Saturday, June 29, 2013


To say that the worsening of the haze situation as the smog moves north in Malaysia will not affect tourism arrival is an understatement.  Major inbound travel agencies in Kuala Lumpur had said there had been no cancellations or postponements in bookings so far.

The Air Pollutant Index (API), Malaysia’s version of the Pollutant Standards Index, hit critical levels over the weekend, prompting Prime Minister Najib to declare a state of emergency in Muar and Ledang in Johor on Sunday after API readings crossed 750, according to local newspaper.

Most inbound agents are saying that “Forward bookings from the Indian market are still coming in for Diwali and the year-end winter holiday season.”.

 “There are no cancellations because of the haze. However, we are keeping our partner consultants informed of the situation. There are still bookings coming in until July 10,  after which movement is slow during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. Post-Eid bookings are still coming in.

“We are running tours as normal and these are mainly to Kuala Lumpur, Sunway Lagoon Theme Park, Resorts World Genting, Langkawi and Penang.”

Diethelm Travel Malaysia, which handles traffic from the European inbound market, revealed that tours were running as usual on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. “However, we are receiving fewer forward bookings from Europe for July and August,” they observed.

Malaysia Airlines yesterday issued a press statement warning passengers of possible last-minute cancellations and retimings due to the “current haze situation which had deteriorated in parts of Malaysia over the last few days”.

It further stated that specific stations were under close watch for possible closure or interruptions, namely Kuantan’s Sultan Ahmad Shah Airport, Kota Baru’s Sultan Ismail Petra Airport, Kuala Terengganu’s Sultan Mahmud Airport, Kuala Lumpur International Airport and Kota Kinabalu International Airport.

Friday, June 28, 2013


Continuous efforts are being carried out to increase flights into and out of Johor Bharu.

Firefly will introduce weekly scheduled service between Johor and Pekanbaru in Indonesia through a special promotion from Aug 1, 2013 to July 31, 2014 at the three-day 13th Malaysia International Travel Mart 2013 at Plaza Grand Sentosa in Johor Bahru.
Firefly's chief executive officer Ignatius Ong said the airline was targeting both business and leisure travellers out of Johor Baharu.
"We intend to provide Johorians a smarter travel option, especially with Hari Raya just around the corner. Complementing the direct access is the convenient travel time into both cities at reasonable rates and excellent customer service," he said in a statement, here, Thursday.
Firefly will use its ATR 72-500 turbo prop aircraft, which has a seating capacity of 72 on this route.
This is Firefly's first international turboprop operation out of Johor with the aim of bringing Malaysians and Indonesians closer, whether for the purpose of business or leisure.
This service will be available four times a week, departing from Johor at 10.20am and arriving at Pekanbaru at 10.40am. The return flight leaves Pekanbaru at 11.00am and arrives in Johor at 1.20pm.

If this flight schedule becomes workable for Johor Bahru it should also work for the recently refurbished airport of Malacca. In fact it should work out well for Malacca as it is the closest to Pekan Baru and Dumai. Malacca can be a gateaway from tourism coming from the islands of Riau, Sumatera.

Thursday, June 27, 2013


In April 1999, ASEAN adopted a “zero-burning” policy and urged all Member Countries to implement the necessary laws and regulations to enforce this major decision. Following this, ASEAN convened a number of dialogue sessions with plantation companies as part of the effort to promote the zero burning policy among plantation owners and timber concessionaires. These dialogue sessions sought to inform and raise awareness on zero burning practices and techniques among plantation companies, and establish a regular forum in sustaining the dialogue sessions with plantation companies. ASEAN plans to organise more of such dialogue sessions regularly to further raise awareness and share experience on zero burning practices.

ASEAN has published the Guidelines for the Implementation of the ASEAN Policy on Zero Burning, and the Guidelines for the Implementation of Controlled Burning Practices. A Workshop on the Guidelines for the Implementation of the ASEAN Policy on Zero Burning was conducted in July 2004 in Kuala Rompin, Malaysia. Plantation companies, timber concessionaires, relevant associations from Malaysia and Indonesia, international organisations, representatives from ASEAN Member Countries and ASEAN Secretariat, participated in the workshop.

A second workshop was held in Kuala Rompin, Pahang, Malaysia on 18-20 July 2006 to promote the ASEAN Policy on Zero Burning and the implementation of zero burning techniques among practitioners in plantation companies, timber concessionaires, fire experts and regulatory agencies as well as fire prevention management. The workshop was attended by representatives from Malaysian plantation companies, ASEAN Member Countries, ASEAN Secretariat and international organisations.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


By Saraswathi Muniaappan
NEW DELHI, June 25 (Bernama) -- The Malaysia Heathcare Travel Council (MHTC) is planning to move into the second stage of its marketing effort in South Asia by wooing general practitioners (GPs), its Senior Manager (Business Development) Wong Toon Keng said. "Earlier, it was all about making MHTC more visible. Now, we want to hard sell," he said.
Approaching GPs is among the best options, as patients would often follow their advice, he told Bernama in an interview.  "There is also an option for patient exchange, which is another big market that can be tapped into," he said. MHTC plans to organise an event to gather the GPs and create awareness among them, said Wong.
Asked why Indians seek medical treatment in Malaysia, he said it is an option, there are obviously top-notch hospitals and doctors in this region too, but some people might want to go overseas as a matter of choice.  One issue is the demand outstripping the supply, he said. "Sometimes it can also be for convenience, for instance if their kids are working and residing in Malaysia," he said.
The potential in India is enormous, he said, pointing out that a total of 22,350 healthcare travellers from India come to Malaysian hospitals for treatments related to cardiology, oncology, orthopaedic and health screening.
Recently, a leading medical tourism portal added Malaysia to a list of top centres in Asia for advanced healthcare.
The "Destinations" page featuring's newest location includes a summary on Malaysia as a medical tourism haven, the country's top hospitals and clinics and the highly qualified doctors and specialists  It looks at some of Malaysia's better-known fields of expertise such as cardiology, oncology, orthopaedics, infertility treatment and reconstructive surgery.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


The Malaysian government  has declared a state of emergency in Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka and Johor due to the rising PSI in these areas. This is timely and is good for the people but certainly bad for tourism.

