PETALING JAYA: Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing is standing firm with his claims that some non-Muslim tourists in Langkawi have complained that they were not allowed to wear shorts and drink alcohol on the island.
Tiong said that he did not wish to argue with Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor over the matter, but was merely raising the complaints he received.
"I don't want to argue with Kedah Mentri Besar about the tourist complaints that short pants and drinking alcohol are prohibited in Langkawi.
"If this issue persists, it will only invite more controversy and the problem raised will not be resolved,” said the minister on social media.
Last week in Parliament, Tiong claimed that tourists have complained to the ministry about the abuse of authority by certain government personnel in Langkawi.
He claimed that some government representatives have allegedly behaved like “little Napoleons” by harassing tourists on dress codes and alcohol usage.
“They are not Muslims, but even buying alcohol and wearing shorts are prohibited. Hence, the minister of the state needs to explain everything,” he said.
Tiong added that it is unfortunate if the complaints from tourists, who contribute to the country's economy, were ignored and not taken seriously, or even denied.
He urged the relevant authorities to look into the matter if such cases had truly taken place.
"As a minister, I will do my best to improve the quality of services in the tourism industry, irrespective of whose party is ruling the states," Tiong added.
In response, Sanusi had rubbished the claims made by Tiong, saying that non-Muslims are allowed to wear shorts and drink alcohol in Langkawi.
He expressed regret over the claims he described as false, and urged the federal minister to take steps to remedy the issue.
"I do not understand why this issue is raised. Maybe some people want to 'trigger' him.
"I also do not want to fight with the minister, he should come down here himself and not listen to others.
"The minister can come to Langkawi in shorts because he is not a Muslim and no one will forbid him," added Sanusi.