KUALA LUMPUR — The government made a good decision in hiring FBC Media, a media agency based in the United Kingdom (UK), as it did a good job in promoting Malaysia to the world, the Dewan Rakyat was told Wednesday.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said since Malaysia started using the services of the agency from 2007 until last year, Malaysian leaders were accorded better welcome abroad.

“Since we used FBC, we have seen an improvement in terms of acceptance of western leaders of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s leadership. This was a much better situation than compared to before,” he said when replying to a question from Datuk Mohamad Aziz (BN-Sri Gading) during today’s question-and-answer session.

Nazri said what was important now was for all quarters not to sabotage the the government’s efforts but instead join forces to promote Malaysia irrespective of whether they were government or opposition supporters.

To a supplementary question from Dr Mohd Hatta Ramli (PAS-Kuala Krai) who asked about reports that the agency was facing problems with the UK authorities, Nazri said this did not have any effect on Malaysia.

“I have been made to understand it’s more about conflict of interests, that the company did not disclose certain matters that it should have done. It’s more about flouting UK regulations and have nothing to do with anything that can be deemed criminal, which can jeopardise our using FBC,” he said.

Nazri also said the government paid FBC a total of 16.9 million Euros (RM84,195,158.70) for its services.

Meanwhile, to a question from John Fernandez (DAP-Seremban) who wanted to know the costs and objectives of Najib’s two-day official visit to Turkmenistan in July, Nazri said the government spent RM323,268.19 for the trip.

“The PM’s visit to Turkmenistan was on the invitation of the President of Turkmenistan and among others was aimed at strenthening Malaysia’s committment towards boosting ties between the two countries,” he said, adding that five memorandum of understanding (MoU) were signed to strengthen existing bilateral relations.

He added that the visit also witnessed the opening of Petronas’ first gas terminal in that country besides the setting up of Malaysia’s embassy in Ashgabad, Turkmenistan.