 Haze effect on tourism, and other business activities are unimaginable. When there are too many particles and smoke accumulates in the atmosphere, it will turn to brownish  causing low level of visibility  causing the cancellation of a great number of flight leaving and arriving . 

Therefore prolonged  haze will effect tourism, business trading and other local businesses. It is too late to point fingers at each other.

Just get on with the job of smothering the fires and let us live our lives again and the tourist arrival remain unaffected. by this catastrophy.

Monday, June 24, 2013


The health effects of haze are mainly caused by the irritant effects of fine dust particles on the nose, throat, airways, skin and eyes. The health effects of haze will depend on its severity as measured by the Pollutants Standards Index (PSI). There is also individual variation regarding the ability to tolerate air pollution. Most people would at most experience sneezing, running nose, eye irritation, dry throat and dry cough from the pollutants. They are mild and pose no danger to the health of the general population.

However, persons with medical problems like asthma, chronic lung disease, chronic sinusitis and allergic skin conditions are likely to be more affected by the haze and they may experience more severe symptoms. Children and the elderly in general are more likely to be affected. For some, symptoms may worsen with physical activities.

For persons under medical treatment, it is important that they take their medication regularly. Persons with chronic heart and lung problems are advised not to engage in outdoor sporting activities if the PSI is above 100. There is otherwise no need to take extraordinary precautions.
What to do when you have a haze induced health problem:

The current haze related health problems are generally mild and can be treated easily. Eye irritation may be relieved by applying normal saline eyedrops which can be purchased from any pharmacy or medicine shop. Persons wearing contact lenses who experience eye irritation are advised to discontinue wearing contact lenses temporarily. Mild sneezing, running nose, dry throat and dry cough can be relieved by cold tablets or cough mixture, obtainable from any pharmacy where the pharmacist's advice can be sought.

Persons whose symptoms do not improve or have worsened should see their a doctor or go to a government clinic.

Sunday, June 23, 2013


There is a popular belief that the business of the travel agency is a sunset one as direct internet booking is becoming increasing popular. Most people book directly for plane seats and hotel rooms and there is virtully no need to see a travel agent.

However Malaysia Airlines has reported that  travel agents contributed 60 per cent to the airline's revenue in Peninsular Malaysia last year. For 2012, the travel trade saw a revenue growth of 4.1 per cent whilst passenger numbers increased by 5.6 per cent.
Malaysia Airlines Group Chief Executive Officer Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said the travel trade was the key business partners, both in generating revenue for Malaysia Airlines and in making customers' travel hassle free.
"The world becomes more complex and customers turn to travel agents who act as travel concierges and consultants, to make their travel hassle free," he said said in a statement today.
Recently, Malaysia Airlines hosted the annual Travel Agents Awards Dinner 2013 to recognise the success of 74 travel agencies from the central region including Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka and Perak.
Special 'RSVP Awards' were also presented to agents which had shown the highest improvement in sales for front-end revenue and revenue growth for both international and domestic.

Thank you Malaysia Airlines for keeping the travel agency business alive.

Saturday, June 22, 2013


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Auditions for the Ratu Kebaya Contest will begin today and tommrow.22nd& 23rd June at Bukit Jambul Complex

For the fourth consecutive time, Kompleks Bukit Jambul is organizing the Ratu Kebaya contest. The contest aims to promote the Kebaya as part of Malaysia’s cultural heritage.
The participation is open to all nationalities.

KBJ RATU KEBAYA 2013 will kick off with Auditions on the 22nd & 23rd June 2013 scheduled to start from 5.30pm and followed by Semi Final on Friday, 28th June 2013 scheduled to start from 6.30pm. The Grand Final of KBJ RATU KEBAYA 2013 will be held on 30th June 2013 at 6.30pm.

KBJ RATU KEBAYA 2013 is supported by MYDIN HYPERMARKET Kompleks Bukit Jambul, KAMDAR Kompleks Bukit Jambul, NH TWO Enterprise Kompleks Bukit Jambul, Barkath Store, VINSTELLA JEWELLERY SDN BHD,CABLEMASTER Kompleks Bukit Jambul, COSMIC LEISURE SIMULATOR Kompleks Bukit Jambul, DANAI SPA Tanjung Bunga, Lone Pine Hotel Penang, Hotel Royal Penang, Eastin Hotel Penang, Shoe Point, Studio Gaya Dunia Kompleks Bukit Jambul, Pastel Hair Studio, Total Life
 All the Kebaya worn by the participants are sponsored by our boutiques at Kompleks Bukit Jambul; which are Butik Ronna RNT, Butik Indah Anggun, and Butik Impian Hawa are all located at second floor, Kompleks Bukit Jambul.

