KUALA LUMPUR: Women, Family and Community Development Deputy Minister Hannah Yeoh questioned the Institute of Language and Literature (DBP) on its oversight in checking Sugarbook’s app and billboard text which has come under fire.
“How can DBP not check the content of the app before approving the text for the billboard?” Yeoh asked.
She cited how in her ministry’s previous dealings with DBP, they were very meticulous and strict.
“This ‘I don’t know what happened to my bank account’ or ‘I don’t know what I approved’ syndrome has to stop,” the deputy minister posted in a statement on Facebook today.
Yeoh said that billboard approvals should ultimately be validated by DBKL and not Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan or any other companies.
She is also all for Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil’s call for a thorough investigation into the matter.
Moving past the issue on the approval process, Yeoh raised her concerns about the content of the app, of which she was informed that there are similar apps and sites on the internet.
To this, she cautions parents.
“Perhaps this can be seen as a wake-up call to parents,” she said, saying that this would add to the many challenges they face in raising their children.
On the app which connects “Sugar Daddies” with “Sugar Babies” and vice versa, Yeoh raised questions on moral values and ethics.
She said the real questions to ask should be - Why do some young people today place greater importance on money over values? Why do they not care anymore, of what people may say?
“I believe there is a vicious cycle to this,” she said. “Everyone needs to step up efforts. The government needs to deal with the root cause instead of fighting symptoms. Religious bodies need to stop living in denial. Parents need to stop delegating their duties to others. And the worst of the lot is the creator of such an app, to label this as a women empowerment tool.
“Shame on you,“ said the appalled deputy minister.
Sugarbook founder and CEO Darren Chan on the other hand reportedly said that it was unfair to call for the app to be banned in Malaysia.
Commenting on the controversy surrounding the electronic billboards in Bangsar and Bukit Kiara, Chan said the app was created to provide a dating platform for women who can choose what they want from an ideal relationship without being judged.
The advertisements have since been removed.
Meanwhile, Yeoh’s ministry has launched a help directory which prioritises helping families and family-related challenges - http://keluarga.lppkn.gov.my/directory/