Monday, November 27, 2006

Bukit Bintang not Patpong

KOTA BARU: Malaysians and not foreigners are confused as to how Malaysia is being promoted overseas, said Tourism Minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor.

“Our marketing and promotion campaigns overseas depict Malaysia as a family-orientated tourism destination.

“However, we do offer clean and moderate forms of entertainment such as karaokes or nightclubs,” he said after attending the annual tourism industry awards night here.

He said that most foreigners knew what to expect and explore in Malaysia, but Malaysians were the ones who were confused.

Tengku Adnan was commenting on a statement by Jasin MP Datuk Mohd Said Yusof who likened Bukit Bintang to sex areas such as Patpong in Bangkok.

Mohd Said was quoted as saying that the Middle-Eastern friends he met recently told him that the sex activities made Malaysia “better than Thailand.”

Tengku Adnan said Malaysians must understand the country’s tourism and not misinterpret activities regarded as clean entertainment.

He said that along Bukit Bintang there were massage parlours, eateries, nightclubs, restaurants and foot reflexology services, all of which were clean and legal.

Nevertheless, he noted that vice activities did exist in isolated areas, but it was the job of the local authorities and police to combat such social ills.

He said the ministry’s main role was to promote and generate growth in tourism.
He also said that retailing was a strong component of the tourism industry and it was unfair to brand Bukit Bintang as another “Patpong.”

He said it was important Malaysians understand the need to support clean entertainment for tourists to enjoy their evenings during the Visit Malaysia Year 2007 campaign.

“We cannot go around branding everything which resemble entertainment as sinful or illicit. Many Arab tourists also want to find a place to relax and chat. We need to provide such facilities for them.”

Tengku Adnan also announced that a premier astronaut exhibition would be held at the Subang airport next year.

Source : STAR
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