DAP rep: Nazri’s ‘volunteer tourism’ shows how disconnected he is from reality

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Nazri Aziz’s suggestion to use the flood situation in the country as an opportunity to promote “volunteer tourism” shows how disconnected he is from reality, says a Pahang DAP leader.

Young Syefura Othman said that while she supported out-of-the-box ideas and suggestions that can help develop the country, the Padang Rengas MP’s idea was far from the reality that Malaysians have to go through every year.

In a statement, she said although post-flood situations, especially during the first few days, required many volunteers to help victims with clean-up work, it was ethically wrong for anyone to look at it as a way to promote tourism.

She chided the former tourism and culture minister’s lack of empathy and his insensitivity to the predicament faced by the people whenever there are floods that destroy property and sometimes cost lives as well.

Young Syefura was commenting on a Sinar Daily report yesterday where Nazri had said with proper planning, the annual floods could potentially be a “tourism attraction”, and that Malaysia should seek opportunities by promoting “volunteer tourism”.

“Maybe we can have volunteer tourism where people come to the country to help us with the floods. It is not just about them coming here to enjoy, but also for them to learn,” he was reported to have said.

The Ketari assemblyman pointed out that widespread damage caused by floods in her constituency in Pahang last December also affected many tourist destinations in the area, particularly Janda Baik.

“What’s more, infrastructure such as bridges and roads have not been repaired at all by the state government, relevant ministries, departments, and agencies,” she said.

She called for the authorities and other relevant parties to visit Ketari, saying the people there have yet to receive any post-flood repair assistance.

“Come and listen to the complaints of the many flood victims and have a dialogue over the trauma they faced and continue to endure,” Young Syefura said.

“Perhaps this way, leaders whose hearts are deaf and blind, can better understand the feelings of the people who are still trying to reconnect the scraps of their lives after all their possessions were swept away by the floods.”