It’s Not The Minister’s Fault, Ever!

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Tourism Malaysia director-general Ammar Abd Ghapar was demoted to deputy director-general because he could not perform the given task of attracting tourists into the country, said Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Tiong King Sing.

He also said Ammar failed to live up to his expected standards despite being given many chances to do so.

“I have advised him many times and given him chances… to do the best for our country. I don’t know whether he does not have ideas, or does not know how to do (his job).

“If you don’t perform… I will transfer. I won’t terminate, I will just demote,” Tiong told reporters in Kuala Lumpur today.

Ammar recently confirmed that he received a notice from Tiong’s office that his last day as Tourism DG would be on Feb 26. The notice was dated Feb 22.

Perhaps Mr Ammar Abd Ghapar was not sufficiently enthusiastic about bringing a seedy gambling joint into the heart of Borneo’s remaining natural regions to pollute the local people and environment?

This is clearly Mr Tiong King Sing’s idea of what would turn Malaysia into a wonderful family destination and a place for adventure travellers – or at least into a new Mecca for the debauched, dangerous and dubiously wealthy to play roulette and seek out hookers.

Maybe he could attract Jho Low back to play – but what point would there be, since Jho Low is reportedly no longer on Malaysia’s wanted list?

Be this as it may, the principle is clear it is the functionaries who are to be blamed for failing to attract increasingly nervous tourists back to Malaysia and not elected ministers who set the policies.

The buck stops here? Forget it!

Who knows who is behind Tiong’s seedy casino plans, but one thing any family person can tell the minister is that if you destroy a luscious and exotic rainforest and turn it into palm oil plantations there is nothing left for tourists to come and see, and gamblers are too drunk and money mad to care what’s outside the joint.

No one with money in their pocket is going to be impressed or attracted by tall ugly structures. This is what they have to put up with in their modern lives back home and they go on holiday to get away from all such things.

Turning Malaysia into another depressing ‘modern’ concrete jungle is the best way of turning off tourists. Yet, it seems ministers like Tiong and his GPS crowd don’t get it: they keep on chopping and building tall, then sack their underlings to take the blame.

[Tip: try playing up Malaysia’s unique and beautiful culture and natural heritage; invite tourists to enjoy open walls and rattan roofs in a longhouse setting next to a gorgeous and pristine river where they can plunge into the water and view nature up close.

Also, try natural jungle stir fry veg and sago dishes; glorious sweets and luscious fruits, all reached by a longhouse journey up river guided by the forest folk who know all the wise routes and things to see. Let them listen to unique native music and dancing for entertainment.

That is the way to find good, clean tourism dollars for Malaysia (lots). Leave the gambling dens and the vicious gangsters who come with them to the desert shoot outs of Las Vegas.]

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