Chapter 6 : Malaysia an Event HubMALAYSIA AN EVENT HUB: AN INTRODUCTIONMalaysia is contained with some of the world oldest rainfrorests which is hometo huge diversity of plant and animal species. There are approximately 210mammal species, 620 bird species, 250 reptile species, and 150 frog speciesfound in the country. While calm, pristine beaches awaits on islands such asPerhentian, Terengganu which was ranked 5th ―Best Beach to Swing aHammock‖ in Lonely Planet‘s 1000 Ultimate Experiences for 2010 to diversemarine life and spectacular reefs that won Sipadan island in Semporna,Sabah numerous awards, including the ―Best Beach Dive in the World‖ in1993.Situated in the heart of South-East Asia, between the Indian Ocean and theSouth China Sea, and at the sothernmost tip of Asian continent, makesMalaysia an attraction for global commerce since the Malacca Sultanatemore than 500 years ago. Malacca, in Tourism Melaka‘s brief information onthe state background, at its peak became the most important port in theeast, between the Mediteranean sea and China where over 80 languageswere spoken there, and at times there were more than 4,000 traders housedin special quarters. Till now, Malaysia hold that role as she continues toprovide an easy access to the rest of the world.A multi-ethnic and multi culture country, Malaysia is the getaway to Asia.For 50 years, Malaysia holds quite an impressive economic record in Asia, withGlobal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growing an average 6.5% . Traditionallyfuelled by its natural resources, from tin, rubber to oil palm, the country is nowdiversifying into tourism, among others. Today, tourism is the fifth biggestcontributor in revenue, but second in largest foreign exchange earner withRM1 billion a week.A media release by Tourism Malaysia stated that the industry recorded24,714,324 in tourist arrivals with receipts of RM58.3 billion which contributed atotal of RM37.4 billion to the Gross National Income (GNI) of the country. Inthe first six months of 2012, 11,632,483 tourist arrivals were recorded, a growthof 2.4% compared to 2011 during the same period of time.Free from natural disaster too such as earthquake or volcano eruption,Malaysia has been blessed.
Even a renowned astrologist from India, G Suresh who is the author of BeAware of Yourself – Cosmic Components Configuration, couldn‘t agree more,saying Malaysia is a ―very blessed country‖ due to its location on the globe inrelation to the solar system. Its multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-cultural andmulti-religious, he added, is also a selling point to attract more tourists, givingthem an experience of observing different religious, festivals, food andtraditions in a single country.Under the helm of DatoSri Dr. Ng Yen Yen, the Ministry of Tourism (MOTOUR)and Tourism Malaysia has been doing a remarkable job as noticed by theUnited Nation Tourism World Organisation (UNTWO), where Malaysia is placedas ninth most visited country in the world for three consecutive years. Moreinnovative tourism products via numerous campaigns since she wasappointed the Tourism Minister in April 2009 have further enchance Malaysiaas an event hub, thus encourage tremendous growth ever seen by theindustry.Since ―Visit Malaysia Year‖, tourism first initiated campaign with an allocationbudget of RM100 million in 1990, countless events are being held includeunder the banner of ―Malaysia, Truly Asia‖ and ―Cuti-Cuti Malaysia‖ to helphypened the industry, from Bazar Ramadan to the widely celebrated PestaGawai and Kaamatan in East Malaysia; while experiencing the beauty ofMalaysia‘s multi culture and lifestyle during Citrawarna or Colours of Malaysiato the soothing sound from Rainforest Music Festival, held in the middle ofSarawak‘s lush tropical nature.Various events and programmes according to Tourism Malaysia are alsotaking place annually to cater to the needs and desires of the top-tier touristswho demand for quality services and the good life. They include the PetronasF1 Malaysia Grand Prix and the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix; the1Malaysia International Shoe Festival that aims to make Kuala Lumpur theShoe City of Asia; and the 1Malaysia Contemporary Art Tourism Festival, whichis a bold and innovative initiative to establish Malaysia as a hub forcontemporary art in the region.Malaysia offer some of the most luxurious holidays through its many exoticislands such as Langkawi, home to luxury resort brand including The WestinLangkawi Resort and Spa and Datai Langkawi which received the awards forAsia Luxury Island Resort and Luxury Island Resort respectively at theprestigious World Luxury Hotel Awards 2012. It brings to mind the distinguisedPangkor Laut Resort in Pangkor island, Perak, voted as the Number One Resortin the World in Conde Nast Traveller UK Top 100 List in 2003.
