KUALA LUMPUR, June 22 — Malaysians should be the country’s tourism ambassadors and to work together to realise the mission of Visit Malaysia 2020 (VM2020) by promoting the country to the international community, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
She said Malaysians should give their full support to ensure success of the national mission, which is to record 30 million foreign tourist arrivals and RM100 billion in revenue to the country.
“The easiest way is to highlight our noble hospitality. When foreigners fall in love with our Eastern values, they will want to learn more about our national heritage and arts,” she said when opening the Malaysia Aidilfitri Open House here today.
Dr Wan Azizah said she is confident and optimistic that the government’s target of recording 30 million tourist arrivals for VM2020 could be achieved if all Malaysians are to unite and become Malaysia’s tourism ambassadors.
The diversity in arts, culture and heritage of Malaysians is actually the country’s strength, and thus the need for Malaysians to make the country an exemplary model for other countries, she added.
The deputy prime minister said through the implementation of the 2016-2025 National Eco-tourism Plan, which identified 60 eco-tourism clusters, other initiatives to be taken would focus on special interest tourism (SIT) such as scuba diving, sailing and homestay, as well as maximising Malaysia’s promotion as a destination for tourism, trade, investment, health education and film production.
Met by reporters after the event, Dr Wan Azizah, who is also Women, Family and Community Development Minister, said the government had yet to discuss in detail the proposal to provide three-day paternity leave for employees in the private sector.
She said this following a statement issued by the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) opposing the proposal.
Meanwhile, Dr Wan Azizah said Aidilfitri feasts organised by government departments were held during office hours to save cost and time.
“They will still have staff at the counters because they take turns (to attend the feast),” she said in response to Perlis Mufti Associate Professor Datuk Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin’s statement calling for the government to review the need for government departments to hold Aidilfitri feasts during the month of Syawal.
To a question on the bilateral trade between Malaysia and India, Dr Wan Azizah said Malaysia hoped to encourage more investments from India.
She said the total trade with India in 2018 amounted to RM62.76 billion (USD15.56 billion), an increase of 2.2 per cent from RM61.38 billion (USD14.29 billion) recorded in 2017.
“This is a positive development as we have already achieved our target of bilateral trade of USD15 billion by 2020 under the MICECA (The Malaysia India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement),” she added. — Bernama