: The Tourism and Culture Ministry has no plans at the moment to send a replacement for its official Azizul Raheem Awaluddin who is currently being detained and tried in a Swedish court.
Its Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said they will also wait for the outcome of the court case before a decision on the matter can be made.
He said for the time being his deputy has taken over his duties.
“He is innocent until proven guilty and we will not sent a replacement to take over his place since there is a deputy to carry out his duties,” he said after launching the “VMY 2014 with Firefly in the Blue Skies” campaign at the Sultan Ismail Petra airport in Pengkalan Chepa on Monday morning.
Azizul has been working in Sweden for the past three years and had served the Tourism and Culture Ministry since 2000. He and his wife Shalwati Norshal
have been detained since December 18, 2013 on multiple charges of child abuse.
Nazri also said the number of foreign tourist arrivals in the country including those seeking medical treatment will not be affected by the Health Ministry’s announcement that foreigners in the country will soon be paying actual medical costs at government clinics and hospitals.
He said most of them are seeking treatment at private clinics and hospitals which they say are at reasonable prices.
On another matter the minister said encouraging number of guest arrivals at hotels across the country in the first two months of this year indicated that the Visit Malaysia Year 2014 campaign was receiving positive response.
“Some hotels said the number of guests for the first two months exceeded 90 percent, well past the norm. In fact, some said it was record-breaking.
“This is a sign of success for VMY2014 which is very good although the actual number of guests and tourist arrivals is not yet known,” Nazri said.