Many airport staff anywhere around the world doesn’t realize that they are the front face of a country’s tourism as they directly interact with tourists who have just landed in the country.
Just like these two security guards in Malaysia failed to realize that they were extremely rude towards two tourists at the airport.
The incident was witnessed by Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) councilor Amy Tnay Li Ping at the immigration counter in KLIA2. Amy recounted her experience in a Facebook post on September 5.
Amy is also the chairman of the Central Women Section in Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP).
“I was shocked by the two security guards when passing by the immigration counter at KLIA2. There were two Chinese tourists in front of me and they had asked the guards in Mandarin where should they go if they wanted to transit to Penang.
“One of the guards answered, “Saya tak faham Cina, you cakap Melayu, kalau tak pandai cakap Melayu, balik China!'”
Angered by the incident, Amy said she then stepped in to help the tourists. She has since lodged a complaint to the Immigration Department and Tourism Ministry so that further action could be taken.
She added that efforts of the government to expand the country’s tourism will ‘go to waste’ without the cooperation of airport employees.
“All these years, we’ve been trying so hard to promote the tourism in Malaysia and particularly in Sarawak. If I didn’t see it with my own eyes, I would never believe such a thing had happened.”
Amy told Sinchew that the tourism industry is a booming sector in Malaysia and is one of the most efficient ways to boost the country’s economy. Therefore, the airport staff should be on top of their game since they are responsible for shaping the tourists’ first impression towards Malaysia.
Authorities have not responded to the incident at the time of writing.
We hope the security guards will be put under training in handling tourists from different countries, instead of expecting foreign tourists to understand our national language. Use your brain lah!
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