Malaysia’s prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin unveiled his Cabinet yesterday (March 9), appointing Nancy Shukri as the tourism, arts and culture minister, and Jeffrey Kitingan as the deputy tourism, arts and culture minister.
Nancy was a former minister in the prime minister’s department in charge of law, while Jeffrey serves as Keningau’s member of parliament and is the president of Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR), a Sabah-based political party.
Local stakeholders have responded positively to the new appointments, and are eager to work closely with them.
Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents president, Tan Kok Liang, shared that the association is looking forward to working closely with the new minister “to achieve tourism targets, modernise outdated laws, introduce incentives to spur the industry, and step up enforcements against illegal and unlicensed operators”.
Tan also said that the new tourism minister should prioritise engagement with tourism players, and ensure that reasonable requests are being met.
He added: “The tourism industry is at the lowest level now due to Covid-19. (Restoring) confidence in foreign holidaymakers to visit Malaysia and not cancel their trips here should be a top priority, as well as growing the domestic travel segment.”
Malaysian Association of Hotels’ CEO, Yap Lip Seng, shared his hope for the new ministers in tourism, arts and culture to “actively continue to listen to the private sector in formulating policies and initiatives for the industry”.
Yap added: “We look forward to more opportunities, especially in addressing the negative impact of Covid-19 on the hotel industry. We will be updating the government periodically and possibly formulate new strategies towards a sustainable tourism industry.”