KUALA LUMPUR: The proposal to stagger school holidays is the personal opinion of Deputy Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik.
Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi said the proposal did not come from nor was it discussed by the ministry.
“Personal opinions and matters that represent the ministry are very different.
“He has never discussed this with the ministry.
“If you ask my opinion, I would say no,” he said.
Mohamaddin told this to reporters after launching the Swedish Fashion & Design Stories exhibition at the National Arts Gallery, here today.
Also present at the launch was the Swedish Ambassador Dag Juhlin-Dannfelt and National Arts Gallery director-general, Profesor Datuk Dr Mohamed Najib Ahmad Dawa.
Last Tuesday, Muhammad Bakhtiar proposed for staggered school holidays to spur the tourism sector and to reduce crowds at local tourist hotspots.
He said the ministry was currently working on the proposal that would only apply for shorter breaks in March, June and September.
However many stakeholders comprising teachers and parents were against the proposal.
In a related development, Mohamaddin said China's tourism policy introduced several years ago, encouraging its citizens to travel within their own country was one of the factors which contributed towards the drop in their arrival to Malaysia last week.
"The Golden Week is a policy encouraging Chinese citizens to take their holiday in their country and do not go abroad.
“The drop in the number of Chinese tourist arrival has not only taken place in Malaysia but also has seen worldwide impact,” he said.
It was reported yesterday that tourist arrivals from China to Malaysia saw an estimated 35 per cent drop compared to the same period last year following the introduction of the tourism policy by China.
Earlier, at the launch of the showcase, Muhamaddin said the exhibition by the Swedish Embassy was a great effort by the Scandinavian nation to highlight it’s heritage and creativity.
"It contains 58 exhibits in print and product display from IKEA, Daniel Wellington and Assa Abloy.
"The exhibition also allows the two countries (Malaysia and Sweden) to exchange ideas and enhance bilateral friendship further," he said.