Other luxury concept events are also being embrace such as parks andgardens tourism and helicopter tourism. Motorbike tourism, among theexciting product added under Yen Yen‘s administration, were launched onMarch 2012 with the unveiling of 1Malaysia Chopper to coincide with the ―5-Mountain Motorcycle Tour‖ package which covers Genting Highlands,Fraser‘s Hill, Cameron Highlands, Gunung Jerai, and Titiwangsa Range inpromoting Malaysia as the best motorcycle touring destination in the region.To drive elite tourists to Malaysia, sports based event such as golfing andyatching has been given a boost by hosting world class tournaments.Malaysia, according to Tourism Malaysia, has attracted golfing aficionadoswith its 207 golf facilities, ranging from short 9-hole courses to 54-holecomplexes, boasting some world-class courses designed by the best golfcourse architects in the world including Greg Norman, Jack Nikclaus andRobert Trent Jones Jr.Malaysia golf courses from Kota Permai Golf &Country Club in Shah Alam toKuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club, to Clearwater Sanctuary Golf Resort inPerak and Nexus Golf Resort Karambunai in Sabah offer challenging fairwaysamidst spectacular sights, world-class facilities and amenities. Golfers canplay amidst the cool climates of highlands; by the crashing waves of the sea;in busy towns and cities, or in the quiet greens near jungles, even tee off asthe sun set beautifully near Sutera Harbour Golf & Country Club in KotaKinabalu, Sabah.In late 2007, Tourism Malaysia received the 2008 Asia and Australasia GolfDestination of the Year award from the International Association of Golf TourOperators in Cancun, Mexico for its accomplishment in promoting the countryas a premier golf paradise. Golf holidays in Malaysia are also prompted bythe four tournaments - Maybank Malaysia Open, Sime Darby LPGA Malaysiaand Iskandar Johor Open, apart from the much hyped CIMB Classic whichdraw participation of legendary golfer such as Tiger Woods during its 2012tournament, held at the The Mines Resort & Golf Club, Kuala Lumpur.While sailing event such as Monsoon Cup, held since 2005, not only sparkedinterest among the locals, but also encourage economic growth inTerengganu, especially Pulau Duyong, from a tradtional boat making andfishing village to a world class marina facilities. First in Asean, Monsoon Cup isthe finale of the prestigious World Match Racing Tour international sailingcircuit.
Sports tourism, as published in the Vol 23, Issue 1 of Malaysia Tourism News, abi-monthly publication of Tourism Malaysia, is a multi billion dollar business. It isone of the fastest growing areas of the $4.5 trilion (RM13.5 trilion) global traveland tourism industry. By 2011, travel and tourism is said to conrtribute morethan 10% of the GDP. The economies of cities, regions and even countriesaround the world are increasingly reliant on the visiting golfer and skier or thetravelling football, rugby or cricket supporter. In some countries, sports canaccount for as much as 25 % of all tourism receipts.On September 2012, Malaysia also welcomed the opening of internationaltheme park Legoland in Johor, which is the first in Asia and one of only six inthe world, besides other theme parks such as Hello Kitty Town, Little Big Cluband Lat themed attraction in Puteri Harbour. In addition, 2014 will see theopening of Ocean Quest and Ocean Splash water parks in Desaru, thusoccupying Malaysia‘s already exciting line ups in its tourism calendar, in linewith Yen Yen and her ministry aspiration to achieve its target of 36 milliontourist arrivals and RM168 billion in receipts by the year 2020.SHOPPING CARNIVALMalaysia is on her way to become world‘s No.1 shopper‘s haven, especiallysince the launch of its three well-known annual sale periods, namely the1Malaysia GP Sale in March, the 1Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival in June, andthe 1Malaysia Year-End Sale in November.Kuala Lumpur even beat Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, Seoul, Bangkok andShanghai to be named as the 2012 second best shopping city within the AsiaPacific region.Just a step behind Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur famously known for its BukitBintang besides the award-winning Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur to Suria KLCC orStarhill Gallery that offers some of the world‘s most exclusive labels such asLouis Vuitton, Botegga Veneta and Audemars Piquet to Mid Valley, scored 65out of 100 compared to 25 cities that were assessed in the Globe ShopperIndex.The 1Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival, according to Malaysia Tourism BoardDirector, Datuk Dr Tengku Zainal Adlin Tengku Mahmood, has been asignature tourism event in Malaysia and successful in positioning the countryas a value-for-money tourist destination. ―As a shopping destination, Malaysia‘s earns points for its excellent currencyexchange rate affordable-priced goods, great variety of local andinternational brands, and landmark shopping mall among others,‖ he was
