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Friday, 10 January 2014 | MYT 10:48 PM

Nazri Aziz: Allah issue won't distract me from Visit Malaysia 2014

Nazri (second from right) at the launch of the Railway Tourism Package in Kuala Lumpur. - Bernama

Nazri (second from right) at the launch of the Railway Tourism Package in Kuala Lumpur. - Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz has likened himself to Wayne Rooney, a striker who is focused on scoring.

He said, he will not be distracted by other events, such as the Allah issue, from his functions as Tourism and Culture Minister.

Nazri used the football analogy when asked whether the tussle over the use of the word "Allah" would affect Visit Malaysia Year 2014.

He said the contentious issue was not his problem as "we have other ministers to look into it."

"In a football team, I’m a striker, I’m like Wayne Rooney. I have to score goals. If my defenders are lacking, I can’t do anything.

"I just have to score more goals," he told reporters after the launch of the Railway Tourism Package here.

He was responding to criticism that internal conflicts like the Allah issue and actions of the Selangor Islamic Religious Department's (Jais) in seizing Bibles in Bahasa Malaysia and Iban from the Bible Society of Malaysia  on Jan 2, would affect the country's moderate image.

"I am not worried and I don’t care (about the issue) as my job is to showcase the best of Malaysia to the world," Nazri added.

During his speech, Nazri said the ministry was promoting railway tourism among domestic and international tourists to discover Malaysia via train.

Present at the launch was Kampung Sungai Pasu homestay coordinator Sumi Ngah Dimi who said the experience of sharing a sumptuous meal of nasi ambeng and pecal from a huge plate was among the unique experiences at a homestay in Raub.

“We eat together, in groups of about four people, and share our meals from one large plate instead of having individual plates,” she added.

As the village was populated mostly by people of Javanese heritage, she said the culture and traditions there were very interesting and unique.

“The tourists come here to experience the kampung life and spend time away from the city.

“At night, they can hear the birds sing and during the day, we have cultural dances and play traditional games like the gasing,” she said.

She said the tourists, who were mostly from Japan, India, China and Singapore, loved the local food but could not take it if it was too spicy.


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