BATU KURAU, 23 Sept 2008: The Tourism Ministry will spend RM18 million to operate its web TV in 2009, which is being created as a new strategy to promote Malaysia to the world.
Its minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said said the proposal for the web TV, which was approved by the cabinet recently, was now being discussed with the relevant parties, and hopefully the web TV could start by the end of this year.
“The overall expenditure for next year is RM18 million, and out of this amount, RM6 million is for producing the content and the rest for the infrastructure,” she said after launching the Ramadhan Zoom programme at Dataran Bangunan Umno Larut, here last night.
However, she said, the cabinet had asked the ministry to discuss sharing the infrastructure with Bernama TV, which launched its web TV recently.
Azalina also stressed that claims by certain quarters that the ministry’s web TV, which could be surfed round the clock, would cost RM36 million was not true.
“I think the cost may only come to RM6 million [for the content], and as for the infrastructure cost, we have to discuss with Bernama TV as we would like to share the infrastructure to avoid wastage,” she said.
Azalina said through linkage with the ministry’s web TV, tourists who wished to make destination bookings online with Malaysia would be able to see live recorded programmes on the country.
“For the ministry, this is a cheaper option than if we were to make direct telecasts of our programmes to other countries, besides solving the broadcasting time, which could at times become an issue.
“The programmes we want to broadcast overseas may be held in the morning in Malaysia, but it is late at night or early morning in some foreign countries,” she explained.
She said with the new strategy, the government hoped to draw an additional 10 million tourists to the 20.9 million who visited Malaysia last year, besides making it the first country to promote its tourism industry through web TV. — Bernama