'People can comment all they want but I am focused on my job' — Tiong [NSTTV]

KUALA LUMPUR: Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing is not fazed by the criticism against him or his ministry, and will continue to remain focused in his role.

"People can comment all they want but I am focused on my job.

"We (the ministry) are trying our best to exercise our responsibilities," he said to the press at the Discover Muslim-friendly Malaysia event at Royale Chulan Kuala Lumpur earlier.

This follows Perlis Menteri Besar Mohd Shukri Ramli claims that Tiong has not provided any response regarding the state government's request for a meeting to discuss allocations to upgrade tourist locations.

The state government expressed its disappointment in conjunction with the Visit Perlis Year (TMPs) 2024/2025.

The request was for an allocation of RM4 million to upgrade eight tourist locations in Perlis, aiming to enhance visitor comfort.

Tiong acknowledged that his ministry did receive a request in the form of a letter in July last year, and in response, "I have in fact extended an invite calling all states to engage with us in how we can boost tourism in each locality."

"However in the case of Perlis, the menteri besar himself did not attend to my call and instead left it to be dealt with by a Tourism, Arts, and Culture (MOTAC) representative from the state.

"How can I know exactly what he wants? Tomorrow I will issue a full statement with regards to this."

The ministry earlier announced that it aims to attract 1.5 million Muslim tourists this year with travellers from China being the main focus as part of its 'Discover Muslim-friendly Malaysia' campaign.

The country also aims to welcome chartered flights coming in from Ürümqi city (sometime between May and July) and Xi An (in March).

This announcement comes in conjunction with a unique trip, which saw the 35 imams from 14 provinces in China arriving in Malaysia today as ambassadors to promote local Halal tourism.

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