Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Visit Malaysia - Minus 5 states

Perhaps, it is a bad joke that our Tourism Ministry has deleted five states from its website and ongoing promotions. It could be because the current and latest map of Malaysia showing a new sparkling corridor, i.e. five states under Pakatan Rakyat.

Joke aside, we need to shift our paradigm and mentality into higher level, especially those who are now leaders of the nation. Malaysia is a nation irrespective which parties rule. We can change the leaders and parties that rule the government but we are all Malaysians who love Malaysia, a heaven on earth and the best destination for holidays (well, it can be disputed but who cares)

Yes, we need to live in diversity of cultures as well with different political inclinations and support. We are going for a developed nation status which means, it does not matter which political party/parties or leaders as long as rule of law, human rights and other constitutional matters are intact.

The below article somehow makes me take another look of the real situation on the ground, it is not a joke anymore!

Foreign language lessons for Germans

R. Nadeswaran

IT was quite a bad error of judgment, to say the least. Having left Frankfurt the day before – Sunday, June 22, there was a sort of helplessness when Bernama filed this report the following day: "Tourism Malaysia is working on growing its share of the northeast Asia market by coming up with new plans to draw more arrivals from Japan and Hongkong."
Its international promotion director for North and East Asia Wan Zawawi Mohamed was quoted as saying that a promotion on Malaysia’s gastronomy and spa delights was launched in Taiwan and was well-received by tour agents there.
What a pity. The Friday before, friends in Germany were talking over lunch about a trip to Malaysia and a sojourn to Penang was a must. They had experienced it all before, but had to convince their wives to make that 12-hour flight, though. While they went back to clear their work because of an important Euro match ahead, I marched to the Tourism Malaysia office in the centre of the city to pick up some literature for the womenfolk who only spoke a smattering English and knew little about our country.
I signed in the name in the "record book" at the reception to be greeted by a man of Middle-Eastern origin. Polite as he was, he was unable to help. I had asked for brochures on Selangor and Penang in the German language so that these could change the mindsets of a minority who still believe they have to cover their bodies from head to toe will learn something different and stay in their hotel rooms because there is no nightlife and no liquor.
"Sorry, Sir," he said. "We don’t have anything in German except one which gives a little bit of everything on Malaysia."
"Anything on Penang? Anything for my German-speaking friends?"
He went into the office and came back with a few brochures, all in English. However, there was one which caught my eye. It was on eating out in Penang and the photographs and illustrations were attractive. But then, it was in English, Japanese, Korean and Chinese!
What were such brochures doing in Frankfurt? These languages are not widely spoken in Germany? But you would argue that it is not uncommon for such "mistakes" in our system. But then, in view of the austerity drive, it was apparent that there was another use for them. It was then that I knew that Wan Zawawi needed help and plenty of it. If he was indeed luring the gastronomy tourists from Taiwan and Japan, shouldn’t such brochures be shipped from Frankfurt to Tokyo or Taipei where they would be more useful?
Oh! That involves another cost besides shipping it from Kuala Lumpur to Frankfurt in the first place! It won’t be easy finding a company belonging to someone’s uncle’s sister-in-law’s nephew’s wife’s cousin! But then there are Malaysians residents in Germany who could do with a bit of duit belanja! It could be like the promotional video tapes which was produced by the same agency for Taiwan where it was claimed that the costs were inflated.
But then thoughts went back to the aftermath of the events March 8 when it was decreed that tourism money won’t be given to the five Pakatan Rakyat-ruled states. And at the Dewan Rakyat two months later, documents were presented to suggest that orders were given out that those five magic words – Penang, Selangor, Perak, Kedah and Kelantan – be deleted from the Tourism Malaysia websites. Questions linger whether the brochures for Penang were deliberately sent in the wrong languages or if orders were being carried out to the letter.
Could it be because after that historic day, didn’t someone change our slogan to "Visit Malaysia minus Five States."?

Officially no, but on the quiet, it is "yes". The whole nation waits for answers with bated breath, but they will never be forthcoming. There’s much more to do than answering questions from the media on tourism because people are busy finding excuses for another tourism product called the World Youth Cup which is making the headlines for all the wrong reasons!

R. Nadeswaran is amazed at how money is wasted on such enterprises at a time when the government is asking taxpayers to tighten their belts. He can be reached at .

1 comment:

Ferdy said...

Dear Fudz,

Nades is yet again displaying a lot of BS. I think Tourism Malaysia is doing a lot of good work . Im in Italy now and we saw a lot of positive adds about Malaysia in the local media. Infact the official tourism malaysia website has Kedah, Kelantan as highlights on the content! what is he talking about. Nades just want to fill up dead space on a free newspaper which will end up as sayur wrap in selayang market