 The Winners of KBJ RATU KEBAYA 2013 will receive the following:

2nd Place    : Trophy, Sash, Cash & Kinds worth RM3,000.00
3rd Place     : Trophy, Sash, Cash & Kinds worth RM2,000.00

KBJ RATU KEBAYA 2013 also offers great incentives in terms of CASH & PRIZES to the 6 SUBSIDIARY TITLE winners. Finals will be held on 30th June.

For further details, kindly contact Rohani at 04-645 6788 or 019-428 6181

Ratu Kebaya Visual

Friday, June 21, 2013


Defiant Yen Yen clashes with Soi Lek over Tourism Board post
Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek President of MCA has come to the rescue of former tourism minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen who has assumed the post of Malaysian Tourism Promotion Board (MTPB) chairman, defying a party directive not to accept government posts.
Dr CD Chua as he is known amongst the Chinese community was reported as saying today that the rule applied only to new appointments and not those made before the May 5 general election.. So how could Ng Yen Yen be appointed before May 5 when she was still a Minister. Can a Minister hold two posts on the same Ministry is the question of the day.
It could not be immediately ascertained when the appointment was made, but Tourism Malaysia officials said Ng Yen Yen  had appointed herself chairman before the dissolution of Parliament in April, after she was told she would not be fielded in the election. Raub was happy about this but there was a lot of sadness in Tourism Malaysia.
"However, when news of her appointment was leaked, she was subjected to criticism and ridicule in blogs. She subsequently rescinded the appointment by revoking the letter," said an MTPB officer. There was a big write up about this yesterday in THE SUN.
Sources said that even if she had been appointed prior to May 5, it would be wrong in principle because "the minister cannot appoint herself."
With Ng Yen Yen everything is possible. Visit Malaysia 2014 has in store for a lot splurging. Good luck to all if she remain in Tourism Malaysia

Thursday, June 20, 2013


Former tourism minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen has assumed the post of Malaysian Tourism Promotion Board (MTPB) chairman, defying a party directive not to accept government posts.
The MCA vice-president's decision brings her into direct confrontation with party president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek, who insists that everyone adhere to MCA's decision not to accept the posts.
(Chua was reported as saying today that the rule applied only to new appointments and not those made before the May 5 general election.)
It could not be immediately ascertained when the appointment was made, but Tourism Malaysia officials said Ng had appointed herself chairman before the dissolution of Parliament in April, after she was told she would not be fielded in the election.
"However, when news of her appointment was leaked, she was subjected to criticism and ridicule in blogs. She subsequently rescinded the appointment by revoking the letter," said an MTPB officer.
Sources said that even if she had been appointed prior to May 5, it would be wrong in principle because "the minister cannot appoint herself."
Ng replaces the ministry's former secretary-general, Datuk Victor Wee, whose tenure as chairman ended on May 5.
Ng did not return calls made by theSun but sources said she "had already inspected the chairman's office" before she left the ministry just before the general election.
Chua could not be reached for comment.
The same officer said Ng had expected to start as chairman on Monday with an official "welcome on board" reception from senior officials including Director-General Datuk Mirza Mohammad Taiyab Beg and his deputy, Datuk Azizan Noordin.
However, both are overseas and will only be back over the weekend. She is, therefore, expected to report for work next Monday.
Mirza is said to be accompanying Tourism Minister Datuk Nazri Aziz on an official visit to New Zealand.

- theSun

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


With high environmental awareness these days, it would be great to see good practices in every aspect of our lives – even when we’re on vacation. Wild Asia keeps a tab on things.

THE Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards are back, and any Asia-based accommodation provider or tour operator committed to sustainability are eligible to submit their entry, until May 23.

Launched in 2006, and now in their seventh year, Wild Asia’s Responsible Tourism Awards 2013 are open to accommodation and tour operators of all shapes and sizes, budgets and locations, across Asia.

Wild Asia is legally chartered as a Malaysian company and operates as a “social enterprise”; that is to say a business with primarily social or environmental missions and not geared towards maximising shareholder returns.

The awards are grounded in the UN World Tourism Organisation’s Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria and remain the only Asia-wide awards committed to recognising sustainable tourism. To date, the 2013 edition has seen more than 200 entries.

For the finalists of the awards, the accolade and recognition validates their efforts in practising responsible tourism. The 2013 Awards’ winners will be announced at Asia’s biggest business-to-business travel trade show, ITB Asia, in Singapore this October.

An international panel of judges, all with a minimum of 10 years’ experience in the tourism business, will select the winners. The panel includes representatives from prestigious platforms such as the International Ecotourism Society, the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, Sustainable Travel International, and the Pacific Asia Travel Organisation or PATA.

Each one of the finalists will undergo rigorous judging and have a full report published on the Wild Asia website highlighting their achievements and why they were selected. There are six categories and all but one are for accommodation providers.

The categories include Community Engagement and Development; Cultural Preservation; Protection of Natural Areas and/or Wildlife Conservation; Resource Efficiency; Most Inspiring Responsible Tourism Accommodation Provider (which recognises the accommodation provider that excels in all of the above categories).

Last but not least is the Most Inspiring Responsible Tour Operator, which is a new category.
n Go to to download the application form.

