KUALA LUMPUR: Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz today defended the new Visit Malaysia Year 2020 logo and explained the meaning behind it.
He said, despite criticisms, the logo will not be changed and that he trusted the judgement of the ministry’s in-house design department, which came up with it.
“Every year there are 1.5 billion people traveling overseas and it is these people that the logo was made for, not the locals.
“We kept the Twin Towers, the orang utan, proboscis monkey and turtle because these are our symbols and it’s what foreigners want to know about Malaysia when they come here,” he told the New Straits Times.
Nazri also explained that the main reason tourists come to Malaysia is to see the Petronas Twin Towers, which he described as an icon and the tallest building of the 20th century.
“The Twin Tower is iconic to us like how the Eiffel Tower is for Parisians.”
On the portrayal of orang utan, proboscis monkey and turtle on the logo, the Padang Rengas MP said, since these animals are symbolic to the country, it should not be erased.
He said, by excluding the animals from the logo, other countries might claim them as their own tourism symbols.
“On why these animals were wearing sunglasses, it is to show that Malaysia is a sunny country with beautiful beaches and that we are into conservation of the environment.
“We also made it colourful because it represents Malaysia. We are a colourful country with diverse culture and we want to make it clear that tourism is fun.
“I can’t be putting a serious logo. This is tourism and it’s supposed to be fun,” he added.
On Saturday, Nazri launched the logo at the Asean Tourism Forum 2018 in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
The emblem features a cartoon of an orang utan in sunglasses hugging a proboscis monkey, a silhouette of the Petronas Twin Towers and a turtle on a beach, also wearing sunglasses.
The caption that accompanies the logo is "Travel. Enjoy. Respect", which Nazri said as being in line with the United Nations World Tourism Organisation's aspirations.
The logo however came under fire on social media as netizens said that the design was not up to standard.