YB DATO’ SRI HAJAH NANCY SHUKRI
MINISTER OF TOURISM, ARTS AND CULTURE, MALAYSIA
LAUNCHING CEREMONY OF
THE MYHOMETOWN.COM.MY WEBSITE AND MOBILE APP
11 AUGUST 2020 (TUESDAY)
HOTEL ISTANA KUALA LUMPUR
(MAHKOTA III BALLROOM, BALLROOM LEVEL)
Thank you Ms/Master of the Ceremony. Bismillahirrahmanirrahim.
Assalamulaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh and a very good morning to all ..
1. It is my pleasure to be here today, at the Launching Ceremony of MyHometown.com.my website and mobile app by KSI Strategic Institute for Asia Pacific. First and foremost, I would like to thank Tan Sri Dr Michael Yeoh and his team for his continuous effort in contributing new ideas, strategies and formulas to the business community not just in Malaysia, but all over the world. And today, the man who has done a great deal of contribution to the economic sectors in Malaysia, is here with us to share his expertise in driving positive change in tourism, arts and culture industry in the country.
2. Allow me to also thank all of you for taking time to attend this auspicious event. Let me assure you all that your Tuesday will be a meaningful one as we enliven the spirit of togetherness in an attempt to revive the tourism, arts and culture industry in Malaysia, through digital transformation. Ladies and Gentlemen,
3. We all know that the Covid-19 pandemic has adversely affected the tourism sector, as tourist arrivals declined significantly following lockdown measures by a number of countries. In Malaysia, the gradual uplifting of 3 restrictions has allowed the resumption of domestic interstate travel, which will pave the way for the industry to recover. Insya Allah.
4. In this light, transformation towards digitalization is a must to tourism, arts and culture operators, particularly in marketing their products and services. We are always encouraging the industry to utilize social media to introduce new packages or services to reach a broader audience. It allows the industry to stay fresh and relevant thus bridges the information gap between the industry and consumers.
5. Through webinars, e-travel fairs, and other ecommerce applications, operators and product owners can offer their services and accept online reservations more efficiently to provide a more convenient service to consumers. This would be cost-effective in the long run, allowing savings in terms of logistics and manpower.
6. To aid and support Malaysian small and mediumsized enterprises (SMEs) in the tourism sector, the Government has introduced numerous stimulus packages and the latest, THE PENJANA TOURISM FINANCING (PTF), after the PRIHATIN Stimulus Package and PRIHATIN 4 Supplementary Package. This is in order to preserve the SMEs’ capacity and assisting them to adjust to digital transformation in their business as well as remain viable post MCO and CMCO.
7. Malaysian SMEs in the eligible core tourism and tourism-related sectors which are either SMEs as defined by SME Corp Malaysia, or SMEs licensed by or registered with Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) may apply for the PTF by contacting 12 participating financial institutions at the outset with varying features.
8. In addition, the Government is also providing support to the tourism sector through tax incentives such as exemption of tourism tax, exclusion of service tax for hotels, income tax relief for tourism expenses and deferment of tax instalment payment.
9. Moreover, MOTAC has implemented several initiatives to help ease the burden of the tourism industry and to ensure that the industry remains competitive. There are the Domestic Tourism Vibes online course for licensed tour guide, Mesra Malaysia training course for tourism front liners, waiver of license fees for tour operators, travel agencies and tour guides, 40% discount for compound 5 issued by the Ministry before 31 December 2020 and exemption of compound for tour operators, travel agencies and tour guide who fail to renew their licenses within the specified period due to the MCO.
10. With these initiatives, I believe tourism recovery plan which emphasizes on domestic tourism, will bring back tourism industry to its glory again and gradually may reduce the impact on the economy as a whole. While the domestic tourism may not fill the gap to fully support the industry due to the absence of foreign contributions at the moment, rest assured, domestic tourism will keep the small businesses running and help to stimulate the local communities’ economy.
11. To support this, statistic in 2019 showed that domestic tourism expenditure amounted to RM103.2 billion, a rise of 11.5% from the previous year. This shows that the domestic segment assumes a key role in generating income for the economy.