 – S.S. Yoga

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Event Of Melaka River Festival

27 MAY 2013
9.00 AM - 5.00 PM (TAMAN REMPAH)
28 MAY 2013
9.00 AM - 5.00 PM (TAMAN REMPAH)
29 MAY 2013
9.00 AM - 5.00 PM (TAMAN REMPAH)
30 MAY 2013
9.00 AM - 5.00 PM (TAMAN REMPAH)
31 MAY 2013
01 JUNE 2013
8.00 PM - 12.00 PM (MELAKA RIVER)
02 JUNE 2013
8.00 PM - 12.00 PM (MELAKA RIVER)
03 JUNE 2013
9.00 PM - 12.00 PM (DATARAN SG. MELAKA)
06 JUNE 2013
07 JUNE 2013

08 JUNE 2013
9.00 PM - 12.00 PM (TAMAN REMPAH)
9.00 PM - 12.00 PM (HANG TUAH STADIUM)
09 JUNE 2013

10 JUNE 2013
9.00 PM - 12.00 PM (TAMAN REMPAH)
11 JUNE 2013
19 JUNE 2013
9.00 PM - 12.00 PM (TAMAN REMPAH)

Monday, June 17, 2013


When it comes to tourism politician of both sides speak the same languange.PKR Women National vice-president Voon Shiak Ni said the government should ensure that all tourist attractions are properly developed and promoted before calling for more direct flights to the state. She said while the call for more direct flights to the state was timely but the development and promotion of more tourist attractions in the state was also long overdue.
“The direct flights to facilitate tourist arrivals to Sarawak must be carried out together with the creation of more tourist destinations and their promotions worldwide have to be enhanced,” she said.
Voon was responding to a statement by Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg saying that the state needed more direct flights when he met with Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz. “Tourists want direct flights, point-to-point destinations since it is convenient for them. If that can be done, I’m confident that Malaysia can be a haven for tourists,” he told Nazri at Kubah Ria recently.
Abang Johari said the state has better infrastructure than countries like Bali and Indonesia, adding that with direct flights, the state could tap into the expanding market of the tourism industry.
Voon claimed that despite the state being blessed with all the scenic natural beauty, caves, hills, greeneries and waterfalls, not many of them were developed to achieve international standards. She said it is important for the state government to seriously look into the matter considering that the state would be able lure to tourists from around the world only if proper development and promotion were done on all the tourist attractions.
“The feedbacks we received from tourism players are that there are in fact many more tourist attractions that we can develop and promote apart from just Sarawak Cultural Village, Semenggoh Wildlife Centre and Annah Rais Longhouse. “Some foreign tourists even commented that there was too little to see in Sarawak.”
Voon suggested the government to seriously develop and upgrade the tourist attractions such as the caves in Bau and Siniawan, the natural beaches in Sematan and Lundu and Padawan area to cater for overseas tourists. “At the moment, most of them such as the Wind Cave and Fairy Cave in Bau, the waterfalls in Matang and Serian are only frequented by locals.

Sunday, June 16, 2013



themed The Future of Asian Malls, What’s Next ? to be held at

  This shopping mall conference will feature international speakers from the Asia-Pacific region and well experienced mall management 'gurus' sharing their knowledge, you just cannot afford to miss.

The conference fees are certainly affordable and includes, at no extra charge, specially arranged technical visits to prominent malls in Malaysia and a Welcome Dinner which will be a wonderful opportunity for networking with fellow practitioners from all over Asia.

The conference fees which are as follows:


Category 1
(for affiliated members)
Category 2
(for non-members)
Early Bird (on or before 13 Sept 2013)
Single Registration
RM 2,399
(US$ 799)
RM 2,899
(US$ 999)
Early Bird (on or before 13 Sept 2013)
Group discounted rate
(Min. 3 pax from the same co.)
RM 2,199
(US$ 699)

RM 2,699
(US$ 899)
Normal Rate ( on or after 14 Sept 2013)
Single Registration
RM 2,899
(US$ 999)
RM 3,499
(US$ 1,099)
Normal Rate (on or after 14 Sept 2013)
Group discounted rate
(min. 3 pax from the same co.)
RM 2,699
(US$ 899)
RM 3,199
(US$ 999)

Members from affiliated associations will be entitled to the preferred conference fee under Category 1 at RM2,399 (early bird) and RM2,899 (normal rate) per delegate. Details of the conference are also available from  website: or via this link:

For more information please contact Ms Faridah/Mr Murali/Ms Evelyn at PPKM  Secretariat (Tel: 603-7727 6202/email: OR

The early bird deadline of 13 September 2013 for the best deal !

Saturday, June 15, 2013


Today is saturday 15 June 2013 and some of us are already on the road heading for Penang, just 4 hours away from Kuala Lumpur.

When in Penang head for St Xavier’s Branch School at Jalan Brother James.

 Starting 5 pm you will enjoy an evening of delicious Eurasian food and music at the Eurasian Fiesta 2013.  The fiesta is expecting around 3,000 visitors this year and not the 1 million expected for the Putrajaya event.

It is open to all with free admission. A lively celebration of the rich Eurasian heritage with plenty of Eurasian food and drinks, as well as arts, handicrafts and books for sale.

 A host of bands will also be entertaining visitors that evening and the list includes The Russell Curtis Band, Blister, Volatile, The Eddie Zachariah Band, Somebody Who, The Rozzels, Elvira Arul, 9 lives and others. Aside from food, music plays an integral part of the Eurasian community and they are often proud of their musical heritage. Penang Eurasians has produced many musical talents back in the day such as Jimmy Boyle, Joe Rozells, Larry Rodrigues and more.

 Other highlights include a competition to find the best sugee cake, a heritage photo exhibition and a Eurasian Biz Kids Lemonade stall.

