Archive for category Tourism

Paradise in Penang

Noor Ashikin Abdul Rahman
The New Paper, Singapore
Jan 10, 2017

We are only 10 days into the new year, but if that all-too-familiar feeling called wanderlust is already creeping in, its not your fault.

Besides, it is never too early to start planning your next getaway.

If a short vacation that will not break the bank is what you are eyeing, consider Penang.

The Malaysian state is not just steeped in culture and tradition – it is also a haven for foodies.

The best part? We have done the calculations for you – the airfare will set you back less than $100, while decent accommodation will cost less than a $100 per night. Read the rest of this entry »

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Concerns remain but Chinese tourists say still fond of Malaysia

By Ho Kit Yen
The Malay Mail Online
April 13, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, April 13 — The disappearance of flight MH370 and kidnappings near Semporna, Sabah, have not discouraged Chinese tourists from visiting Malaysia.

Sichuan native Xiao Huan, 25, who arrived here on April 4, admitted she had initially wanted to cancel her trip here because of the MH370 incident. She had booked the trip in December last year.

“I was worried about boarding the flight. I didn’t cancel in the end because we had paid for it,” said Xiao.

Xiao admitted Malaysia Airlines (MAS) could have handled the plane’s disappearance better in the early stages.

“There seemed to be so much confusion when the news broke. I heard the flight landed in Nanning, China, initially. But that was found to be untrue,” she said.

Her husband, Li Xin, 25, said Chinese nationals just want to know what happened to the flight. Read the rest of this entry »


Yen Yen’s High Standards of Wastage

By Martin Jalleh


When ministers talk nonsense

— Abdul Haleem
The Malaysian Insider
Mar 14, 2012

MARCH 14 — One of the prolonged illnesses, which afflicts Malaysian politics, is ministers coming out with stupid if not absurd statements. Usually it is followed by a sudden flip flop.

Today, we have our Tourism Minister saying foreigners are shunning the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme, because they do not perceive the country to be peaceful and stable. Bernama reported Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen blaming recent street demonstrations for hindering promotional efforts for MM2H. She even said that “this is the key barrier preventing foreigners from staying in Malaysia for long period.”

I have a question for her. When did we launch the MM2H programme and since then how many street demos have we seen in Malaysia? Just because she is running out of ideas to explain her ministry’s failures she should not assume Malaysians will just accept her idiotic answers. An SPM student would be able to cook up more concrete reasons than her. Or perhaps this MM2H was a failure from day one. Read the rest of this entry »


36 Hours: Penang, Malaysia

Published: February 9, 2012
The New York Times

A fishing boat near Telok Pahang.
A fishing boat near Telok Pahang. More Photos »

PENANG is on a roll. Thanks to an influx of private and public investment and creative energy — precipitated in part by Unesco’s 2008 listing of Penang’s capital city, George Town, as a World Heritage site — the Malaysian island is padding out its list of attractions. To the region’s best street food add smart restaurants and bars. And a lively street culture anchored in religious festivals has now been joined by shows at the recently opened Performing Arts Center, and events like the Penang World Music Festival (March 30 to April 1;, as well as the annual George Town Festival (June 15 to July 15;, a month of exhibitions, performances and readings by local and international artists and writers. Your stay will very likely be more comfortable than it would have been a few years ago, with new boutique hotels opening in recently renovated pre-World War II shop houses and mansions.
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What creativity?’ Kit Siang asks Soi Lek

By Shannon Teoh
June 19, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, June 19 — Lim Kit Siang mocked today Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek’s defence of the “unquantifiable creativity” behind the tourism ministry’s RM1.8 million Facebook project.

The Ipoh Timur MP pointed out that a Facebook page protesting the project has already garnered three times the support of the Tourism Malaysia ~ Cuti-Cuti 1Malaysia page.

“Chua is defending the indefensible. What creativity is Chua talking about?” said DAP’s parliamentary leader of the MCA president’s statement yesterday defending Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen.

The Curi-curi Wang Malaysia community page has raced to nearly 120,000 “likes” in just five days while the official Tourism Malaysia page is yet to hit 40,000 despite being set up in May. Read the rest of this entry »


“Creativity cannot be quantified” – Malaysians must thank their lucky stars it only cost RM1.8m

R1.8 million six Facebook fiasco – Going by Chua Soi Lek’s logic, Malaysians must thank their lucky stars they had not been charged RM18 million or RM180 million as “creativity cannot be quantified”

Going by the logic of MCA President Datuk Seri Chua Soi Lek, Malaysians must thank their lucky stars that they had not been charged RM18 million or RM180 million for six Facebook pages to promote tourism to Malaysia although facebook pages are free as “creativity cannot be quantified”.

Chua’s logic is impeccable when he said it might cost nothing to start facebook but “maintenance had costs” particularly when he stressed that it is difficult to put a dollar figure to the creativity of the IT consultants used. Read the rest of this entry »


Soi Lek says Tourism Facebook pages incur more cost than personal ones

By Yow Hong Chieh
The Malaysian Insider
Jun 18, 2011

The Facebook pages operated by the Tourism Ministry are “complicated” and cost more to run than similar personal pages on the world’s most popular social networking site, Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said tonight

The MCA president waded into the controversy surrounding the RM1.8 million paid for six Facebook pages by the ministry helmed by party vice president Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen, saying it might cost nothing to start such pages but maintenance had costs.