quoted during the launching of 1MMSC 2012 – Fly! Stay! Shop! at 1BorneoHypermall in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.Out of RM58.3 billion in revenue made from the tourism sector the previousyear, he said shopping expenditure registered about RM17.5 billion comparedto RM16.2 billion in 2010, signifying a growth of 1.3%. It constituted about 30%of total tourist expenditure in 2011 compared to 28.7% in 2010, a far cry fromMalaysia‘s first Mega Sale Carnival in 2000 where shopping only constituted23.1 %of total tourist expenditures.The announcement of duty-free shopping destination status beginning 2011,with the ―abolishment of import duties on 328 items including cosmetics andperfumes, leather goods, jewellery and clothing among others‖, according toDr Tengku Zainal Adlin, are several efforts initiated by the Government toreinforce Malaysia as a shopping paradise.1Malaysia International Shoe FestivalThe inception of 1Malaysia International Shoe Festival (1MISF) are in line withMOTOUR effort to establish Malaysia as the next ‗Shoe Capital of Asia‘, apartfrom being a platform for industry players to promote their respective brandsto the world.The festival, launched in 2010, said to the largest of its kind in the world.Organised by the MOTOUR, Tourism Malaysia and co-organised by theMalaysian Footwear Manufacturers Association, its third year was held fromMarch 29 to April 1 at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur.Launched for the first time ever by the Raja Permaisuri Agong TuankuHaminah, the 2012 edition focused on shoes and wellness. There were talksand booths for visitors to learn more about ways to take care of their feet andankles, besides shoes on display.Collection by Professor Dato Dr Jimmy Choo, the world-renowned shoedesigner who is also the Malaysian Tourism Ambassador has become one ofthe attraction to the festival since he debut in 2010, featuring 10 of his mostsuccessful creations , named as the ―Million Dollar Shoe Showcase Gallery‖.150 booths were set up at the 2012 edition surpassed its 60,000 targetedvisitors, bringing in more than RM6.5mil in revenue from shoe sales. The festivalattracted over 55,000 visitors and collected about RM6.2mil in shoe sales theprevious year.The emergence of the 1MISF is timely, as shoe-making grows into a RM1.1billion industry with over 1,000 companies producing and designing shoes inMalaysia. The festival aims is to reinforce Malaysias position and reputation as
a leading producer and world-class exporter of quality and innovativefootwear, also as another tourism product to attract more visitors to Malaysia. ―Not many understand the importance of the shoe industry to the nationaltourism sector as there are almost 1,000 companies producing and designingshoes in Malaysia,‖ said Yen Yen.―We want to make Malaysia the ‗ShoeCapital of Asia‘, and we are seeking ideas to make shoes as one of the ‗must-buy‘ products for tourists.‖1MISF is also a way to create awareness on Malaysia‘s untapped potentialsuch as the shoes business."In the ASEAN region, there is no shoe festival and Malaysias shoe industry isquite big although we are not aware of it. We want to develop this as aneconomy. We also want to expand the RM1billion local shoe industry andattract foreign tourist to spend in Malaysia, especially during the MalaysiaFormula F1 Grand Prix period," she said.―With the support from Professor Dato Dr Jimmy Choo, we believe our dreamto establish Malaysia as an international hub for shoe fashion and become ashoe buyers centre is possible.‖ The footwear industry in Malaysia is believed to be one of the oldestmanufacturing activities in the country. There are currently about 1,000footwear manufacturers, employing workforce of some 30,000. They aremainly located in the states of Perak, Selangor and Johor. The annualproduction capacity is estimated at 70 million pairs.In the quest to create an identity for their products, Malaysian footwearmanufacturers have successfully marketed their own brands such as Vincci,Bonia, Sembonia, Carlo Rino, Jukebox, Asadi, Dr. Cardin, Nose, Lewre,Crocodile, John Bird and Larrie, which will normally be exhibited during thethree-day festival. Visitors can also be able to place orders for custom-madeshoes during 1MISF.In 2011, the Malaysia shoe export boast RM600 million in the foreign marketand RM500 million in the domestic market. Malaysias total import of footweargrew at a commendable rate of 29.7% during the 2007 - 2008 period ascompared to 9.01% between 2006 - 2007. Basically, a large portion ofMalaysias total production of footwear comes from the backyard industrylocated in Seri Kembangan, Selangor.