This will be  worth your time and money and you will get to know our Eurasian brothers and sisters better.

Friday, June 14, 2013


One million visitors are expected to throng the nine-day event, said Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz. Nothing has been said about who these people are. Certainly not the tourists.

We know for a fact that most of the tourists now in Malaysia are not aware of this event simply because they have not been informed or the hotels they are staying do not publise the event. Travel agents are too busy organsing their outbound groups that the ones back home are forgotten.

Popularly known as the “Magic of the Night”, 14 flotillas decked in colourful flowers and lights will cruise through a 3km stretch of the Putrajaya Lake from June 22.. There will be an explosion of colours and flowers when the annual floral boat parade makes a comeback next week
The boats will sail along the lake until June 30 from 8.30pm to 9.30pm before the anchor is dropped for a static display until 11.30pm every night.
The event is organised in conjunction with the “Putrajaya Floria” flora festival, which takes place in the day during the same period. “There will be a five-minute fireworks display every night at the end of the cruise parade but on the first night, there will be an additional 45-second display of fireworks,” Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri said in a press conference here yesterday.

Thursday, June 13, 2013


Ready to compromise on the reported delay in the opening of klia2, frills-free carrier AirAsia Bhd is now urging Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd to issue a definite delayed opening date of the new low-cost airport.
According to Bernama, AirAsia Chairman Datuk Aziz Bakar said Malaysia Airports, as the airport operator, has the responsibility to notify the airlines using KLIA2 of a definite opening date, to enable them to be ready to move operations to the new airport.
"The operations cannot be shifted in one night. We need to be prepared on our side also. For that, an opening date has to be announced. The airlines, passengers and the whole country want to know the new date. So I hope Malaysia Airports does not delay much longer to come up with the revised date," he told Bernama.
He said AirAsia, the largest airline to utilise KLIA2, had always been ready with contingency plans, in case the airport cannot meet the June 28 deadline set by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. "We had drawn our plans a long time ago, because since three years back, we knew that the airport will not be ready on time," he added.
Aziz said given the delay, Malaysia Airports should not compromise on safety and quality by rushing the construction works to meet the deadline. He said even though the current low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT) is affecting AirAsia's growth and expansion, airport users' and passengers' safety cannot be compromised.
"We in AirAsia alone have about 5,000 to 6,000 employees. We are concerned on their safety, as well as the others' too," he said.

However nothing has been said about the safety of passengers using the new airport and we have been told about Air Asia not wanting to use the aerobridges. You cannot have the cake and eat it at the same time. Air Asia must use the aerobridges and passengers are already willing to pay the surcharges for such usage.
The completion date for the KLIA2 has been revised several times due to changes made to the original plan, including building a bigger terminal to handle more than 40 million passengers and installing an automated baggage handling system. The new airport, envisaged to handle up to 45 million passengers per year, will have 60 gates, eight remote stands and 80 aerobridges, plus a 32,000 square metre retail space with 225 retail outlets. In short it will be better than the MTB.
The project was first tendered out in 2009. Its initial cost of RM1.9 billion has since ballooned to some RM4 billion with the bigger capacity plans, and recent analyst reports indicate the cost might rise further to RM4.5 billion.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Its a post PRU 13 syndrome. Federal Ministers are making their presence in Sabah and Sarawak. 

Tourism and Culture Minister Dato Seri Nazri, who visited the two states not long after his appointment to the post, had said  last Saturday that he would give more attention to Sabah and Sarawak “as ignoring them would surely result in the drop in targeted numbers of tourist arrivals.”  This is a fair statement but to say that  " Sarawak and Sabah would be promoted as the Number 1 tourism spot in Malaysia." is something else.

In confirming this Sarawak Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg.said "The state tourism players will soon have more opportunities to market Sarawak in international trade shows overseas soon "

“Datuk Seri Nazri has said that Sabah and Sarawak are the two pillars of tourism in the country. And we will have further discussions on tourism promotions overseas to promote the two states. There are still many details which we need to refine between us and Nazri,” he added

Abang Johari also said he was hopeful that the state would get more international direct flights after Nazri had said the ministry would talk to the Ministry of Transport as soon as possible to address the perennial issue of lifting the special protection given to Malaysia Airlines (MAS).

Minister Nazri had said he was an advocate for more direct flights to Kuching, and the lifting of the special protection to the national carrier would pave way for more international flights to the state.

“The issue is one of matters which are still being discussed by me and Nazri to strengthen the tourism industry,” he said.

Let us wait and see what Minister Nazri has to say about promoting tourism in other states of Malaysia.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


When Dr Ng Yen Yen brushed off allegations of BN using Psy to win popularity and in recapturing Penang, the flamboyant minister actually confirm  that BN do look at Psy's appearance as a "bid to win .votes". She even said that she would love to dance in the Gangnam style with South Korean pop sensation Psy at the Chinese New Year National Open House held in Penang a few days prior to PRU 13."I would love to dance (with Psy) if I had the chance," she said. "even clad in a red kebaya, stood up and performed a part of the signature dance,"

Referring to widespread speculation that the government through the Ministry of Tourism and BN  foot Psy's bill and hoped to win votes through the singer, she failed miserably at denying this.

"Psy would like to come to a place he trusts,  Psy would like to come to a place where the prime minister (Najib Abdul Razak) is so well-known" she said.

Dr Ng added that Psy must have heard of Malaysia doing very well and the country's premier doing a lot in transformation.

Jokingly, Dr Ng said, "It's interesting to know that the women and students in the country know that Psy is a man, we can't live in our own peaceful world.

