Tourism Malaysia director-general demoted due to poor performance, says minister

Dato Sri Tiong King Sing

By Shikin Louis

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 24: The Malaysian Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) Dato Seri Tiong King Sing has clarified that the Tourism Malaysia director-general Datuk Dr Ammar Abd Ghapar was demoted due to the latter’s poor performance.

Tiong explained that he had given a lot of chances to Ammar, who had been advised to improve his performance after failing to meet the standards set by the ministry.

This is especially when Ammar was not ranked on the ministry’s top of the recommendation list to replace the previous director-general, he said.

“I gave him chances because he has a doctorate (PhD) in the field of tourism.

“However, during his tenure, he did not deliver – we have no plans and when tourists come here, there were no new destinations due to a lack of engagement with the states. When there is no engagement, many states complained.

“If you cannot deliver, I will have to remove the person and give the job to someone else. That is all. This has nothing to do with racism,” he said when responding to a reporter’s query on rumours regarding Ammar’s dismissal at 2024 National Crafts Day’s opening ceremony in Kuala Lumpur Craft Complex here today.

Tiong further denied rumours that Ammar was sacked, stating that Ammar was only demoted to become the deputy director-general of Tourism Malaysia.

Meanwhile, the post left vacant by Ammar would be taken over by someone selected from the Tourism Malaysia’s higher-ups.

“Ammar was supposed to retire in March next year but for the sake of the nation’s tourism industry, I cannot let this poor performance continue until next year before taking action and replanning the industry.

“Look at Thailand; they were able to record 10 million visitors from China alone – they could easily reach up to 40 million visitors if other countries were included. So why can’t Malaysia do the same and only recorded about 1 or 2 million visitors from China?” he questioned. — DayakDaily