Administrative changes needed for board's improvement, says Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board appears to have thrown its weight behind Tourism, Arts, and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing's decision to demote its director-general, Datuk Ammar Abd Ghapar.

In a statement released by the board, they said it is necessary for administrative changes to foster improvement within the organisation.

"Based on the numerous feedback from the industry, the states and the general public, few will argue that the tourism sector, and how we promote it, needs to drastically improve.

"We are in full support of the strategic change direction of the Minister and the Ministry and will strive to provide the feedback and guidance to ensure these strategies are embraced and executed with good governance and with full transparency," the statement read.

The board acknowledged that while there has been some improvement in tourist arrivals and receipts, the figures still lag significantly behind pre-pandemic levels.

"We remain guided with doing the best in the interest of the nation and we have to remain competitive compared to neighbouring countries."

Earlier, it was reported that the former director-general of the Malaysian Tourism Promotion Board (Tourism Malaysia), Datuk Ammar Abd Ghapar, was demoted from his position due to claimed underperformance.

In denying claims that Ammar was removed for alleged racist issues, Tiong clarified that the latter was not sacked, but instead demoted to deputy director-general.

"I have given him multiple chances and advised him. It is like he has no idea or doesn't know what to do to improve the tourism industry in the country.

"In fact, in a recent board meeting, I gave him instructions not to do something, but he did it anyway, so I asked for him to be demoted immediately.

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