Response To Article Entitled "Malaysia Puts In 'Pasar Malam' Effort At World Expo"

Dear Editor,

Response To Article Entitled "Malaysia Puts In 'Pasar Malam' Effort At World Expo" Dated 5 July 2010 In Malaysiakini.Com

From the highway or the pedestrian mall leading to the Malaysia Pavilion at the World Expo Shanghai 2010, visitors are naturally attracted to the elegant "Rumah Negeri Sembilan" with hand-painted batik roof adorning vibrant colours. It stands out majestically showcasing a unique design coupled with our rich cultural heritage and national spirit in line with the theme "1Malaysia - City Harmonious Living".

Such a regal architectural style was strategically chosen to accommodate and blend with the various niche products throughout the entire Pavilion - from world heritage sites of Penang and Malacca to Malaysian artworks and their production process, which illustrate Malaysia's rich diversity in culture and heritage. Similar to other pavilions, a designated area for commercial activities is provided not only to promote Malaysian products but also to cater for the high demand for souvenirs by visitors. In addition, the commercial area is less than 20% of the total pavilion space and certainly do not fit the description of "pasar malam" effort.

The aesthetic structure of the Pavilion, which is built from recyclable materials of palm oil and other environmentally-friendly materials, also incorporated the country's traditional products such as rubber and timber as well as electronic gadgets.

In addition, Malaysia's multi-ethnicity is narrated through the various songs and dances that are taking place on a regular basis at the Pavilion. Guided tours as well as adequate information such as brochures, audio visuals and corporate videos are also provided daily. To reach out to the visitors, Mandarin-speaking staff and volunteers are also available to provide assistance.

The World Expo 2010 in Shanghai is open to visitors from 1 May to 31 October 2010. It will be the largest ever exposition with a target of 100 million visitors, making it the most visited exhibition in history. Over 190 countries and more than 50 international organisations are participating in the World Expo.

Malaysia's participation in the World Expo is a testimony of our aspiration and commitment to promote Malaysia to the global market. The Ministry has teamed up with other government agencies including MATRADE, Malaysia Timber Council, Malaysia Rubber Export Promotion Council, Malaysia Palm Oil Council, Balai Seni Lukis Negara, Kraftangan Malaysia to work together as one nation to stimulate travel and trade interests on Malaysia in the best possible light.

The Malaysian Pavilion continues to draw large crowds as the average waiting time to enter the pavilion is 2 hours. As of 30 June 2010, a total of 1,920,302 visitors from all walks of life have visited the Pavilion. It is noteworthy that on an average day, about 40,000 visitors have been captivated by the various attractions that are being exhibited. This has been reflected by the positive reviews of visitors there.

On that note, with the aim of providing a memorable experience for visitors, the Ministry of Tourism Malaysia together with the relevant agencies and stakeholders will continue our efforts to make improvements wherever possible.

Last but not least, we would like to thank the writer Wong Tech Chi for the comments and feedback shared.

MONA FAIRUZ NORDIN

Head of Corporate Communications

Ministry of Tourism Malaysia

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