell you that they read from outside in (starting with the back page).

There appears to be no thought on this execution and again, tax payers’ money down the drain.

Iklan bermutu amatur (Tak Nak!)

Perlaksanaan ilan ini amat lemah di mana susunan iklan ini berarah songsang daripada kebiasaan kita baca akhbar umpamanya bahagian sukan.

(Menentang kegiatan merokok)

Semua pembaca bahagian sukan suratkhabar akan berkata mereka mula membaca daripada mukasurat akhir.

Nampaknya tiada pemikiran langsung mengenai perlaksanaan siaran iklan ini dan sekali lagi wang pembayar cukai umpama dicurahkan dalam longkang sahaja.

Amateur-Quality Advertisement (HIV/AIDS)

Another classic example of poorly executed print ad …

use-your-head

  1. The copy does not suggest a solution, merely making a laughable statement.
  2. The visual also suggests an ad highlighting a hair therapy solution for balding men.

Iklan bermutu amatur (HIV/AIDS)

Satu lagi contoh baik iklan yang dilaksanakan dengan lemah …

1. Iklan ini tidak mencadangkan kaedah penyelesaian, hanyalah suatu ungkapan yang lemah dan tidak bermanfaat langsung.

2. Pembentangan ini mirip iklan untuk rawatan lelaki yang kehilangan rambut pula.

Conclusion

Poor Quality Work

Overall, the ads lack proper thought in terms of execution / copy supervision and also visual illustration. Otherwise there would not be 2 or more MOH ads with different campaign messages. And poorly written copy! Clearly the ads seem to be the work of amateurs instead of professionals.

Overly Extravagant

It doesn’t take an expert to tell you that having multiple messages (5) running at the same time, can constitute message overdose / creating confusion.

Also, the 5 campaigns were compressed into a 3 week duration. Is this a good way to spend the tax payer’s money?

Rumusan

Mutu kerja lemah

Secara keseluruhan, iklan-iklan tersebut serba kekurangan dari semua segi mahu pun dari segi perlaksanaan, pemantauan penggubalan dan pembentangan kerana jika tidak, tidak mungkin kita akan dapati lebih daripada 2 kempen iklan Kementerian Kesihatan dengan maklumat yang berlainan. Jelas iklan ini dikerjakan oleh orang yang tidak bertaraf profesional.

Perbelanjaan yang keterlaluan

Kita tidak perlu pendapat pakar untuk merumuskan bahawa dengan adanya 5 iklan serentak, penyampaian maklumat keterlaluan dan kekeliruan akan terjadi.

Juga, 5 kempen iklan ini dimampat ke dalam tempoh 3 minggu, adakah ini cara baik menggunakan amanah anda ke atas wang rakyat?

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9 thoughts on “Your MP's Question of the Week #45

  1. ahmad

    What a sub standard adverts! There is no need to engage advertising firms to do those sub standard advertisements. Students in the LimKokWing can do better than that.

    The Ministry of Health officers were just irresponsible. They were just on a spending spree with no consideration of the rakyat money and the economic slowdown.

    I am sure that these officers must have benefited from the advertisements contracts otherwise they wouldn’t have approved them.

    This is consistent with the Pak Lah administration!

    Reply
  2. Mohd Noor Haji Jaafar

    Pengiklanan adalah satu cara untuk menyampaikan mesej kepada para pengguna. Dengan iklan kita akan dapat memasarkan produk dengan lebeh meluas. Tiap tiap iklan biarlah menarik lagi profesional agar dapat menarik minat orang yang menengoknya.

    Begitu jugalah Kementerian Kesihatan yang telah mengiklankan produknya dengan menggunakan wang rakyat patut mengiklankan dengan lebeh profesional. Janganlah ambil sikap sambil lewa dalam mengiklankan sesuatu produk tanpa mengambil kira isi kandongannya menarik atau tidak.