CITRAWARNA 1MALAYSIA/ COLOURS OF 1MALAYSIA FESTIVALOne of Malaysia‘s longest running event, Citrawarna 1Malaysia made it to its14th year on May 19, 2012. Debut in 1998, it has been held yearly to promoteMalaysia as a holiday destination which is rich in historical heritage andculture.―Our assortment of tourism products such as beautiful nature and uniquenessof our people will continue to attract tourists,‖ said Yen Yen.The 2012 extravaganza, held along 1.5km near the historical site, DataranMerdeka in Kuala Lumpur, showed a lively parade of more than 7,000performers from dancers to bikers, including school children and a processionof floats showered the night atmosphere with colours that reflect Malaysia‘spopular attractions.The festival has attracted more than 100,000 visitors. Apart fromchoreographed performance and floats, visitors were dazzled with sideshows, including fireworks display before ending it with dikir baratperformances. Citrawarna 1Malaysia is the biggest carnival in the Malaysiantourism calendar.―This is the 14th year we are celebrating this festival and it is the biggestcarnival in the Malaysian tourism calendar to showcase a variety of tourismproducts, from eco-tourism, homestay, shopping, food to contemporaryart and sports,‖ Yen Yen was quoted.For the festival 14th celebration, 280 members of the media from 23 countriesincluding Sri Lanka, the Middle East, Turkey and Russia were also invited.―We are inviting them because we wish to expand into like Russia and SriLanka. In our experience, they are quite impressed with Malaysia, and theyare an important tool to promote the brand of Malaysia Truly Asia,‖ she said,adding that the show would also be televised in other countries.―This is a tourism event. We want to show tourists our products including ourcontemporary arts, our fabulous food, homestay and eco-tourism.‖She added, ―Citrawarna 1Malaysia is held to attract tourists to visit Malaysiaand spur domestic tourism. So on our part, it is important to promote the―Malaysia, Truly Asia‖ concept at this event.‖
1MALAYSIA CONTEMPORARY ART FESTIVAL1Malaysia Contemporary Art Festival (1MCAT) is Tourism Ministry‘s effort inputting Malaysia on the world map as an art appreciation destination, saidYen Yen.The event launched in 2010, according to the Minister, was aimed atattracting visitors who were willing to go far in search of art pieces and couldafford the finer things in life. 1MCAT is an annual event from July toSeptember, featuring different theme every year.―Art mirrors our multi-cultural country,‖ she said. ―We still want our tourists toenjoy our beaches and shop at our malls, but we also want them to visit ourgalleries.‖ ―Art tourism would be able to attract a greater number of high-income,returning and long-staying tourists,‖ she said. adding by attracting high-spending tourists will increase revenue from tourism sector. To date, over RM8million worth of artworks had been sold since 1MCAT kicked off three yearsago.―It is a thriving industry. The 2012 event has generated RM4.1 million in salesthrough art auctions, about RM1.7 million and RM3 million in sales in 2010 and2011 respectively.‖In 2012, the ministry took a step further in setting up MOTOUR Art Gallery at thelobby at the Tourism Ministry building. The gallery features Malaysian OrangAsli sculptures by the Mah Meri tribe, which has received the Unesco‘s seal ofexcellence recognition — the only one in the world, besides sculptures bySuhaimi Fadzir, recepient of Dublin Biennial 2012 award of excellence, andcontemporary artist Ahmad Shukri.Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin when launching the galleryalso commended the ministry for the effort. ―There is a need to enhanceawareness and cultivate interest in society about our contemporary art,‖ hewas quoted as saying. ―As an ardent fan, I believe that contemporarypaintings can place Malaysia as a major destination for domestic, as well asforeign tourists.‖Muhyiddin said once tourists discovered the interesting art available in thecountry, this would turn Malaysia into one of the most interesting touristdestinations in the world.The Gallery, he said, ―will give young artists the opportunity to promote theirwork in line with the ministry‘s theme ‗Malaysia, Your New Art Tourism
Destination‘ and the 1Malaysia Contemporary Art Festival. This is also in linewith the government‘s effort to place the tourism industry as one of the 12National Key Economic Areas (NKEAs) to spur the country‘s economy.‖CUTI-CUTI 1MALAYSIA―Cuti-Cuti 1Malaysia‖ was launched in line with the 1Malaysia conceptintroduced by the Prime Minister, Dato Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak. It wasintroduced by Dato Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen after she was appointed as TourismMinister in April 2009. ―Cuti-Cuti 1Malaysia‖, aimed to stimulate the domestictourism and promote holidaying culture among Malaysians, was a renamedto an earlier campaign, ―Zoom! Malaysia‖ which was launched in 2008 toreplace a decade old campaign, ―Cuti-Cuti Malaysia‖.Through aggresive promotions by Tourism Malaysia, the ―Cuti-Cuti 1Malaysia‖campaign succeeded, partly because it was closer to the heart, as statisticsshowed an increase in tourist arrivals and receipts despite the worldeconomic downturn in 2009. It strengthened the image of Malaysia as adesirable holiday destination by generating RM52 billion in revenue, withtourist arrivals of 23.65 million, slightly higher than earlier forecasts of 22.96million.The previous year, Malaysia recorded 131 million domestic tourist arrivals withtotal expenditure of RM43.3 billion.Domestic tourism programme, as indicated, had the potentials to make asignificant contribution to the the national economy. In 2010, according toDato Sri Dr. Yen Yen, Malaysians had made 110 million trips to go on vacationin the country which contributed an income of RM34 billion. Domestic tourismis growing as 131 million domestic tourist arrivals were recorded in 2012 withexpenditure totalling RM43.3 billion.