12. In fact, recent data indicates that hoteliers are reporting improved occupancy rates over the past weeks in Malaysia’s historic cities of Malacca and Georgetown, 6 which are recognised as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, as well as popular resorts and beach destinations in Malaysia’s east coast states of Pahang and Terengganu. Ladies and Gentlemen,
13. No matter how great our measures and efforts including government’s funding of so many millions, incentives, recovery efforts will not mean anything if we lose to COVID-19 that the government will have to impose another lockdown and we cannot go back to where we are today again. Therefore, I appeal to all Malaysians to remain united to beat this one enemy first by travelling inside the country with various health and safety protocols in place according to the requirements of the new normal. These include implementing physical distancing; sanitization and disinfection of hotels, guestrooms, vehicles; and training tour guides to ensure compliance with the SOPs and safeguard tourists from possible infection.
14. As of date, 13 SOPs for sub-sectors activities have been approved by National Security Council, that includes art, culture and heritage exhibition, hotel accommodation premises, tour operating companies, 7 licensed travel and tour guiding, homestay, scuba diving, adventurous activities, dry and water theme parks, MICE events, spa and wellness and live performances and shows. Ladies and Gentlemen,
15. I would like to congratulate KSI and its partners for echoing Government’s efforts to help all industry players through digital transformation. Let me share what Ronald Van Loon, one of the World Top 10 Influencers in Digital Transformation said about digital transformation. He said “Experiences impact the way in which people feel and respond. But businesses must provide rich and immersive experiences that go deeper than redesigning and managing interactions. Experience is more about building, and then nurturing an emotional connection with your audience – so that they completely connect to your brand. Your business may not have begun to transform digitally, but sooner or later, you’ll have to take the step. And if you don’t, you’ll be eaten up by the competition- that is what it gets down to.” 8
16. Therefore, ladies and gentlemen, it is important for us to work together as a team to bring back the industry to what it was before by tapping into digitalization for growth and sustainability. It is very important for us to come up with new ideas, efforts and initiatives on doing business to keep the momentum going and to ensure that we are back on track.
17. I have explored the website and interestingly, it features a unique platform for Malaysians to rediscover their roots and where their life journey started. The website is absolutely correct in noting that most Malaysians are not only proud of their roots – where they were born, where they first went to school, where their friends are and so on. But they keep returning to these roots or wanting to know what is happening there. I must say that myhometown.com.my is one of its kind perhaps not only in Malaysia but also in the ASEAN region.
18. As Hometown’s tagline, “your hometown is just a click away”, Malaysian will get a chance to relive memories of their hometowns at the end of their fingertips. The platform reflects the town’s diversity and its vibrancies. This storytelling approach will enrich the young 9 especially, knowledge and skill of a good narrative to market their hometown to the world.
19. My congratulation goes to KSI and their partners. You exemplify the spirit of voluntourism among Malaysians and at the same time, encouraging them to become ‘tourism ambassador’, promoting places of interest, local food as well as colourful arts and culture through their storytelling. Ladies and Gentlemen,
20. Certainly, travel trends will change for the time being, and according to travel analysts, international travel will take a lot more time to recover. While there is a doubt that we will return to the heyday of travel and tourism in the near future, we certainly hope that things will bounce back in a more resilience and sustainable manner. Nevertheless, let us all focus on battling this pandemic effectively and hope the situation will improve. Therefore, from today onwards, we will incorporate our new norms through the SOP in place. With that in mind, I would like to urge industry players and all Malaysians to adhere to SOPs that has been developed. 10
21. Without further ado, again, I would like to express my gratitude to the organizing committee for their efforts in arranging today’s event. My appreciation goes to everyone in this hall and I look forward to your ideas and recommendations to restart and revive the tourism and cultural sectors with the hopes of emerging stronger and more sustainable than ever before.
Wabillahitaufik Wassalamuaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh. Thank you.
KATA-KATA DATUK BANDAR
Selamat Datang ke daerah Seremban
Daerah yang kaya dengan keindahan alamnya, budaya dan warisan yang sering menjadi buruan kepada pelancong dari dalam dan luar negara. Dahulunya, daerah ini dikenali sebagai Sungei Ujong yang menjadi pusat pentadbiran utama bagi pemerintahan Undang Luak Sungei Ujong serta pihak pentadbiran Inggeris. Daerah ini dahulunya terkenal dengan perusahan Lombong Biji Timah dan juga pengeluaran kopi yang dieksport terus melalui Sg Linggi ke Pelabuhan Arang (Port Dickson) serta seterusnya ke negara Eropah.
