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  • Malaysia continues to attract more medical tourists from GCC countries

    Muscat, OMAN — Malaysia spreads its wings in Oman once again this time by organising the Malaysian Medical Tourism Business Networking at the Ramada Muscat Hotel. Set to add a further boost to the developing healthcare tourism industry in this region, the Ministry of Health Malaysia under the corporatised agency, the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) organised a get-together as part of its promotional initiatives targeting approximately 30 industry stakeholders. Read More

  • RBIF Markets Royal Belum As Tourist, Research Destination

    Ipoh, MALAYSIA — The Royal Belum International Festival 2014 (RBIF) organised since last March is one of the programmes to market the state park as a premier tourist and research destination.

    Chairman of the Perak’s Tourism, Arts and Culture Committee Datuk Nolee Ashilin Mohammed Radzi said the Perak government always supported the Royal Belum’s promotion efforts which would boost the state tourism sector. Read More

  • Malaysia Poised To Be Destination Of Choice Among Turkish Travellers

    Istanbul, TURKEY — Malaysia is poised to be a destination of choice among Turkish travellers as the country offers affordable and attractive packages during holidays, said Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz.

    He noted that Malaysia had already received 12,775 Turkish tourists last year, and following the opening of the Malaysian Tourism Office in Istanbul the same year, the number of visitors from Jan to May this year increased 62 per cent. Read More

  • Minimum price for Umrah package

    Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA — The minimum price of an umrah package has been fixed at RM4,900 and this will take effect by the middle of next year.

    Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said the move was to prevent pilgrims from being conned.

    He said that by fixing the minimum price, the ministry was clamping down on fraudulent tour agencies that prey on Muslims looking for budget umrah packages.

    “If (an agency offers) anything less than that, it is likely trying to cheat,” said Nazri, adding that the price was for the standard 12-days/10-nights package.

    The ministry has also formed a Council for Umrah Regulation, which came into effect yesterday, as part of its efforts to combat umrah-related fraud.

    “The council is a one-stop centre to receive all complaints concerning umrah packages from the public and will also monitor tour agencies offering such packages,” Nazri said.

    It brings together various ministries and agencies, including the Department of Awqaf, Zakat and Haj (Jawhar) which is under the Prime Minister’s Department, Foreign Affairs Ministry, Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry, and Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents.

    “Jawhar will have the power to monitor the tour agencies under the Tourism Industry Act 1992,” said Nazri who was speaking after the official opening of the Spectrum of Life health centre here yesterday.

    The centre, accredited by the Health Ministry, offers traditional medicine and complementary therapy treatments under one roof.

    Nazri said its opening was a boost to the country’s medical tourism industry.

    “Malaysia is looking to benefit from medical tourism as the healthcare industry in the country offers top-quality treatments at affordable prices,” he said.

    He added that the ministry was keen to attract more Indonesians for medical tourism because they make up the second largest group of tourists entering the country.

  • Penang’s first Chinese-Muslim Mosque

    Georgetown, MALAYSIA —  After six years, Penang’s Chinese Muslim community finally have a mosque of their own.  Located at the junction of Burmah Road and Khoo Suan Ewe Road, the 121-year-old Titi Papan Mosque is the first in the state to offer sermons in Chinese languages.

    The small building which can fit roughly 50 people was built in 1893 for the Peranakan Jawi community.  The state government decided to set it aside for the Chinese Muslims recently after receiving applications from the minority community from 2008.

    “The purpose of a Chinese mosque is to show the universal and multicultural root of Islam,” Penang religious affairs committee chairman Datuk Abdul Malik Abul Kassim said in a press conference at Komtar today.  He stressed that the state was not segregating its Muslim faithful when asked, “but we just want to show that Islam can be multi-ethnic and multi-cultural”.

    He said that part of last Friday’s sermon delivered at the mosque was in Mandarin.  He was unable to furnish the number of Chinese Muslims in the state when asked.  Abdul Malik said the Titi Papan Mosque will be managed by Chinese Muslims as they had formed the bulk of the committee last year and had planned to use the place of worship to carry out programmes for their community.

    “The state government also plans to build a Chinese mosque with a unique Chinese architecture in the future to reflect three different cultures — Malay, Chinese and Indian,” he said.  Penang also has the historical Kapitan Keling Mosque which sometimes features guest speakers who deliver sermons in Tamil, catering to the large Indian Muslim congregation there.

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