―Many of us may have forgotten that Malaysia has numerous touristdestinations which are attractive and must be visited,‖ she was quoted whenattending the Asean Plus Three (China, Japan and Korea) Tourism Ministers‘Meeting in Manado, Indonesia. ―Thus, our focus in future is to give emphasison domestic tourism because this segment offers considerable returns to thecountry.‖Dato Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen said the cost of holidaying in the country was stillcheap compared to a holiday abroad if the locals made the right choice byopting for moderate or cheap accommodation that was clean and of qualitysuch as the homestay vacation facilities. Homestay programme, becomingpopular among the locals and foreign tourists alike, has recorded
RM8,710,526 in revenue between January and June 2012, which was anincrease of 45.2% compared with the same period last year.Sabah and Sarawak, she added, tops as the preferred destinations amongthe domestic tourists, believed to be prompt by the low fare factor.Niche, new products are also being introduced and explored under thebanner of ―Cuti-Cuti 1 Malaysia‖ such as ―Cuti-Cuti 1Malaysia On 2 Wheels –Big Bike Rally 2011‖, one of the earliest effort to popularise tour Malaysiapackage on big bikes. Others include ―Karnival Tarian Cuti-Cuti 1Malaysia‖ or―Cuti-Cuti 1Malaysia Dance Carnival‖ introduces the diversity of Malaysia‘spopulace through a choreographed dance steps, a combination from theMalay‘s Zapin to Siamese dance, while ―Cuti-Cuti 1Malaysia Sunday BikeRide‖ promotes cycling tourism product, taking cyclists along a scenic route,in conjunction with the launched of Kayuhan Sihat 1 Malaysia programme.IMALAYSIA INTERNATIONAL TOURISM NIGHT FLORAL PARADEDebut on July 9, 2011, the ―1Malaysia International Tourism Night FloralParade‖ - the first of its kind launched by MOTOUR, is aimed at introducingand promoting the diversity and richness of nature, culture and tradition ofthe country.Themed ―Magic of the Night‖, it features lighted night flotilla paradedecorated with colourful lights and items depicting the exotic flora andfauna. Flotilla, representing popular tourism icons, converge on PutrajayaLake, cruising along a three kilometre stretch for few nights.It was held in conjunction with Putrajaya‘s annual signature event, ―PutrajayaFLORIA 2011‖ as to add excitement and colours to its night life. ―PutrajayaFLORIA 2011‖ displays the best of Malaysia‘s landscape designs and as well asparks and gardens.Apart from that, it is also to cultivate environmentally-friendly culture,increase awareness and appreciation of the country‘s beautiful flora andfauna as well as to create an innovative tourism product to attractinternational tourists to the region and locals to the Federal GovernmentAdministrative Centre.2012, with the theme ―Bougainvillea – Enduring Beauty‖ which showcased thebiggest collection of Bougainvillea blooms also saw the the first participationby international participants from Kenya and Suzhou, China. Among activiesheld include night floral boats photography contest, fireworks display, musical
and cultural group performances, concert, ―Cuti-Cuti 1Malaysia Dance‖ aswell as the ―1Malaysia Green and Clean Campaign.‖FABULOUS FOOD 1MALAYSIA FESTIVALFrom the streets to the finest wine and dine, hawkers to gourmet master arebrought together to fulfil one craves as Malaysia celebrates food during thethree months Fabulous Food 1Malaysia Festival, held annually towards theend of the year.Drool over hundreds of selection in Malaysian and international popularcusines during the Malaysia International Gourmet Food Festival in in October,Asean Heritage Food Trail in November and Street & Restaurant Food Festivalin December.Three signature dish will also be named for each year.Debut in 2009, Dato Sri Dr. Yen Yen said, the festival which aim to promoteMalaysia‘s unique cuisine had been gaining in popularity and served as amajor tourist attraction for the country.She said, apart from the popular street fare, gourmet food has been a realattraction, especially among international cuisine connoiseur. Gourmet foodwas an important component of Luxury Malaysia, which is part of theministry‘s effort to turn the country into a top notch duty-free shoppingdestination while drawing high-end visitors.―Food is a part of our culture, whether street or gourmet food, and we needto build on our gourmet food,‖ she said. ―The programme celebrates theunique and diverse fabulous Malaysian culinary fare that so aptly conveys therich cultural tapestry of Malaysia.‖Dato Sri De. Ng Yen Yen said the 2012 festival could attract about 300,000visitors and garner RM4.6mil in sales.‖In 2009, the total visitors was 108,000 withtotal sales of RM2.3 million,‖ she said. In 2010, the festival recorded 218,000visitors with RM3.7 million in sales while last year‘s festival received 233,000visitors with RM4.28 million in sales,‖2012 edition begins with the participation of Malaysia‘s 30 finest restaurantsduring the Malaysia International Gourmet Festival (MIGF) 2012. In November,Malaysia‘s food ambassador Chef Wan led seven renowned chefs from theregion on an Asean Heritage Food Trail, while December saw hawker centresfrom 13 states premiering their best fares at the Restaurant and Street FoodFestival.
