"Like A Festival" – Nazri Aziz Says Monsoon Floods Can Be Turned Into Tourist Attraction
Padang Rengas Member of Parliament (MP) Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz recently suggested that floods that occur annually in Malaysia have the potential to become a "tourism attraction"
The former Tourism, Arts, and Culture minister said the country should seek opportunities during hard times instead of crying over things that are beyond our control.
He said the floods are an opportunity to promote "volunteer tourism".
"If you know it is coming, then start planning now," he told Sinar Daily.
"Maybe we can have voluntary tourism where people come to the country to help us with the floods, and it is not about them coming here just to enjoy but for them to also learn."
Nazri added that this could be a great start for experiential tourism, where the visitors will be able to "experience things in real life"
He also said that now is the perfect time to promote tourism while the country's currency is weak, making it cheaper for international tourists to travel to Malaysia.
Citing the yearly floods in Kuala Krai, Kelantan, Nazri said, "The flood is like a festival. Every monsoon, we have a flood festival, and people will come."
After the report was published, netizens slammed the MP for his flippant remarks over the natural disaster that steals lives and livelihoods year after year in the country
Nazri's statement also drew criticism from Muar MP Syed Saddiq, who questioned if there needed to be another 40 lives lost and RM6.5 billion sacrificed.
"We cannot afford such huge losses every year just to have an opportunity at volunteer tourism," he tweeted.
The Muar MP said pragmatic steps should be taken to address the floods, instead of just allowing them to reoccur.
Meanwhile, in a statement on Facebook, Ketari assemblyman Young Syefura Othman also criticised Nazri for being detached from reality.
Young Syefura said while she supports out of the box ideas, his suggestion shows his disconnect from the public and lack of sympathy for flood victims.
"Where is our sympathy for the victims when we celebrate the misfortunes and devastation that befall them?" she asked.
She added that areas such as Janda Baik, which falls under her constitution, is still struggling to recover from the effects of the flood last year and invited leaders, instead, to come visit and understand how it is to live after all of their life's possessions have been swept away.
In July 2021, Nazri was also slammed by netizens for travelling to Paris in the middle of a pandemic to enrol his son in school:
Last month, an environmental advocate detailed why Kuala Lumpur is not a liveable city after it was struck by flash floods yet again: