PM Najib spend RM 50,000 to have his article published in USA’s media

Posted on July 23, 2010


Spending mine and other rakyat’s  money again without approval from the rakyat just for polishing up his image ? APCO was bad enough, already billing us RM70+ million so that MP DS Najib had a chance to shake hands with Obama. Isn’t this not within their scope of work ? How many more of such image polishing projects are there , unknown to us and still unreported ?

Source : Steven Gan of MalaysiaKini

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak paid RM50,000 (US$15,000) to a Washington-based political consultant in April this year in an attempt to get an opinion-editorial article written by him published in one of the major newspapers in the United States.

And should the article eventually appear in print, the prime minister will have to fork out an additional RM50,000 as a ‘success fee’ to the consultant.

azlanThis is revealed in documents filed under the Foreign Agents Registration Act by Quinn Gillespie & Associates (QGA), a top public relations and lobbying firm in Washington DC.

According to the documents obtained by Malaysiakini,QGA was assigned by another consultancy firm, The Laurus Group, to try and convince a major US newspaper to carry Najib’s article.

The Laurus Group, an obscure public relations firm whose website is still under construction, had apparently been hired by the Malaysian government to provide ‘public relations services’ during Najib’s week-long trip to Washington DC and New York from April 10 to 16 this year.

Najib, who was accompanied by his wife, Rosmah, met US President Barack Obama on April 12 in Washington. The couple later left for New York where Rosmah was feted and awarded the inaugural International Peace and Harmony Award at a gala dinnerattended by a number of top Hollywood stars.

Non-refundable project fee

In the April 14 letter of agreement between the two consultancy firms – QGA and Laurus – it is stated that QGA ‘will provide public and media relations services on behalf of the government of Malaysia related to the placement of an opinion editorial authored by the prime minister of Malaysia’.

It added that Laurus would pay QGA a ‘non-refundable project fee of US$15,000 for the period beginning April 14, 2010 and ending April 20, 2010’.

‘Should QGA succeed in placing the opinion editorial in a major-market print media publication, the client (Laurus), will pay QGA a success fee of US$15,000.

“The success fee shall be paid within 30 days of the date on which the opinion editorial appears in a publication meeting the criteria described above’.

The agreement did not identify the major newspapers which the opinion piece by Najib was to appear in.

It is unclear whether Najib had to pay the full sum of around RM100,000 for the publication of his article. A check on leading US newspapers – Washington Post, New York Times and the Wall Street Journal – indicated that no such opinion piece appeared.

However, theWashington Times – a newspaper founded by Unification Church leader Sun Myung Moon – did produce a supplement on Malaysia on the eve of Najib’s arrival in the capital city (right).

But this did not appear to be the said opinion piece as Washington Times is not considered a “major-market paper”. The payment for theWashington Timessupplement could come from other sources.

Interestingly, the offices of both Laurus and QGA are located on the same floor in a building in Connecticut Avenue. Washington, DC.