I did my job and met my KPIs, says Ammar

PETALING JAYA: An indignant Datuk Dr Ammar Abd Ghapar, whose services as Tourism Malaysia director-general were terminated, maintains he had fulfilled his job expectations.

He said he had met key performance indicators (KPIs), citing an increase in tourist numbers last year as proof.

“If my performance was poor, would the tourist numbers have increased?” he said.

Speaking to The Star, Ammar said his service was to the country.

“I work for the nation, not Tiong King Sing. I am working for the tourism industry, not Tiong King Sing,” he said, referring to the Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister who signed a letter dated Feb 22, which notified him of the termination of his service starting tomorrow.

Asked about complaints being made against him, Ammar repeatedly said: “Who? Who (made those complaints)?”

Such allegations of complaints and his removal from the post would tarnish his reputation, he said.

He added that he would address matters related to his supposed “lack of engagement” at a later time.

Ammar, 59, said he had yet to receive an official letter on his demotion to deputy director-general (planning).

He indicated his willingness to accept the new role, but said for now, his plan is to get to the office tomorrow.

“I plan to return to the office on Monday morning to check if the second letter (about the new position) is on my desk.

“Subsequently, I intend to apply for a week’s leave to give myself some time to calm down.”

On the possibility of appealing the termination of his post as director-general, he said he would wait until he formally receives the second notification letter before making any decision.

On Friday night, when news of his termination emerged in the media, Ammar told The Star that he was saddened by the sudden turn of events.

“I feel sad, after serving for 36 years, with my experiences, I should not be treated this way,” he said.

He had also said that he had repeatedly sought a meeting with the minister but was denied.

Ammar, who assumed the director-general role in April last year, was slated to retire in February 2025.

Previously, he was the senior director of Tourism Malaysia’s International Promotion Division (Americas, Europe, and Oceania) before he took over from Datuk Zainuddin Abdul Wahab, who retired on April 10, 2023.

Ammar has held various other roles in the past, including Finance Division director and Foreign Affairs director in Osaka and Moscow in 1999 and 2008 respectively.

He also served as the state director of Tourism Malaysia Kedah/Perlis in 2005.

In 2021, he led the Secretariat of the Travel Bubble Task Force to drive recovery efforts in the tourism industry affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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