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Tourism Malaysia former D-G Ammar says had always followed orders, laments hasty demotion process

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 25 — Tourism Malaysia’s former director-general (D-G) Datuk Ammar Abd Ghapar has reportedly defended himself, saying he had never done anything wrong and had always followed orders.

According to Utusan Malaysia’s Sunday edition Mingguan Malaysia, Ammar asked that the government examine and prove his errors before hurling accusations at him.

“If there were any mistakes that I made, the government should conduct an examination of each mistake, prove it and give me a chance to explain. As far as I’m concerned I’ve never argued nor disobeyed instructions during my tenure,” he reportedly said.

Ammar also said his demotion was done in five days and lacked clarity.

He added that he still had not received his demotion papers, despite the remark by minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing.

Ammar said he would however go on leave until further notice.

“I don’t have any plans because I haven’t received my transfer papers for my new post. I may request for a break until I receive the offer letter,” he told the Malay daily.

Following claims that he was sacked, Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Tiong had said that Ammar was demoted to the post of deputy due to unsatisfactory performance.

He was set to retire in March next year but Tiong said he would not wait adding that Ammar had not come up with concrete plans to boost Malaysia’s foreign tourist numbers and had no engagement at the state level.

Ammar was appointed Tourism Malaysia director-general on April 12 last year and is due to retire on February 17, 2025.

Prior to that, he was the senior director of Tourism Malaysia’s International Promotion Division (Americas, Europe and Oceania).

He has also served as the senior director of management, led the Strategic Planning Division as well as Tourism Malaysia’s Domestic and Events Division, and held significant roles such as the finance division director and foreign affairs director in Osaka, Japan, and Moscow, Russia, respectively, in 1999 and 2008.

Additionally, he served as the state director of Tourism Malaysia for Kedah/Perlis in 2005.

In 2021, Ammar led the Secretariat of the Travel Bubble Task Force, aimed at revitalising the tourism industry, which was heavily impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.