PETALING JAYA: Despite some netizens taking a dim view of the newly-unveiled Visit Malaysia Year 2020 campaign logo, the Tourism and Culture Ministry is standing by it.
Its minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz (pic) said receiving flak was not an issue.
“Criticism is normal, we cannot get the consensus of the whole of Malaysia.
“If we want to wait for everyone to agree, even by 2020 it (the logo) will not be completed,” said Nazri when contacted.
The ministry did not spend a single sen on the logo as its in-house design department came up with it, he said.
“We have our own in-house design department and they were responsible for designing all the logos from the first Visit Malaysia Year (in 1990), until this, which is the fifth.
“We didn’t pay any advertising house any money at all to design it.
“I’d rather trust my staff than the netizens. Anyway it was never meant for the locals, it was meant for tourists,” he said.
On Friday, Nazri unveiled the logo at the Asean Tourism Forum in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
It immediately came under fire on the Internet as netizens said that the design was not up to standard.
The logo, designed to look like a postage stamp, features the Petronas Twin Towers, an Orang Utan hugging a proboscis monkey and a turtle on a beach, all donning sunglasses.
It bears the tag line: Travel. Enjoy. Respect.
When asked about the design, Nazri said the logo comprised icons best-associated with Malaysia.
“We retained the Petronas Twin Towers in the logo as it is the most photographed tourism product in Malaysia.
“We have to be proud of the twin towers just as the French take pride in their Eiffel Tower,” he said.
As for the animals, Nazri said they were symbols used in previous Visit Malaysia Year campaigns.
“For the Visit Malaysia Year 2020 campaign, we cannot erase them because the animals are symbolic to Malaysia,” he said.
To ensure that these animals are not claimed by other countries as their own tourism symbols, Nazri said the ministry decided to continue using the animals in the new logo.
“If we do not include these animals in our logo, other countries will claim them,” he said.
The logo was also designed to be colourful as Malaysia is a colourful nation, he added.
“Malaysia is truly Asia, so we have to depict our colourful nation with colours,” said Nazri.
Visit Malaysia Year 2020 is also aimed at bringing in 36 million tourists to the nation.
On a separate matter, Nazri said last year, tourist receipts increased by 2% from RM82bil in 2016.
This is despite the number of tourist arrivals being slightly lower at 25.7 million tourists last year compared to 26.8 million tourists in 2016.
“The income generated is better than the arrivals,” he said.