"I promise you, Psy will dress very well, Psy will make sure he covers himself up," she said.
Dr Ng was obviously responding to a news report where PAS spiritual adviser Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat had mistaken Psy for a female artist and said 'she' should cover 'her' 'aurat' during the performance

Everyone is wrong, she is always right.

Monday, June 10, 2013


Former Minister Dr.Ng Yen Yen is famous for doing the wrong things. Take the recent Chinese New Year with the celebrations  falling hand in hand with the country’s  13th General Election, and tension were high on a certain side of the political battlefield, some went as far as creating a brawl over removals of banners.

Tourism Minister, Dr Ng Yen Yen has condemned Penang’s Majlis Perbandaran Seberang Perai, MPSP (Seberang Perai Municipal Council) for carrying out its responsibility in taking down banners bearing the images of Prime Minister Najib Razak put up without permit — a matter Ng called as ‘unbecoming’.

Ng claimed to receive reports that some people have stepped on the banners after they have been brought down, provoking Ng to demand an apology from Penang Chief Minister, for the ‘disrespectful behaviour’.

According to Ng, who is also MCA Vice President, stepping on the Prime Minister’s image also meant ‘stepping on Malaysia’. Can you imagine that.

The ubiquitous banners, depicting Najib donning a traditional Chinese dress in striking red,which most people believe was Ng Yen Yen's clever idea replete with his Chinese New Year wishes written in Mandarin, have been spotted in many parts of the country — particularly in areas with a sizeable ethnic Chinese presence, to commemorate  the Year of the Snake.

Photos of the banners were shared quickly all over the social media, with many describing the banners as ‘weird-looking’ and ‘distasteful’. Some has even likened the dress Najib is wearing to the dress worn usually by the dead in Chinese funeral ceremonies, creating a sort of cultural faux pas. Thanks to Ng Yen Yen.

Responding to Ng’s statement, MPSP councilor Steven Sim has defended his local council’s acts against the minister’s flak, saying that Ng was being disrespectful by ‘insulting’ the MPSP workers that were merely carrying out their duty by removing the illegally put banners.

Finding Ng’s claim as baseless, Sim also believed that Ng has ‘insulted the wisdom’ of the people, particularly those of the MPSP workers and Penangites. According to the online portal Malaysiakini, Sim said ‘Ng should know better’, stressing that laws and regulations must be followed.

“Does she [Ng] mean that it is all right to break the law, just because it involves the PM, or Najib?” Sim questioned.

Sim, also Penang DAPSY Publicity Secretary, said that Ng should offer her apologies to MPSP, asking Ng, MCA and BN to ‘be thankful’ towards MPSP instead since the mainland Penang local council has ‘covered up the shame’ of the prime minister, for Penang BN had ‘broken the law by putting up streamers without a permit’.

“Is Ng saying that the workers were wrong in carrying out their duties? She should apologise to MPSP and its workers for her insulting statement criticising MPSP’s official work.”
Further explaining the removal of the banners, Sim said the MPSP workers were just carrying out their normal duties around the Bagan area when they spotted the illegal banners put up by Penang BN.

Stressing that the particular ‘illegal banner removal operation’ has included other banners that were not related to BN or Najib, Sim released that 971 banners have been removed that day during the operation. Out of the total number, 678 were Najib’s banners.

Reminding Ng of the Penang Pakatan Rakyat-led state administration and local councils’ practices of CAT — competency, accountability and transparency — Sim remains adamant that action would be taken to ‘no matter who made a mistake’, whether it is the minister or the prime minister.

Sim later offered the Member of Parliament for Raub a piece useful advice, hinting Ng that, instead of being a minister who oversees streamers with Najib’s face all the way in Penang, it is better for her to take care of the people in her own constituency.

Sunday, June 9, 2013


PM Najib’s “yee sang” fiasco during the February CNY celebration in Penang was explained by the  organisers as having been caused by the Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Ng Yen Yen who messed up the arrangement and caused the BN leaders to be “red-faced” because she unilaterally told the emcee “ad hoc “ to invite Psy to join the “yee san” ceremony although it was not in the programme.

Although the Penang police chief, Datuk Abdul Rahim Hanafi produced the SMS to the police on the death threat to South Korean K-Pop superstar Psy by his manager, he really did not explain the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib’s “yee sang” fiasco at the Penang Barisan Nasional Chinese New Year Open House.

Datuk Rahim showed reporters the SMS which Psy’s manager sent to the police on Feb 10 at 8.30 pm which said: “We have received some serious death threats that have said they will stop PSY at all costs in airport and hotel in Penang.”

The Penang police chief said the police tightened security by assigning 11 officers to ensure the Korean superstar’s safety on his arrival the next morning on Feb. 11.

However, why had the Prime Minister, former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah and Cabinet Ministers have to undergo the public embarrassment and indignity of having to wait forlornly at the stage for over five minutes for Psy to join them in the “toss yee sang” ceremony, only to sheepishly leave the stage when the “toss yee san” ceremony had not been completed – which is regarded as a bad omen by the Chinese community.

The death threat, if genuine, were directed at Psy at the airport and hotel, but not at the Han Chiang school grounds – and the fact that nothing had happened at both the airport and hotel raises the question whether the “death threat” to Psy was credible, genuine or just a crank or prank joke. Did the police ever investigate the credibility of the death threat to Psy in Penang?

