Nazri Abdul Aziz, the Minister of Tourism and Culture, it seems never ceases to amuse the public with his head-scratching (and repetitive) remarks on one matter that affects every single individual in the country: the ever falling value of ringgit against the dollar!
Somehow, each time the ringgit has fallen, the Tourism Minister just can't seem to control his excitement, claiming how it's actually good for the tourism industry, despite the facts clearly stating otherwise
For example, back in June, right after the ringgit fell to a 9-year low, Nazri was quoted as saying that he was among those happy to see the value of the Malaysian currency go down. His reason being that it would make tourists feel 'rich'.
He had said that tourists from countries like UK and Europe would come to Malaysia and spend their money as the currency exchange would offer them more when the ringgit falls. Apart from that, Nazri also said the low ringgit would also force Malaysians to think twice about going on holidays abroad.
"So, the holidays will be expensive and they will spend their money here as local tourists, and that makes me happy. Very happy," Astro Awani quoted him as saying.
Now, again, that the ringgit has fallen to its 17-year-low against the dollar, it seems expecting the country's Tourism Minister to speak rationally (or at least keep quite) is too big an expectation to have
Because, according to him, only crazy people did not understand that the falling ringgit is actually good for tourism.
"Those people are mad, literally mad if they don't understand what I'm talking about," Malaysiakini quoted him as saying to reporters in Kuala Lumpur today, 12 August.
While the ringgit is plummeting against the greenback, Nazri reiterated that a weak ringgit will especially spur domestic tourism. "When our money is weak, do you go to London? Where do you spend your money? Port Dickson, Penang," the minister said.
However, facts speak otherwise.
As reported by Malaysiakini, while the Tourism Minister keeps saying the currency drop is good for local tourism, the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) however said tourism arrivals have fallen 30 percent in the last six months.
As if that was not enough to make us all go: "Wahai Menteri, kenapa terlalu jahil terhadap realiti sebenar yang sedang kita hadapi?", Nazri was reportedly quoted as claiming that an unnamed "brotherly" Middle East nation was the source of the RM2.6 billion money found in our PM's personal bank accounts and that it will not make Malaysia susceptible to meddling by the Middle East
According to local media, Nazri said that "the donation was given to us by a friendly nation."
“Because whatever nation gave to us is a friendly nation, a nation which is not that much stronger than us; like the US, then they can influence us, but this is just a brotherly nation who wants to see certain parties win in the general election because we are friendly to them.
“There’s nothing wrong (with the donation),” The Malay Mail quoted him as saying at the sidelines of the Declaration of National Heritage event at the National Museum.
He, however, did not identify the country from which the donation originated.