Chinese tourism in Malaysia reportedly declines amidst difficult China-Malaysia relations

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak argues a recent decline in the Malaysian tourism industry is because of an uneasy relationship between Malaysia and China.

MALAYSIA – The Star Online reports Former Prime Minister of Malaysia Datuk Seri Najib Razak in response to, as he says, “the media [reporting] that the number of tourist arrivals from China dropped some 35% recently” claims the downturn is because of Chinese political attacks against him, as well as over issues with China’s various investments in the country.

“Previously, Chinese tourist arrivals increased every year, and China is one of the biggest sources of tourist arrivals for Malaysia.

– Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Former Prime Minister of Malaysia

Razak contends this significant drop in arrivals has hurt the country’s economy and goes beyond tourism, with Musang King Durian traders suffering losses and the price and total export of palm oil dropping as well.

These attacks, according to Razak, began when he was Prime Minister and continued after the election. Nonetheless, Razak maintained that good, working relations between the two countries were of the utmost importance, likely because of the significance of Malaysia’s tourism sector, it contributing 168 billion RM to the economy in 2016 and creating 1.73 million jobs.

“I hope the drop in tourists from China will reverse as soon as possible as millions of rakyat are depending on this sector as their source of income.

– Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Former Prime Minister of Malaysia

While the precise reason for the drop in Chinese arrivals to Malaysia remains a source of speculation, The Star Online confirms the decline and its seriousness, with visitors from mainland China dropping an estimated 30 to 35 per cent during this year’s holiday period.

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