―The campaign reflects the best of the 1Malaysia spirit as it unites the variousraces and cultures,‖ she said. ―It is hoped that the Fabulous Food 1Malasyiadrive will also create a buzz and encourage conversation among localresidents.‖She said that in the future, visitors would also be able to go on speciallyplanned Fabulous Food 1Malaysia travel packages that would introducethem to the spicy and other food that was truly Malaysian.e Restaurant andStreet Food Fair der the Fabulous Food 1Malaysia campaign is back, with the3 signature dishes that have been promoted:2009 - Laksa, Nasi Lemak and Meat Bone Tea (Bak Kut Teh) 2010 – Satay, RotiCanai and Chicken Rice 2011 - Rendang, Nasi Beriani and Char KoeyTeow 2012 - Mee Rebus, Yong Tau Foo and RojakTARIAN CUTI-CUTI 1MALAYSIA―Tarian Cuti-Cuti 1Malaysia‖ were first introduced by MOTOUR in 2010 as away to create new product to boost the tourism industry with the chance toexperience the dazzling cultures and traditions that make up the uniquefabric of Malaysian society.Six types of routine were introduced, rooted from the diverse Malaysian ethnicgroup dance such as the Zapin and Joget that represent the Malays andSewang from the Orang Asli. Apart from the medley dance of ―Malaysia, TrulyAsia‖ are the Chinese and Indian dance steps, besides Sumazau (Sabah) andDatu Julud (Sarawak).Siamese dance were included in the routine during the second year of itslaunch.Some 15,000 dancers took part in the ―Karnival Tarian Cuti-Cuti 1Malaysia‖ atDataran Merdeka, interestingly led by the Prime Minister‘s wife, Datin PadukaSeri Rosmah Mansor when it was introduced to the public. The event was thenlisted in the Malaysia Book of Records for most participated event.―I am confident that this event will continue to be an attractive tourismproduct,‖ she was quoted as saying. She added, that dance should beconsidered an element that could unite the people as well as build teamspirit.A budget of RM3.8 million are being allocated to form a cultural team incolloboration with the Ministry of Information, Communication and Culture,include bringing the ―Tarian Cuti-Cuti 1Malaysia‖ to every states and overseasto introduce the uniqeness of Malaysian culture.
FORMULA 1, MALAYSIAN GRAND PRIX2012 marks the 14th edition of the Malaysian Grand Prix since its inception in1999. Held yearly at Sepang International Circuit (SIC), Malaysia Formula One(F1) as it is populary known had 119,960 spectators turned up for the 2012edition of the race which include three teams carrying the Malaysian flag –the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team, Lotus F1 Team and Caterham F1 Team.With a length of 5.543 km, the track features 15 turns and 8 straights withaccess speeds of more than 300km/h. The state-of-the-art circuit, officially inaugurated by the then Prime Minister Dato Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad inMarch 1999 has become the hub for motor racing activities in the region.Challenged by the weather, at times unbearable heat to sudden storm, theMalaysian race has witnessed some of the most intense performance byworld class drivers from Michael Schumacher to Mika Hakkinen, Jenson Buttonand Lewis Hamilton.F1 in Malaysia, said the Prime Minister, Dato Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak in hismessage published in the event‘s official programme book, ―has been anengine of growth in our country with Malaysia reaping numerous benefits fromits involvement in the sport.‖The 2011 Malaysian Grand Prix generated a total economic activity of RM200million. A survey conducted shows that foreign tourist attending the event inMalaysia stayed an average of six days and spent about RM7,000 during thatperiod.Prior to the race, SIC normally had a start ahead with domestic promotionssuch as Petronas Malaysia Grand Prix Sowcase with the installation of F1 carsat KLCC, besides other malls displaying favourite team, include Ferrari to BMWSauber F1. From the likes of Rain, Korean popular singer to award winningactor, Adrien Brody; Owen Wilson, Leona Lewis and former Pussycat Doll,Nicole Scherzinger has graced the Malaysian event, either for concert, dinnergala or the race itself. F1, according to Dato Seri Mohd Najib, is undoubtedly the most effectiveplatform for Malaysia to be known worldwide. The race is seen as beneficialnot only for tourism, but also other sectors such as engineering from theinvolvement of Petronas and Proton in the sport. "Malaysia is now seen andheard in as many as 187 countries with a combined audience of more than
