KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 27 — Long-serving Malaysian Tourism Promotion Board (Tourism Malaysia) senior executive Manoharan Periasamy has been named as the board’s new director-general, replacing Datuk Ammar Abd Ghapar who was controversially demoted last week.

In a post shared on Tourism Malaysia’s Facebook page yesterday, the board congratulated Manoharan after his appointment as director-general effective yesterday.

Manoharan had previously served as Tourism Malaysia’s director for India and prior to the top post, as senior director for international promotion (Asia and Africa).

Last Friday, Ammar confirmed to Malay Mail that he had received a letter from Tourism, Arts, and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing regarding his demotion.

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The letter, signed by Tiong and dated February 22, stated that the termination was to take effect yesterday.

Ammar expressed his dissatisfaction at having to vacate his position in such circumstances after having served the ministry for 36 years.

On Saturday, Tiong confirmed Ammar will be demoted to deputy director-general after failing to improve his performance.

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The minister claimed that various state governments had complained about Ammar’s lack of engagement. He also made it clear that Ammar’s demotion was not race-related.

Ammar was appointed as Tourism Malaysia director-general on April 12 last year and is due for retirement in February next year.