Monday, 19 May 2008

The Malaysia Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) costing RM 3,500,000 per month to sustain.

MPO Group Photo

It was reported by the Sun newspaper on 13th May 2008:

That the Petronas’ Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) costs Petronas RM3.5 million every month to sustain.

Lim Guan Eng (DAP-Bagan) had pointed this out during his debate in parliament on the motion of thanks on the royal address in Parliament today, charging that these funds, spent on the orchestra, which is made up of only 5% locals and the other 95% consist of foreigners, could be utilised better.

"Where the Barisan Nasional (BN) government refuses to allow Petronas to share its profits with the people, this giant fuel company is wiling to pay its foreign musicians a monthly wage of between RM16,000 and RM28,000 a month.”

"Each of them have two months paid leave. The conductor is paid RM130,000 a month and his assistant RM50,000. Since its 10 years of establishment, the orchestra has cost Petronas RM500 million," he was reported to have said.

Lim, who is Penang Chief Minister, as well as being an MP, questioned willingness of petronas "to waste so much money but does not give any benefit to the local musicians", reiterating his call for its profits to be handed out to the people to help them cope with rising prices.

One has to wonder who benefits from the MPO, I am certain that only a minute percentage of Malaysians have been able to enjoy any of the performances, as the price of tickets, although the well-heeled may find them reasonable, are way beyond the means of most Malaysians.

Everyone who lives outside of Kuala Lumpur is at a great disadvantage, as the travelling time and associated cost would make attending the MPO performances even less attractive.

If you want to attend a performance check the details on the MPO web site HERE

"No wonder politicians love government schools.
Where do you think the dumb masses come from that can be so easily led and manipulated?"
-Neal Booetz


zewt said...

no one goes there to watch anymore... should be scrap. a total waste of money.

and pls, dont call it a malaysian phiharmonic orchestra when most of the musicians are whites.

mindful mariner said...

Thanks Zewt, much appreciate tour comment, and agree with thee.

MPO maybe is an an abbreviation for:
"Money Pouring Out"
or, perhaps
"Milking Petronas Overtly"

Anonymous said...

I don't agree with the amount the musicians get either, but there's always a price for quality, and the reality that the foreign musicians are in a way the crowd pullers here. To zewt, not having an interest in something and not knowing the actual situation of something doesn't mean it is crap. I am fortunate enough to volunteer there and I've had the chance to learn so much more about the place, the music etc etc. If you actually take time to visit the mpo site, you can check out he ticket price and see if it is REALLY that inaccessible to us common folk. And btw, "no one goes there to watch it anymore"??? hope you kidding, else it just show how ignorant you are mister. Come over some time and you'll see... oh, shame on u for the abbreviations mr blogger.

mindful mariner said...

Anon, your comment is noted. Thank you.
I beg to disagree with you.

MPO is a wasteful extravagance, a vanity project just like the F1 Malaysian GP.
You must consider it in context, almost 1/3 of Malaysian schools lack water and electricity, and the government admits that a total of 498,800 households or 8.6 per cent of 5.8 million households in the country earn less than RM1,000 a month, (BERNAMA 9th July 2008).

Futhermore, millions of Malaysians earn an income of less RM 800 per month.

I repeat MPO is a wasteful extravagance; the money could be put to much better use.

Classical music could be introduced to the masses by quality TV and radio programmes, which can inform, educate and entertain all the Malaysian public cheaply and efficiently. Sadly there are no such programmes at present, apart from the classical music radio channel on ASTRO (‘Opus’ on channel 862) which is unsatisfactory, as it does not give any information about the composers or their compositions.