500 million people and this is all thanks to Formula One. "We shouldpromote the race not only to the local market but also to capture attentionof the entire Asean region. Leveraging on such an opportunity would increasethe level of exposure that Formula One in Malaysia can give to promote thecountry as a destination and place to do business," he said. MONSOONCUPRainy season traditionally has dampen East Town‘s economy until the arrivalof Monsoon Cup in 2005. The world class sailing event, initiated by formerPrime Minister, Dato Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has turned dead towns intoa fiesta, giving a positive impact to the tourism industry. Organised in themonth of November and December, the event was to serve as a catalyst foreconomic growth in Terengganu.According to Ahmad Fathil Abdul Ghani, Head of Visit Terengganu Year 2013Secretariat, since its inception the event has various roles and functionsincluding the development of Pulau Duyong, increasing local tourismactivities, sports development and the creation of a marine industry inTerengganu. Local businesses enjoy increased revenue, with hotelsexperiencing 60 to 100% occupancy rates.―The people of Terengganu look forward to the Monsoon Cup every year. Thecity lights up with a hive of activities and businesses flourish. The event hascreated a new perception for the tourism industry of the state,‖ he said.―There is a change in the sector with the debunking of the monsoon myth,seeing increased tourist arrivals in the monsoon season. The event is also atourism icon of the state which involves the local food and trade industries.‖Organised by Tbest Events, 2012 also saw a month long programme of sailingactivities for the public, amateur sailors and professionals alike prior to thechampionship, held from December 3 to 8. Its Director, Dato Wan HishamWan Salleh who is also the Vice President of the Malaysian YachtingAssociation, said 159,624 fans flocked to the Monsoon Cup, last year.In the programme, KFC Monsoon Regatta kicked off the Terengganu SailingMonth at Pulau Warisan, Terengganu from 8 – 11 November, 2012. Organisedby the Terengganu Sailing Association in partnership with the YatchingAssociation, more than 140 athelets from all over the country took part in theevent, among others International 420 and Windsurfing. In the ―Try Sailing‖programme, the public had the chance to experience the exhilaration ofsailing on the Foundation 36, the same yatchs used by the world classprofessional sailors in the Monsoon Cup.―We are delighted that the state government of Terengganu has initiated thissailing month programme that targets all segments of sailing fans. This willdefinitely increase the interest of sailing in the state. I believe sailing willbecome a culture in Terengganu and look forward to seeing other statesfollow in the steps taken by Terengganu,‖ said Wan Hisham.
In its eigth year, 12 of top sailing team in the world, including from Italy, Franceand United Kingdom met on Terengganu waters pitting their skills againsteach other in the championship held at the Ri-Yaz Heritage Marina Resortand Spa. Monsoon Cup is the finale of the prestigious World Match RacingTour international sailing circuit.This sailing event has ignited interest in match racing and yachting in Asia andalso great interest in the prestigious Americas Cup. A majority of theparticipants in the Monsoon Cup, also the Tour‘s first Asean venue, weresailors that have or will be competing in the Americas Cup, including threetimes Olympic gold medalist, Ben Ainslie. Monsoon Cup success has helped tocreate the Korea Match Cup and spurred Singapore and Qingdao in Chinato be venues for the Volvo Ocean Race and Olympics respectively.Apart from promoting Terengganu as a tourist destination with its rich arts,culture and heritage, and developing marine based business activities, theMonsoon Cup has catapulted sailing into the Malaysian mindset. It hasplaced the once sleepy fishing and traditional boat-making Pulau Duyong onthe world map with its world class marina facilities, and also as the host for theinternational yacht race event under the Swedish Match Tour.―The Monsoon Cup name is synonymous with Terengganu. It is the highlight ofthe calendar of activities for Terengganu,‖ said Ahmad Fathil, adding thestate government will be collaborating with Tbest Events to promote VisitTerengganu Year 2013. CIMB CLASSICThough relatively new, the third edition of CIMB Classic has already draw theworld attention among golf enthusiasts. In fact, a year before the PGA Tourstop in Malaysia becomes an official event, the 2012 tournament had hisbiggest draw in golf: Tiger Woods.CIMB Classic 2012, a 72-stroke hole event, held at the The Mines Resort & GolfClub, Kuala Lumpur from October 25 – 28 featured 48 man field - 30 from thePGA Tour, 10 from the Asian Tour and eight exemption, competing for a prizepurse of RM18.3 million (US$ 6.1 million), with RM3.9 million (US$1.3 million)going to the winner.It was Woods first time competing in Malaysia since he won the individual andteam titles in the 1999 World Cup. In an earlier interview, Woods admittedlooking forward to coming out to Malaysia.I played the World Cup in 1999and have fond memories of the country and its people. Ive heard that CIMBdoes a good job staging the event. It has traditionally boasted a strong fieldand I look forward to being part of it this year,‖ he said.
