By the editor
Malaysia has proved to the globe over the past decades to be the friendliest destination for families and individuals tourists. On the sideline of Malaysia’s MEGA familiarization program, National Yemen newspaper witnessed the official launch of Malaysia Year End Sale 1MYES, which ultimately aims at bringing more tourists and business opportunities as part of a Malaysian government promotional plan for 2015.
The newspaper met with Dr. Azizan Norrdin, Deputy Director General of 1MYES, who reflected back on the success story of Malaysian tourism history. He said, “we have been promoting Malaysia to the world over the past forty years and twenty years to the Middle East. The Malaysian Tourism Board focuses on promoting the country’s nature and tourism facilities including culture, food and shopping attractions. To achieve the target plan, we work with the media, travel agencies and airline companies.”
Malaysia offers all Halal food everywhere in the country, even in the MacDonalds, Pizza Huts, and KFCs, so Muslims find it very easy. For payers, Malaysia enjoys the best old and new mosques. “Malaysia is a friendly country,” said Norrdin.
Along with promoting tourism, the Malaysian Promotion Board works with higher education to promote foreign students to come to Malaysia for studies. International students can be found in more than 191 schools, both private and public, and universities, which provide comprehensive solutions for students such as in-door catering. Offering all types of courses from basic science, multimedia, medical and more, more than 6,000 Yemeni students are studying in Malaysia along with more the 15,000 students from the Middle East.
Medical tourism also is another milestone in promoting Malaysia tourism. The affordable price of medical treatment brings value for money, and patients get the best medical care with outstanding treatment. “Nurses are Muslim and well trained,” added Norrdin.
A good number of Malaysian citizens have Yemeni roots and have run business there for three or four generations. Dr. Azizan Norrdin said that his wife was has Hadhrami roots, and her parents travelled to Malaysia a long time ago.
Yemeni travellers require no visa to visit Malaysia. This advantage brings excellent value for the Yemeni population and generates mutual opportunities for both countries. Many Yemenis are investing in Malaysiaa through the food and restaurant industry. Abdullah Faiz Zain, Ambassador of Malaysia to Yemen says that there is a big potential to increase the number of Yemeni tourists in Malaysia. Presently, Malaysia is one of the top destinations for Yemenis to spend their holidays and to pursue higher education. Many Yemeni newlyweds choose Malaysia as a place to spend their honeymoon. Most Yemeni undergraduates also further their studies in private and public institutes in Malaysia. “There are currently about 6,000 Yemeni students in Malaysia,” said the Ambassador.
Malaysia has become a preferred choice for Yemenis because of Malaysia’s vast Muslim population, where halal food is accessible and available. Besides that, Malaysia offers many places of interests and tourist-friendly services. “Many Yemenis also applied for the Malaysia My Second Home Programme,” said the Ambassador. For this reason, many Yemeni have sent their children to study in Malaysia, with some pursuing postgraduate studies.
The Ambassador continued to say that about 1,000 Malaysians are studying in Yemen. He called upon the Yemeni people to explore the potential of medical treatment of Malaysia as a destination of world-class healthcare services.
Continuing in the Malaysia MEGA Familiarisation Programme, the Yemeni journalists visiting Malaysia had the chance to visit Johor, Sanjour including Kuala Lumpur. There is one restaurant that serves Yemeni food to customers, and has pictures of al-Habieeb Bin Hafeed. A portrait of Sayoun and Tarim mosques reflecting Sufism was also visible. This was a fascinating matter to the journalists, who loved to see Yemen and its cities well respected. The owner preferred to serve the journalists himself, hosting us as if we were in his house. He spoke good Arabic and asked about the Yemeni situation. He wished to visit the country’s mosques in Hadhramout. Many Malaysian’s roots go back to Yemen, and are seeking the opportunity to visit Yemen.
Malaysia is offering a new style of family tourism including entertainment, family parks, and shopping centers.