He added that it was difficult to put a dollar figure to the creativity of the IT consultants used, which he suggested was the largest variable in the bill.

“That creativity, I don’t know how much they will charge,” he told reporters after attending a fundraising dinner at SMJK Chong Hwa here. Read the rest of this entry »


On Facebook, protest grows against Yen Yen

By Clara Chooi
June 17, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, June 17 — A spontaneous Facebook campaign started by critics of Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen has drawn the support of nearly 90,000 Malaysians, almost a triple of those who follow her ministry’s official page.

The campaign kicked off on Tuesday evening, shortly after it was revealed that the ministry had spent a whopping RM1.8 million to manage its Facebook accounts. Read the rest of this entry »


Facebook fiasco earns Yen Yen Cabinet colleagues’ ire

By Clara Chooi
June 17, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, June 17 — Already facing growing public discontent, Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen was confronted with a hostile Cabinet today when she tried to explain her ministry’s controversial RM1.8 million outlay on six Facebook pages and was even told by some colleagues not to waste their time.

The Malaysian Insider understands several ministers also insisted against announcing that Cabinet had officially accepted Ng’s explanation, preferring instead to say they had taken note of it. Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia’s ‘stupidity’ sizzles Internet

By Casey Lee
June 17, 2011 | Free Malaysia Today

KOTA KINABALU: Malaysia, it seems, is fast becoming the purveyor of laughs on the worldwide web.

On the heels of the Obedient Wives Club which aimed to turn ‘good wives into first class whores’, there’s now the Malaysian government spending RM1.8 million (US$590,000) on six Facebook, which incidentally is free, applications.

The Internet application (app) developer world is abuzz with humour and bewildement at the ‘stupidity’ of the move. Read the rest of this entry »


Loke says Yen Yen’s answers unsatisfactory

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
June 17, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, June 17 — The DAP’s Anthony Loke today accused Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen of not answering why six Facebook pages cost RM1.8 million.

“This is unsatisfactory. She has not yet explained what exactly is integrated social media campaigning…what is the scope of social media? Facebook and Twitter? If it’s not a website, what is the money for? Advertisements? Where?” the DAP socialist youth chief (Dapsy) told The Malaysian Insider.

The Tourism Minister said yesterday she did not contradict a detailed account of the costs, and that the sum of money was for an “integrated social media campaign.” Read the rest of this entry »


Yen Yen blames DAP for Facebook ‘distortion’

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
The Malaysian Insider
Jun 16, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, June 16 — Datuk Seri Ng Yen Yen blamed DAP for “distorting” facts on the tourism ministry’s RM1.8 million expenditure to develop six Facebook pages, insisting today she did not contradict a detailed account of the costs.

Her deputy, James Dawos Mamit, had told Parliament that each Facebook page had cost RM293,072.

“My deputy minister had answered it very clearly… Facebook is free.

“The cost is for the integrated social media campaign, the DAP has taken the campaign and distorted it… I accuse him (Anthony Loke) of distortion,” she told reporters today.

The tourism minister said that so far RM250,000 had been spent on the campaign. Read the rest of this entry »


Yen Yen, explain ‘Curi-curi’ M’sia

Tarani Palani
Free Malaysia Today
June 15, 2011

If the minister fails to provide a proper explanation for the RM1.8 million ‘splurge’, an opposition MP warns that netizens may bay for her blood.

KUALA LUMPUR: Due to the growing discontent, an opposition leader urged Tourism Minister Dr Ng Yen Yen to explain why RM1.8 million was spent on six Facebook pages to promote Malaysia.

Speaking in Parliament, DAP’s Rasah MP Anthony Loke said there was palpable discontent against the amount spent when it could have been attained at almost no cost.

Loke highlighted two Facebook pages regarding the matter, the “1 million Malaysians say no to RM1.8 million” and “Curi-curi wang Malaysia”, the latter being a twist of the ministry’s famous tagline “Cuti-cuti Malaysia”.

“These are very creative. Within 18 hours the ‘Curi-Curi wang Malaysia’ page already has 11,380 ‘likes’ – already half of the Tourism Malaysia’s Facebook site. And it is free!” he told reporters.

The Citrawarna 1Malaysia Facebook page attracted a total of 20,292 Facebook “likes” since its launch on May 21 this year.

A quick check by FMT revealed that “Curi-Curi wang Malaysia” currently had 14, 232 “likes” whereas “1 million Malaysians say no to RM1.8 million” had 749 “likes”. Read the rest of this entry »


RM1.8mil … for a Facebook page?

By Joseph Sipalan
June 14, 2011

The Tourism Ministry came under fire again today, as MPs questioned why it had spent RM1.8 million to start and maintain its Facebook page – yet another on the list of controversial projects.

