PETALING JAYA: The Malaysia Shopping Malls Association says it fully supports Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing's approach to go down to the ground to gain first-hand knowledge of the situation that unfolded at KL International Airport (KLIA) involving a Chinese national.
The association was commenting on reports on Thursday (June 29) that the Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister had personally stepped in to help an employee of a China-based media company after she was held up by immigration officers at KLIA on arrival from Shenzhen.
"We, the undersigned associations, applaud our Tourism Minister for his resolute approach to "turun padang" to gain first-hand information and observe the real situation of various government departments, especially those that have bearing on the treatment of tourists coming to Malaysia," it said in a statement on Saturday (July 1).
"There are numerous and onerous impediments that deter tourist arrivals and do not augur well for the development of our tourism industry," it added.
The association also encouraged simple steps that could be taken to quickly change such negative impressions and showcase Malaysia as a tourist-friendly and welcoming destination.
This included introducing Visa-On-Arrival, Visa-Free visitations and having certain areas be declared as tourism zones in city and urban centres.
It also encouraged the government to withdraw the proposed luxury tax which would make local pricing more expensive compared to the standardised global pricing regime.
"United Kingdom, who has experimented with withdrawing rebates of value added tax (VAT) for tourists have now U-turned due to its negative impact. Let us not go down this unsustainable path," it said.