The CIMB Classic is the only PGA TOUR-sanctioned event in the region. Co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour, the CIMB Classic has played host to some of thebest names in the world of professional golf. It has become a platform indeveloping regional sports through its Junior Golf Development Programmefor top junior golfers from Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand, incollaboration with their national golf associations and the TOURAcademy. ―I think what CIMB has done for junior golf and trying to developjunior golf here in this region is just fantasttic,‖ said Woods in a separateinterview. ―We see these kids out here so enthusiased about the game of golf.Its about giving them a chance to make something of themselves. You caninspire people, but you‘ve got to give them places to play and compete.‖There were talks of Malaysia becoming an international golf circuit with plansto develop a PGA TOUR TPC facility in the country, according to PGA TOURcommissioner Tim Finchem who discussed the possibility including thedevelopment of the TPC facility in Malaysia, which would feature on-site PGATOUR Academy, elite player training and grassroots development of golf inMalaysia during a meeting with Prime Minister Dato Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razakin Washington in 2010.In a statement released, the PGA said the academy would help attract high-income tourists to Malaysia, further development of an elite level training forthe country‘s top and emerging golfers as well as to assist in the developmentof the game.Najib, in a statement, said Malaysia was rapidly emerging as Asia‘s leadinggolf destination, with over 200 golf courses around the country. ―Our intentionis to elevate the standard of professional golf and golf itself in Malaysia to newheights working with the leading TOUR in the world,‖ he said, whileemphasising the opportunities that a close working relationship could providein the development of a long-term and sustainable programme aimed atcreating a pool of world class players in Malaysia.MALAYSIAN OPEN ATP WORLD TOUR 250Malaysian Open took a leap forward with its fourth edition as Spaniard, DavidFerrer, the World No.5 became the highest ranked player ever played in thetournament, besides Asia‘s incredibly popular leading player and World No.18, Kei Nishikori of Japan in the 2012 Kuala Lumpur match.Officially launched by the Prime Minister, Dato Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak in2009, the 2012 edition were held at the 16.000 seat capacity Putra Stadium inBukit Jalil from September 22 to 30, 2012 competing for a prize worth RM2.84million (US$947,750). The tournament was broadcast live and delayed in HighDefinition to over 350 million people across the world, while in Malaysia, withover 100 hours of broadcast by Astro on the tournament domestically.
The tournament was supported by the Ministry of Tourism Malaysia andTourism Malaysia and sponsors that include Rado, CNN International, theDoubleTree by Hilton Kuala Lumpur, Wilson, 100 Plus, the AlbukharyFoundation, Astro, Tumasek, Starbucks and the ATP World Tour‘s PremierPartner Corona. The event is sanctioned by the Lawn Tennis Association ofMalaysia.Tourism Minister, Dato Sri Dr Ng Yen Yen, in her address, said: ―Now in its fourthyear, the Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur has built a global reputationamongst players and fans as one of the most polished, enjoyable andhospitable ATP World Tour 250 tournaments.‖2012 Malaysian Open was considered the most successful year with anincrease in attendances, partly due to the internationally diverse field ofplayers from 24 countries across five continents, from the likes of FelicianoLopez to Alexandar Dolgopolov, besides Ferrer and Nishikori.Tournament Director Nick Freyer of IMG, organisers of the event since theinception, said: ―It has been the most exciting, most attended and mostdiverse tournament we have had.‖ The tournament had attracted tourists asfar as Argentina and Austria, from Egypt to Hawaii who came to watch theMalaysian Open.The tournament was also notable for marking Malaysian history as Si Yew Mingbecame the first local to win a match in an ATP 250 tournament and theMalaysian wildcard performances indicated significant improvement in localstandards. Accordingly, to further boost the appeal of the sport in the younggeneration, over 2,000 students were introduced to professional tennis via ahigh impact and highly successful schools visit programme. ATP Supervisor Tom Barnes was equally glowing in his tournament report onceagain, extensively praising the courts, staff, hotel, food, player hospitality,services and massage therapists as among the best on tour. ―Very goodteamwork and results. Everything needed for the players was provided. Allaspects of the organization are well covered and ran smoothly. Very friendlyenvironment that is enjoyed by the players, many who come back everyyear,‖ read his report.Meanwhile, Freyer praised the burgeoning talents of the Malaysian playerswho have shown steady improvement since the tournament waslaunched, and knows that exposure to the highest levels of the game arewhat the local players need to take their own games to the next level.―One of our objectives in bringing the tournament here was to raise theexpectations and standards of Malaysian tennis. Having each year providedthese high level playing opportunities for our boys to go up against the stars ofthe ATP World Tour, we are gradually seeing the benefits of these and other
LTAM efforts, with some exciting and young talented players comingthrough. And it will only get better,‖ he said.During the Malaysia Open, highlights include the tradition of giving awayfantastic prizes for visitors and fans, an exclusive luxury Rado watches throughaudience interactive ―Catch The Ball Challenge‖ held after every centre-court match.