Squatgate has brought about all these.
Malaysia will not only have Mandarin language services at airports, which should logically have been there ages ago if some petty-minded Ministers and senior civil servants haven’t been biased against that language, it will also lay out the red carpet for 100 Chinese journalists.
Members of the Chinese fifth-estate have been invited here for a 10 day jolly (the government calls it a familiarisation trip) to see for themselves that Malaysia is not only safe for, but in fact welcomes Chinese tourists. Malaysia will also attempt to ameliorate the Squatgate disgrace into, at worst, a police aberration and, at best, an incident involving just a local woman.
OK-lah, just KTemoc ripping off the frilly decorations from the bullshit.
The deputy tourism minister, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, is so confident of Malaysia’s remarkable safety for tourists that he said the journalists would be free to visit various tourist destinations in the country and have access to the Immigration director and police if they wished.
KTemoc strongly recommends that they be escorted by police outriders and special bodyguards to ensure no police person embarrassingly jumps on any of them, just like one unfortunate Japanese student just last week, who was robbed by 2 policemen while Squatgate was just starting to blaze a wee out of control - that's confidence for you from the 2 policemen with a capital 'P' (pungli or pungutan liar).
Malaysia’s Tourism Ministry has been courting the Chinese Minister of Tourism Shao Qi Wei. Apparently, according to Ahmad Zahid, his Chinese counterpart Shao has promised China will try to get one million Chinese tourists to visit Malaysia next year.
Last year, 570,000 Chinese tourists visited Malaysia. But this figure dropped by 49% to 270,000 this year due to what Zahid termed as negative publicity. The Minister still wants to play with words.
But look, 1 million visitors is not something to scoff at. If we can persuade each of them to part with 500 to 1000 ringgit when they are down here - but please, not by using the police - that’s half a billion to one billion smackers for our business people.