Tourism Malaysia Under Investigation of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission

Malaysia, Tourism Malaysia, news

The new Malaysian government of Mohammad Mahathir promised to eradicate corruption and look at all dubious deals done by the previous government of Najib Razak. This is now the turn of Tourism Malaysia, which has been visited by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) last Monday…

While the Malaysian government has still delayed the nomination of a new tourism minister since he took power a month ago, rumours abound over a deep reform into Tourism Malaysia. Especially as an investigation in some of Tourism Malaysia awarding of contracts has been launched by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

Early in the week the MACC seized documents from the Tourism Malaysia office in Putrajaya, reported local newspapers. Tourism Malaysia director-general Datuk Seri Mirza Mohammad Taiyab confirmed the seizure.

“They have got the documents and are studying it,” Taiyab told reporters after meeting with the Council of Eminent Persons, the council set up by PM Mahathir to look at the financial situation of the country.

An MACC source earlier told The Star that several MACC officers had conducted an “inquiry” at the Tourism Malaysia office in Putrajaya on June 6. The inquiry came after a rather rough interview of  former Tourism Malaysia chairman Wee Choo Keong.

The former Tourism Malaysia executives called for the abolition of the Tourism Malaysia agency, judged by him overstaffed and inefficient. But he also raised questions over a RM99mil (US$25 million) deal between a local company and Tourism Malaysia, which he claims was inked in just one day.

Wee described the deal on May 31 as a “Speedy Gonzales contract”, which breaches laws and regulations set up for minitries’ procurement. The contract in question involved the local company acting as a go-between for Tourism Malaysia and a China-based firm to promote Malaysia on social media platforms.

Wee Choo Keong asked about the necessity to maintain 35 overseas offices and to employ some 900 people at Tourism Malaysia. Wee for example sees the running of the Singapore office totally unproductive as Singaporeans are generally repeating travellers to Malaysia.