Anthony Loke (DAP-Rasah) slammed the decision to use so much money when the social networking site can be used free of charge.

“On my last check, there are 20,308 fans on the ministry’s Facebook page. Comparably, the ‘Visit Penang’ Facebook page, for which the Penang government did not spend a sen, got over 100,000 fans. Why spend RM1.8 million?” he asked during Question Time.
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Tourism Ministry: RM1.8 million spent on Facebook pages

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
June 14, 2011
The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, June 14 — A whopping RM1,758,432 was spent on developing six Facebook pages to promote Malaysian tourism, the Tourism Ministry said today.

Deputy Tourism Minister James Dawos Mamit said this today in reply to a question from Anthony Loke (Rasah-DAP).

Each Facebook page cost RM293,072 — Cuti-Cuti 1 Malaysia, Citrawarna 1Malaysia, Karnival Jualan Mega 1 Malaysia, Festival Pelancongan Seni Kontemporari 1 Malaysia, Kempen 1 Malaysia Bersih and Fabulous Food 1 Malaysia.
Read the rest of this entry »


‘Hometowns’ battle to claim their celebrities

By Hu Yongqi and Hu Yinan
2011-06-07 | China Daily

Cashing in by claiming a star as one of their own can boost tourism revenue and give regions bragging rights, report Hu Yongqi and Hu Yinan in Beijing.

As Li Na ended her campaign in France to become Asia’s first Grand Slam singles winner, another battle commenced at home.

Li Yanping, the new champion’s mother, was on a trip to her uncle’s native county of Xinhua in Hunan province on Saturday when the final began in Paris.

When she arrived, reporters, tennis fans and local officials were waiting.

National television repeatedly showed scenes of cheering crowds around Li Yanping with red banners proclaiming, “Come on, sister Na, a good daughter of Xinhua”.

A daughter of Xinhua? There’s certainly a family connection, but Li Na was born and raised in Wuhan, capital of Hubei province. People there felt that their thunder had been stolen. Read the rest of this entry »

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8 motions to dock ministers’ salaries next week

S Pathmawathy
Nov 27, 10

Several opposition parliamentarians have vented their displeasure at certain targeted ministers and two high ranking civil servant by filing motions to slash their salaries by RM10. One was RM100, the set limit.

The current parliament sitting saw eight pay-cut motions being tabled, several being high-profile ministries.

So far two such motions filed by Lim Kit Siang (DAP-Ipoh Timur) had named attorney-general (AG) Abdul Gani Patail and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Abu Kassim, both shot down by the Dewan Rakyat.

Lim’s motion against Abdul Gani claimed that the AG stood accused of fabricating evidence in Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim’s “black eye” case in 1998.

Meanwhile, he wanted the House to punish Abu Kassim (below) because for the last 16 years Malaysia’s score had been the worst in Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index for the Asia-Pacific region.

“It’s my impression that the these are the highest number of salary deduction motions in one sitting,” said Lim, a veteran legislator.

The sitting is now debating the next Budget or Supply Bill 2011 is in its committee stage, so the remaining six motions filed under Standing Orders 66(9) will be dealt with from next week.

According to accepted practice these motions ultimately mean a vote of no confidence in the ability of the respective ministers. Read the rest of this entry »


NDM-1 – is it the death knell for medical tourism?


Medical tourism, long ostracized as an evil third world nations with limited health-care resources should not be dabbling in, may have finally met its fatal match. Last week, the British based, Lancet Infectious Diseases Journal reported the emergence of highly resistant bacteria carrying a new gene termed New Delhi Metallo-beta-lactamase (NDM-1) and specifically associated it with medical tourism as the bacteria seems to have originated in patients frequenting India and Pakistan for procedures such as cosmetic and transplant surgery. NDM-1 is actually an enzyme that is produced by bacteria. The ability of bacteria to produce NDM-1 is apparently the result of mobile genes that can readily jump from various different bacterial populations allowing them to incorporate these special genes into their chromosomes.

The danger of NDM-1 is that it can fight against most known antibiotics known to man, thereby rendering the human species defenseless against these superbugs. It was first discovered in December 2009 by Yong and associates who described them in a Swedish national who fell ill with an antibiotic-resistant bacterial infection that he acquired in India. The infection was unsuccessfully treated in a New Delhi hospital and after the patient’s repatriation to Sweden, the gene was identified there.
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Restructuring federal-state relations: Critical issue in next polls


Power must be devolved, decision-making must be decentralised, and development funds must be shared all the way down, asserts Francis Loh.

An important issue in the next general election, no doubt, must be the restructuring of federal-state relations. Our federal system of government needs to be transformed from a highly centralised to a more equal and co-operative one. Indeed, cooperative federal systems are the norm throughout the world, not only in Canada, Australia and Switzerland, but also in India, South Africa and Nigeria.

This means that more devolution of power must occur. As well, decentralisation of decision-making and of course disbursement of development funds from the federal government to the state governments. And the civil service must act more professionally to serve the government of the day, regardless of party affiliation.
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