PETALING JAYA: A group of tourism and business associations has raised concerns that the continuous and unfavourable debates surrounding entertainment issues will damage the country’s image in the eyes of tourists.
“The constant negative debate over entertainment, including concerts, LGBT, and the luxury tax, does not augur well for our tourism industry’s growth and revival,” the group said in a statement today.
It was responding to tourism, arts and culture minister Tiong King Sing, who on Sunday called for efforts to safeguard the country’s image as tourism activities pick up amid some issues which have surfaced.
Tiong said the issues included counterfeit alcohol being allegedly sold in Langkawi, and a controversy involving an assistant divemaster accused of indecent behaviour against a tourist in Semporna, Sabah.
The group said entertainment activities, such as international concerts, are important to attract foreign and domestic tourists, who spend on travel, hotel accommodation, food and beverages, and transportation.
Earlier this month, PAS central working committee member Nasrudin Hassan urged the government to cancel British rock band Coldplay’s concert here scheduled for November.
Nasrudin asked Putrajaya if it wanted to encourage “hedonism and deviant cultures” in the country by allowing Coldplay to perform here.
In a Facebook post, he attached pictures of Coldplay’s frontman, Chris Martin, holding up a rainbow flag to show his support for the LGBT community during a concert in London.
On Monday, it was reported that the home ministry raided 11 Swatch shops last week over the brand’s “Pride Collection” featuring watches with rainbow colours.
The group claimed that another major impediment to Malaysia’s image is the limited number of international brands for fashion and accessories.
It said the proposed luxury tax would dampen efforts to bring in more international brands as it may cause pricing in Malaysia to be uncompetitive.
To cater to sensitivities, it proposed the setting up of “international business and entertainment zones” within city centres and urban areas.
“These zones will cater to not only tourists but also expatriates. Leisure and lifestyle are important considerations for international companies to locate in Malaysia,” it said.
The group comprises the BBKLCC Tourism Association Kuala Lumpur, Batu Road Retailers Association, Bumiputera Retailers Organisation, Malaysia Retailers Association, Malaysia Retail Chain Association, Masjid India Business Association, and Malaysia Shopping Malls Association.2023-05-26T07:40:34Z dg43tfdfdgfd