IPOH, Aug 2 — State Tourism and Culture Committee chairman Tan Kar Hing today explained that the use of the English and Chinese language instead of Bahasa Malaysia in the official poster of the Perak tourism ambassador is only for marketing and promotional purposes.
Tan said Chinese tourists are among the top three foreign visitors in Perak, with a total of 1.34 million visitors last year, an increase about 7.6 per cent compared to the year 2017.
“One of our target markets is Chinese tourists and that is why we decided to use English and Chinese language instead of Bahasa Malaysia. Too many words in the poster will not be nice.
“It will be easier for the media or travel agency there to understand and share the posters,” he told a press conference at the Weil Hotel here.
The poster, featuring the Ipoh-born internationally-acclaimed singer and songwriter Michael Wong, uploaded to Perak Tourism’s Facebook page yesterday, was heavily criticised for not including the national language.
The poster carries information only in English and Mandarin.
Tan also said that this matter should not be turned into a controversy as even the slogan on the official Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign logo is in English and not Bahasa Malaysia.
“If you see the slogan in the logo ‘Visit Truly Asia Malaysia’ is English. No Bahasa Malaysia there. This is done for promotional purposes. I think this matter should not be sensationalised.
“We will definitely improve the poster when we do a version for the locals. Maybe we can have the information in Bahasa Malaysia and Tamil or even in Japanese...why not?” he added.
On the appointment of Wong as the Perak tourism ambassador, Tan said that the entertainer not only has fans from China, but also a large fan base in East Asian countries such as Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan and Korea.
“He will promote Perak through his own story and unique experience as a local. His promotion about Perak will focus on four themes mainly — Island, Adventure, Food and Culture,” he said.
Wong was previously appointed as the Malaysia Tourism Ambassador from 2006 to 2010 and Malaysia Healthcare Travel Ambassador by the Health Ministry back in 2011.
Wong will commence his duties as the state tourism ambassador for two years in the area around East Asia starting from August 1, 2019 to July 31.
Wong’s hit Fairy Tale or Tong Hua has been translated to 11 languages, including in Malay with the title Cinta Arjuna and was sung by Singaporean singer Aliff Aziz.