IPOH: April 2008 By HAH FOONG LIAN
The Federal Government must be fair when promoting tourism in opposition-led states, Perak senior executive council (exco) member Ngeh Koo Ham said.
Commenting on the move to terminate tourism memorandums of understanding and the Tourism Action Councils in opposition-led states, Ngeh said it was as if the Federal Government did not want to promote tourism in states previously under the Barisan Nasional.
After the just concluded general election, the opposition took control of the government in Perak, Penang, Kedah and Selangor.
Ngeh noted that the Perak state government had been informed that the Malaysian Tourism Board office and the state Development Office here, which were funded and manned by the Federal Government, had been closed.
"I'd like to remind them that the bulk of the Federal funding comes from taxes paid by the citizens who are also from Perak," he said on Friday.
"They must be fair. The taxes received should be refunded to the people through development projects that would benefit them," he added.
Ngeh pointed out that the Federal Government also had a duty to those living in Perak who are also citizens of the country.
"I hope they will realise the mistake and rectify it immediately," he added.
On Wednesday, Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman announced that MoUs with opposition-ruled state governments would be terminated given the change in leadership.
She had said this was in line with the termination of Tourism Action Councils in the states, which were previously chaired by Barisan's state exco members in charge of tourism in each state.
She had added that a committee would instead be set up, with members appointed by the Federal Government similar to the format implemented in PAS-held Kelantan.