Friday, November 5, 2010


Yen Yen - too much 'fire' of late

by Malaysia Chronicle

Whether she was aware of it or not, Tourism Minister Ng Yen Yen was the centre of attention in Parliament, but again for the wrong reasons.

This time, her frustrated colleagues demanded to know why she was absent from the sitting where they had lined up a barrage of questions for her to answer.

“Where is the Tourism minister or, more accurately. the 'tourist minister'?” asked a Pakatan Rakyat MP when her deputy James Dawos Mamit took the floor to answer on her behalf points raised against their ministry.

Mamit's appearance prompted a round of jeers from parliamentarians, forcing deputy Speaker Ronald Kiandee to intervene.

Of late, Yen Yen has come under fire for her high travelling expenses and costly but ineffectual campaigns at international tour exhibitions.

She has shot back, taking offense at being labeled a "tourist minister" rather than the Tourism minister and arguing that her critics could not hope to understand her because she was a "specialist" while they were "generalists".

Yet the latest criticism being flung at her centered on fundamental language errors in the brochures issued by her ministry.

One of the heavily-panned projects
“I will read one line from the brochure: - to know more about Malaysia we incite instead of invite you to step inside the Malaysia Pavilion. Is it such a seditious thing to visit the Malaysia pavilion?” asked Rasah MP Anthony Loke.

“I want an explanation from the minister but I haven't seen her here for a long time."

Loke also said that Yen Yen had previously explained the errors were caused by a printer in China but wanted to know if her ministry had demanded a refund.

Mamit responded by saying his officers would be looking into the matter, and meanwhile, he gallantly defended his ministry's choice of the word "incite".

“If we incite you to come in, we mean that we try to give you little force. So you see it is not so wrong!” said Mamit.

His explanation was rebuffed by other lawmakers.

Meanwhile, Yen Yen was later tracked down to the 2nd World Chinese Economic Forum, where she had given a speech.

She told the forum that for each ringgit that her ministry spent, the country received 158 times in return in tourists' spending. However, she rushed off soon after her speech, escaping the media before they could question her figures.

"I think she must be fed up by all the recent bad publicity," said an MCA supporter who was also at the Chinese forum.

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