Ammar now Tourism Malaysia deputy DG due to under-performance, says Tiong

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Tourism Promotion Board (Tourism Malaysia) director-general Datuk Dr Ammar Abd Ghapar is now the deputy director-general due to his underperformance, says Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing.

The Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister said that Ammar was not fired, but relegated due to underperformance and added that this has no connection with racism.

"Since he couldn't perform well, I decided that whoever is capable should take on the role, and if someone is incapable, step down to give others an opportunity, " Tiong told the media after attending the opening ceremony of the National Craft Day 2024.

"This has nothing to do with race or religion; we are all Malaysians. Let's not play around with issues of race and religion, he added.

Tiong mentioned that both he and his deputy minister, Khairul Firdaus Akhbar Khan, provided extensive advice and sought input from Ammar for the benefit of the nation.

ALSO READ: Tourism Malaysia DG's contract terminated early by Tiong

"I don't know if he lacked ideas or was unsure how to implement them. But if one cannot deliver results, a change is necessary. I didn't terminate his employment; I simply reassigned him," he said.

"When the former director-general retired, Ammar was not the ministry's top suggestion. Still, I gave him an opportunity due to his PhD in tourism. Unfortunately, his performance did not reflect the qualifications of a PhD,” he said.

Tiong also highlighted complaints from various state governments regarding Ammar's lack of engagement.

"Since he couldn't perform, I relegated him to provide others with an opportunity. If someone cannot deliver results, it's not fair to exploit the ministry or evoke sympathy from Malaysian tourists. In any case, he is set to retire in March 2024," he said.

The notice on the termination of appointment was signed by the Tourism, Arts, and Culture Minister, Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing, dated Feb 22, effective next Monday (Feb 26).

According to the letter, the termination of Ammar's services was under Subsection 10 (1) of the Malaysian Tourism Promotion Board Act 1992 (Act 481) read together with Section 47 of the Interpretation Act 1948 and 1967 (Act 388).

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