KUALA LUMPUR: Racial issues played up by some politicians are making some Chinese tourists hesitant to come to Malaysia, claims Tourism, Arts, and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing.
"I would like to tell the other side that we have to work together. Let's not play up racial remarks," he said while winding up the 12th Malaysia Plan mid-term review in the Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday (Sept 19).
"Tourists from China have asked whether they should come because of this," he said.
He said Malaysia was targeting 16.1 million foreign tourists this year, a conservative number due to factors such as infrastructure and limited flight connectivity.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic in 2019, Malaysia received 26.1 million foreign tourists.
As of the third week of August, Malaysia has received 12.17 million tourists.