Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Government steps up Courtesy Campaign to Improve Services and Woo Tourists

PUTRAJAYA: Smile, please. The Culture, Arts and Heritage Ministry hopes civil servants will become more friendly when it goes into the next phase of its courtesy and noble values campaign.

In Terengganu, the state has told its frontliners and government servants that a smile would go a long way towards making tourists happy.

In January 2005 when the ministry started the campaign, it urged the people to show compassion for one another.

Last year, the ministry reinforced its Semarak Budi Bahasa (courtesy and noble values) campaign by roping in students.

This time around, the ministry is targeting unfriendly civil servants, especially those manning counters.

“Those who give counter services will smile more, with greetings like apa khabar? (how are you?) and selamat pagi (good morning),” said minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim.

The campaign theme is Senyumlah (Smile, please), he told The Star after launching the 50th National Day logo and slogan here yesterday.

He was commenting on the people's feedback on ways to improve the public system. The feedback was compiled by the Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Planning Management Unit.

In Kuala Terengganu, R.S.N MURALI reports that the state has allocated RM200,000 for seminars and training to encourage those in the service industry to greet visitors with a smile and be more hospitable.

State Industrial Development and Tourism committee chairman Datuk Mohamed Awang Tera told The Star: “We are spending RM400 to RM500 per person to teach them to converse in English.

The move, he added, was to make Visit Terengganu 2008 a success.

He said 17 people had so far attended the training, which is part of the state’s smile campaign, themed Senyum Sokmo (local slang meaning “Smile Always.”)

A Canadian tourist wrote to The Star, saying he was visiting Terengganu for the fourth time and appreciate the efforts being made by Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh to promote tourism.

“Your mentri besar is a dynamic leader who has transformed Terengganu in recent years,” said Jonathan Foo from Toronto.

“But I feel sorry for him as he may face a hard time putting the smile on certain locals who prefer to be huffish, as if we are unwelcome guests here,” he said in his letter sent by facsimile.

Source : STAR
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