Sir, I enjoyed reading your article and appreciate your passion, frustration and patriotism.

But I think in essence what you are suggesting is a suppression of the truth or as you call it the not so nice stories and a focus on a sort of ‘we’re the same as you so come here’ one size fits all approach to marketing Malaysia. Well, firstly in the social economy, you cannot suppress the truth but most important of all, communications do not build successful destinations.

As someone who builds destination brands for a living, but who also visited Malaysia as a tourist in 1987 before moving to live here in 1994 Malaysia’s branding problems are structural and will not be solved with communications. The main problems with Malaysia’s tourism industry are

1) Not enough investment in tourism products

2) Limited or misplaced invstment to get Malaysians on brand

3) Ineffective marketing due to use of outdated tactics

4) Misunderstanding of what is required to build a country brand

5) Weak enforcement on errant players and of course the infamous KL taxi drivers

6) A focus on volume not value.

When starting a journey, it is important to know where you are on the map otherwise you will keep going in the wrong direction. From what I can see, Malaysia’s tourism industry doesn’t have a map, is in a different place to where it thinks it is and doesn’t seem to know the destination but it is leaving anyway.

Please feel free to read and

Wee Choo Keong


LAST week, I received a call from an old friend in England. He’s thinking of going for a faraway vacation with his family and there are a few countries on his list of potential destinations.

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