However, the manner the Prime Minister, former Prime Minister and Cabinet Minister left the stage without the completion of the “yee sang ceremony” with all of them looking more shame-faced for having to wait publicly in vain for Psy for five minutes to join them, rather than in panic mode because of police alert of any “death” or “security” threat has only turned the episode into a public joke, as they are all caught on video uploaded on YouTube.

And we can safely attribute this to Ng Yen Yen herself, and this is the sort of person that is the Chairman of Tourism Malaysia.

Saturday, June 8, 2013


by Daniel Teoh

The Tourism minister Ng Yen Yen, is an intrepid orator. To say that her courage and persistence in braving a hostile crowd is exceptional is an understatement, as evidenced by her recent fiasco in Melaka.

At least Sharifah Zobeen had the advantage of crowd and panel. Ng Yen Yen had neither, but she pulled a Sharifah Zobeen on the crowd when she asked them to ‘listen’.

When the crowd made known of their disapproval by booing and jeering, she badgered, even nagged, for them to ‘wake up’ and to answer her questions and cries with the much treasured yet elusive ‘yes’.

Regardless of your political sympathies, it should be noted that this debacle is not different from the one in Penang which featured the prime minister, when the crowd defiantly said ‘no’ thrice to an unsuspecting Najib.

It is probably an amusement for the public, but to see Malaysian ministers embarrassed in such manner and made a laughing stock in public, is a regretful thing, even if they are from an unsavoury coalition. How are future generations to perceive our very own leaders next time?

The Melaka incident appears to suggest that Ng Yen Yen is a tourist in her own country. It is one thing to not be able to attract crowds of listeners, another to not understand the sentiments at the grassroot level.
As a Federal minister and a politician, her detachment is both shocking and rueful. It is doubtful if her Cabinet colleagues would have fared better.

Herein lies the problem of most members of the ruling coalition: despite pledging, on numerous occasions, to hear the people out, they have adopted a most patronising and condescending stance when dealing with questions from the rakyat. This has caused a visible disconnection from common folks, all the way down from the Prime Minister’s Office.

After more than five decades of independence, Malaysians yearned to be treated as equal partners, to be heard not as squabbling children, but mature participants in a civlised and democratic society, only to be disappointed time after time.

When PM  Najib took over power in 2009, he was counted upon to bring much change and liberation reforms this country sorely needs. People were hopeful, but eventually disappointed when most of his Cabinet Ministers turned out to be familiar and unpopular characters, Ng Yen Yen included.

Friday, June 7, 2013


Former Tourism Minister

Tourism Minister Ng Yen Yen's remarked on March 6, this year that it was safe for tourists to visit Sabah was being questioned by Pakatan MPs in parliament.In fact the industry was also asking what business has she got to do with the security of the country. It is not the duty of the Tourism Minister to assure the safety of tourists, but the police and relevant authorities, two opposition members of parliament raised this is Dewan Rakyat..

Rasah MP and state assemblyman for Lobak, Anthony Loke said Tourism Minister Ng Yen Yen should not be issuing statements that Sabah was safe for tourists as the advisory can only be issued by the police or the military, who had a better take on the issue at hand.

He said this while commenting on Ng’s statement yesterday that Sabah was safe for tourists and that the state was not effected by the Lahd Datu incident.

“Any travel advisory must be issued by the relevant parties. Any comment on the status of safety and security of the tourists should come from the police and IGP instead of the Tourism Ministry as they are in a better position to comment on this,” the DAP Youth chief said.

“The government should keep tourists informed on the happenings and outcomes to avoid them from having false judgment on the current crisis.

“Tourists will be definitely worried about their safety and it is an irresponsible statement to say as such. Tourists will also fear that they will be held as hostages,” he added.

Ng Yen Yen however had said that there was no reason for tourists to feel unsafe in any part of Sabah including Sipadan, the world famous diving spot that lures thousands of foreigners each year.

Thursday, June 6, 2013


In keeping with the "Malaysia Boleh" concept, Minister Ng Yen Yen instructed Secretary General of the Tourism Ministry to appoint her as Chairman of Tourism Malaysia in place of Datuk Dr Wee, before the resolution of parliament and her position as Minister lapsed.

She knew from the onset that she will not be a candidate for the Raub parliamentary constituency and therefore took this opportunity to put herself as Chairman of MTPB. By doing so she is virtually the defacto " Tourism Minister " as the new Minister would have another portfolio of "culture" in his stable.

Never in the history of Tourism Malaysia an ex-Minister became its Chairman. So Ng Yen Yen has created this precedent despite knowing that the Secretary General of the Ministry is not allowed to appoint a Chairman of a statutory body under its jurisdiction. It may be considered that the Sec Gen might have done it under duress, but he is still subject to GO and all that stuff that goes with it.

The position of Chairman of Tourism Malaysia is a prerogative of the sitting Minister, therefore he would have to rectify this appoint for better or for worse. If he allows this appointment to continue he is also guilty of this irregularity and therefore we can assume that he is a traveling partner of Ng Yen Yen.

We have had enough of Ng Yen Yen during her period of ministership. We can consider herself worse off than Azalina Osman Said, who was a Minister and a tourism princess. By having her at the helm of Tourism Malaysia, the Management of the NTO continue to be "orang suruhan", penpushers to thedisappoint everyone in the industry today.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


Remember the RM 1.8 million facebook debacle attributed to the then Tourism Minister Ng Yen Yen in June 2011.

The Malaysian Parliament was told on that her ministry paid a gargantuan RM1,758,432 on developing six Facebook pages to promote Malaysian tourism.

