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Tourism Minister misled Parliament November 5, 2008

Posted by elizabethwong in 1.
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There I was, wading in chicken dung, while being surrounded by irate residents and MP for Kuala Selangor Dr Dzulkifli Ahmad to check on a ‘smelly’ problem, when SMSs started to come in.

“Azalina whacking you!”
“You kena whack on live TV!”
“Wah, got riot in Parliament and you’re mentioned!” (etc. etc.)

Those SMSs threw me a little off-guard. But I thought it best to find out the details later in the Hansard, as the residents were close to baying for the blood of the organic fertiliser representative.

It was only this morning I saw the misleading statements uttered in Parliament and published in all major newspapers. Unfortunately, I am not an MP and have no recourse to reply or demand for a retraction. And it will forever be in the records of the Hansard. I can only imagine the MB and Big Boss reading the articles and shaking their heads.

Azalina owes me a public apology, or else she will be referred to the House Committee of Privileges for official censure.

****************************************
Press Statement: 5 November 2008

TOURISM MINISTER MISLED PARLIAMENT
APOLOGISE OR BE REFERRED TO HOUSE COMMITTEE OF PRIVILEGES

I am aghast by the false statements made by the Minister for Tourism, Azalina Othman during Question Time in Parliament on Tuesday 4 November 2008, which were aired live on RTM1 and reported by major newspapers and blogs today.

From the news reports, she had misled the august House, among other misleading information, on the following:-

1. That I did not attend the opening of the Ministry of Tourism’s launch of ‘ZOOM’ (‘No party sentiments in promoting tourism’, Bernama, 5 November 2008)
2. That I was invited to Pulau Carey during the Minister’s visit there. (‘Pelancongan: Negeri pembangkang tidak dipinggir, Utusan Malaysia ms 8, 5 November 2008)
3. That I lied to the Honourable Member of Parliament Shah Alam, Khalid Samad (‘We’re fair to all states: Azalina’, The SUN, page 6, 5 November 2008)

For the record, I was present at the Ministry’s launch of ‘ZOOM’ where Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi graced the event. The Exco for Tourism from Kedah, Penang and I even had the opportunity to speak to the Prime Minister, who was seated on the next table.

The Minister challenged me to prove that I was never invited to Pulau Carey in her programme there (Berita Harian, 5 November 2008). Allow me to state publicly that I was never invited to Pulau Carey by the Minister. In fact the Minister herself has never stepped foot officially on Pulau Carey.

In Selangor, the Minister has visited the following sites – Batu Caves, Pulau Ketam and Royal Gallery Klang. On those occasions, I was left out on purpose, whereas by convention, I should have been informed to host or to to accompany the Minister.

Similarly, I have never received an invitation to programmes organised by the Selangor Tourism Action Council (MTPN-Selangor).

It is an open secret that since the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Ministry and state governments was cancelled after the General Elections, and with the chairmanship of the State Tourism Action Councils in the 5 Pakatan Rakyat states relegated to BN officials, there has been very limited communication and cooperation of the Ministry with Pakatan Rakyat states.

Even the General Manager of the Selangor Tourism Action Council, when invited to meet me for discussions on tourism matters, was too frightened to meet officially. In the end, he only spoke to me on a personal basis.

The disconnect between the state governments and State Tourism Action Councils is glaringly unproductive and unhealthy for the nation. Further, the signal sent to the tourism industry is extremely negative and jeopardises the tradition of close collaboration of the state government with related government agencies.

I do not wish to prolong this unnecessary protracted war of words with the Minister. It has been 7 months since we took office, and the Minister should be looking into revamping the current communication channels to foster closer and productive ties with state governments. To carry on in this current mode of operations and communications is detrimental to the nation.

Nonetheless, Pakatan Rakyat states’ Excos on tourism will continue to soldier on despite the odds, as we are mindful of the national importance of tourism to the economic health and wealth of the nation.

Tourism is a national agenda and all parties should be mindful that success in this sector needs proper official channels and access to plans, programmes and decision-making by the state governments to the Ministry of Tourism. Political interference serves only personal agendas. To this end, I have from very beginning, instructed state officials, including local councils, to cooperate fully with the Ministry of Tourism.

I call on the Minister to apologise publicly as her statements, assertions and insinuations have gravely affected my credibility and that of the Selangor state government. Failure to do so will compel me to refer the Minister to the House Committee of Privileges for censure.

Released by,
Elizabeth Wong
EXCO for Tourism, Consumer Affairs and Environment
Selangor State Government

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Comments»

1. matt - November 5, 2008

This is what you get from a ill bred person lies,lies and more lies.

2. K S Ong - November 5, 2008

With the mainstream media at their command, BN leaders are used to misleading the public. Just imagine the glare of publicity in their favour and whatever protests you have are limited to internet news portals and blogsites.

Now we are cynical of public statements and by making false statements, they are losing credibility, slowly but surely.

I am waiting for her to do a hattrick at the next general elections by winning unopposed, and her credibility will be zero.

3. lanwm - November 5, 2008

Azalina, pls do the right thing!

4. yatim - November 5, 2008

Minister for Tourism, Azalina Othman – is a big time lier. Her ministry is a coweb of corruption. Even the Wanita UMNO could not accept her.

5. chris chong - November 5, 2008

be extra careful facing these robbers, thiefs and murderers. they are inhuman and heartless.

6. hawkeye - November 5, 2008

Madam just discount this bullshiter. She is not even worth mentioning,because will have more bullshit to dish out.

7. amy - November 5, 2008

can someone please whack her off from her post???? Such a low-graded, low-rated MP!!!! How she got her law degree, beats me??? Why can’t all our BN MPs speak proper ENGLISH, AMERICAN/ENGLISH ENGLISH IF YOU WILL, PLEASE!

8. lord - November 5, 2008

Cat fight!!!!!!

9. amoker - November 5, 2008

Azalina is a pathological liar. And she is good at that.

10. Stay on and fight! « Refleksi Minda - February 19, 2009

[...] ‘do the right thing and resign’, although I suspect that with Ms. Azalina it had become personal. My ‘favourite’ UMNO deputy president hopeful Mr. Mohd Ali Rustam also gave his two [...]


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