    Saya harap Kementerian Kesihatan dapat menggunakan wang rakyat dengan sebijaknya agar apa yang diiklankan akan dapat perhatian orang ramai. Janganlah iklan tersebut dipersendakan atau tidak mendapat perhatian dari orang yang menenguknya agar tidak membazirkan wang rakyat.

    Reply
  3. anonymous

    Looking at the ads, it is obvious that the officers in the Ministry of Health were going all out to waste the rakyat monies by clearing what is left in the yearly budget.

    By the way, can someone tells us what was the total contract sum for the rubbish ads.

    I am sure that there must people laughing to the banks. The contract sum will tell the whole story!

    Reply
  4. resident.wangsamaju

    The head in the botak advert reminds me a bit of RPK. I think they stole a shot from RPK’s backview during his ISA detention, hence need not hire any models. Seriously speaking, the ads are of poor quality- even secondary school poster competition winners are better. Must have paid peanuts for the ads while hiking the ad cost by way of kickbacks.

    There are better ways of spending money- such as equipping every small town with kidney dialysis machines and upgrading the old medical equipment, etc.

    Reply
  5. lee wee tak

    few points I can pick up

    if there is an allocation to be spent over the entire year, using it up in the last month suggested the ministry officials are doing their job for the good part of the month

    in budgeting, it is wise to categorize allocation into “must have”, “nice to have” and “transferable/deferable/avoidable”

    If the budget for advertising remain unspent, why not look into areas that are “must have” and coming up short, then transfer the advertising budget over there? If it saves lifes, then it is the right thing to do

    I have personal experience where treatment was turned down for patients whose life was threatened because the state GH does not have an equipment which every respectable GH should have/

    only those who have loved one threatened by the incompetence of our public hospital would understand what I mean. I could make millions by opening an undertaker chain store next to all government hospitals and clinics all over Malaysia.

    Reply
  6. One Eye Jack

    Hallo Jed Yoong …

    I seem to notice you like to stir things up wherever you go in blogsphere. Perhaps it’s your nature or it may be reflective of an unhappy childhood or maybe even you could be suffering from a condition of frustration arising from “not getting enough of it?”

    Does Concerned Citizen – or any other person for that matter – have to highlight a problem because as you have sardonically put it: “sore he didn’t get the MOH contract? AW!”?

    First off, how do you know the person is a “he”? A feminist, too, aren’t you?

    You are a journalist of some sort. How come you did not pick this up as an issue and grill the ministry for wasting public funds?

    Oh I forgot, you said “I like the ad campaigns.” That explains it – just so the ads satisfy your shallow approval then it’s okay for the ministry to blow our hard-earned tax money is it?

    I don’t mean to insult you on this score. If the ads do really appeal to you and you weren’t being sarcastic then you should stick to journalism all your life (you are quite good at it I must say) and not try writing ad campaigns.

    You don’t seem to be able to tell a good campaign from a bad one. In the industry, they have a saying that goes something like “You don’t cut it” and knowing how unmercifully egoistic advertising creative people are you’ll be eaten alive for breakfast, lunch and dinner if you dared stray into that realm.

    Now, go dig for a scandal and break the story and do the public a service like what Concerned Citizen did.

    Behave yourself now you hear or would you rather “wage a war” right here on this comments’ page of YB Wee?

    Your call, Jed dearie. My, how you have put on so much weight! Tsk, tsk.

    Reply
  7. SK Lee

    One Eye Jack please don’t blame Jed Yoong, she is still wet behind the ears! How could one like the ads unless one is partially blind! The ads are real rubbish. It is a waste of public fund.

    I hope that the Minister of Health will look into this matter. I am sure that there are some hanky pankies over these ads otherwise the Ministry Of Health wouldn’t rush such rubbish ads in December 2008. I hope that Malaysian Anti Corruption Agency will look into how these adds were commissioned.

    Reply
  8. anonymous

    By the way, what is the cost of these rubbish ads? Please let the public know the name companes involved in producing the rubbish.

    With the quality of such rubbish, I am sure that the advertising companies must be laughing to the bank! The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency should look into this.

    Reply

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