The disclosure by Deputy Tourism Minister James Dawos Mamit shocked parliament and the tourism industry.

Rasah MP Anthony Loke raised the question, “You need RM1.8 million to run Facebook pages and applications? A six-year-old can start a Facebook page,” a stunned Loke told reporters at the Parliament lobby on Tuesday 14th Junr 2011.
“If Datuk Seri Ng Yen Yen has problems getting people to help start Facebook pages, DAP headquarters can help her out, we have people who can develop these things at no cost.”

A report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission was made when Minister Ng Yen Yen could not offer a detailed explanation. So far we heard nothing of this.

Ng Yen Yen was not in House during that question time and made her deputy do the dirty job. Her colleagues say she was down with a sore throat – not the first time that she has ‘disappeared’ when the going got tough.

Although, it may seem as if she is the special target of the opposition lawmakers, more  often than not her replies have shocked the nation although many have already braced themselves for stories of her legendary spending sprees.

Even her former party boss, ex-MCA president Ong Tee Keat had demanded that she explain her travelling costs. During the period 2009 to 2010, Yen Yen had racked up travelling expenses of RM3.25 million for 16 overseas visits.

Let us continue to brace ourselves and watch this woman as Chairman of Tourism Malaysia spend all that public money now allotted to Tourism Malaysia for the Visit Malaysia Year 2014.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


Tourism Malaysia director-general Datuk Mirza Mohammad Taiyab and Pempena’s former chief operating officer, Mohammad Rosly Md Selamat who were charged with CBT of RM888,000, were acquitted by the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court No.4 on the blessed Friday 18th May 2012.

Everyone in the courtroom including family of Dato Mirza and the press were happy with the results despite the fact that presecution gave notice to appeal.

Ng Yen Yen must have fallen off hear seat when someone prompted to her that Dato Mirza has been acquitted. There goes her game plan to bleed Tourism Malaysia of the vast allocation given for all sorts of programmes.

 Judge Che Mohamad Zulkifly Jusoh ruled that the prosecution had failed to prove a prima facie case against them. Delivering a 3 minute oral judgement before a packed courtroom 3 hours after the appointed time, the judge said that the two did not break any law under the Companies Act.

 The two were charged at the court on August 16 2010 with committing the offense at the Pempena office at Putra World Trade Centre  on February 27, 2007. During the two year trial it was highlighted by the defence team that the money was never transferred to the payee due to some techinical anomaly.

It was the bank ( under instruction from the higher ups) who tranfered the money ( not the original sum) to another party. In an organisation whose culture is hat nothing happens unless the Minister wants it, the prosecution should now go after the Minister then. So far nothing has been done. In fact Minister Ng Yen Yen has got away with a couple of murders.

We like to see Minister Dato Seri Nazri Aziz redeem an innocent Director General who has been  put on trial for close to two years wasting a lot of public time and money. The Malaysia Tourism Federation is happy with the judgement  but is very concerned with the time taken by the judge to deliver judgment which could have been done earlier.

Datuk Mirza has resume duties but with Ng Yen Yen around as Chairman of Tourism Malaysia, it will be status quo.

Monday, June 3, 2013


It was Wednesday, March 17, 2010 a leading blogger wrote in his blog about Tourism Minister Ng Yen Yen and her corrupt plans.

According to him Ng Yen Yen was very upset with the revelation of her corruption plans in the Ministry.  She then had to make changes and rearrange her entire game plan again.

He talked about how Ruzi Sheikh Ahamad from Kelantan, the owner of on tiny PR company Sen Media Sdn Bhd that destroyed both Dato Mirza, Director General of Tourism Malaysia and former Tourism Minister Azalina Osman Said. As Dato Mirza and Azalina doesn’t see eye to eye regarding the corrupted plans that Azalina wanted, Ruzi therefore persuaded Azalina to contact Datuk Shukri (MACC) to inform him that she had  information against Dato Mirza. Ruzi then use Hisham from Pakar Media Sdn Bhd to lodge a corruption report against Dato Mirza. 

MACC made an investigation into this report. There were charges made against Dato Mirza and several years of court appearances then took place but the court threw out the cases without having him to make any defence.
Ruzi meanwhile  work with Dato Shukri (MACC) to get Azalina. As Ruzi knows that Azalina's political secretary was supposed to collect some corruption money for Azalina's "political fund" at the Pelita restaurant in Ampang, Ruzi set up for Azalina political secretary to be busted by MACC. 

This incident then marked the end for Azalina too as the news break out to the public.
Ng Yen Yen was very happy regarding the good job that Ruzi had done.  They bonded well after that and Ruzi was given out the role of dishing out advertising contracts to interest ad agencies in town.

Ng Yen Yen awarded Tourism Malaysia Publicity to her son’s friend company Sen Media Sdn Bhd which is owned by Ruzi. Her son then collected a few millions RM from Ruzi from this deal. This Tourism Publicity campaign is to advertise Malaysia in international media like BBC, STARTV, AXN, CNBC, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHY and many more. 

" Sheihk" Ruzi is the central figure  in this scandal and has good contact in MACC, so no one can touch Ng Yen Yen or her son. Until today he  has never been investigated or implicated in any of the MACC investigation.

If  Ng Yen Yen is appointed Chairman of Tourism Malaysia this legacy will continue to flourish and will certainly be bad for the image of our new minted Minister Dato Seri Mohamad Nazri bin Tan Sri Aziz of Perak.