Kini, Daerah Seremban yang meliputi Nilai, telah menjadi tumpuan pelancong dengan kepelbagaian produk yang terdapat disekitarnya. Berlibur di daerah Seremban meninggalkan kenangan yang mengamit memori dan mencipta kelainan dari lain yang lain. Keunikkan Adat Perpatih di daerah ini boleh anda hayati dengan melawat Muzium Negeri Sembilan dan Galeri DiRaja Seremban yang menyimpan pelbagai khazanah yang berharga.
Di Bandar Seremban juga, terdapat 5 buah bangunan telah diwartakan sebagai Bangunan Warisan Kebangsaan iaitu Stesen Keretapi Seremban, White House Seremban, Pejabat Lama Daerah Seremban, Sekolah Menengah KGV dan Masjid Jamek Seremban. Melihat kepada keunikkan ini, satu Laluan Jejak Warisan Seremban telah diwujudkan dalam usaha berkongsi informasi kepada pelancong berkaitan sejarah dan warisan yang terdapat di daerah ini.
Jika ke Seremban, tidak sah untuk tidak menikmati juadah makanan yang enak-enak disini. Terdapat makanan yang wajib anda rasai apabila ke sini iaitu Daging Salai Gulai Lemak Cili Api, Cendol, Pau dan sebagainya. Tidak hairanlah segmen Gastronomy Tourism di daerah Seremban menjadi tumpuan kepada pemburu makanan dari Seluruh Malaysia.
Secara geogarfinya, daerah Seremban terletak di Banjaran Titiwangsa. Oleh demikian, daerah ini sering menjadi tumpuan kepada peminat alam semulajadi dalam menjalankan aktiviti seperti mendaki gunung, memerhati burung, aktiviti lasak, aktiviti eksplorasi denai dan beberapa aktiviti lain. Terdapat beberapa buah gunung dan bukit yang menjadi tumpuan para pendaki di daerah ini iaitu Gunung Berembun Bukit Melati, Bukit Kepayang dan Gunung Angsi.
Pelancongan Kesihatan di Seremban tidak kurang hebatnya, terdapat 2 buah hospital yang menjadi tumpuan daerah pelancong untuk menjalankan rawatan iaitu KPJ Seremban Specialist Hospital dan Nilai Medical Centre. Rata-rata pelancong berpuas hati dengan perkhidmatan pakar dan rawatan yang disediakan.
Selain itu, daerah Seremban juga terkenal dengan aktiviti pelancongan keagamaan (spiritual tourism). Diantara lokasi sering dikunjungi ialah Masjid Negeri, Masjid Sri Sendayan , Sak Dato Temple, Then Sze Khoon Temple, Kuil Sri Balathandayuthapani dan beberapa tempat beribadah yang lain.
Sementara itu, daerah Seremban juga merupakan syurga membeli-belah kepada pelancong. Terdapat dua buah pusat membeli belah yang wajib dikunjungi sebelum mereka pulang iaitu, AEON Mall Seremban2, Palm Mall Seremban, AEON Mall Nilai ,Pusat Membeli belah Nilai 3 dan lain-lain.
Dengan keunikkan ini, daerah Seremban telah menerima Anugerah Bandar Paling Bahagia di Malaysia pada tahun 2020. Oleh demikian, pihak MBS telah mengerakkan satu kempen Pelancongan yang dinamakan Pesona Seremban yang bertujuan mempromosikan Seremban secara lebih agresif dan sinergi.
Melawat ke daerah Seremban tidak cukup untuk sehari lawatan.Anda perlu meluangkan lebih banyak masa di daerah ini untuk mengenali lebih dekat berkaitan budaya dan keunikkan daerah ini. Ciptakan kenangan yang indah melawat kedaerah ini, kedatangan anda kami sambut dengan riang.
SELAMAT DATANG KE DAERAH SEREMBAN, SEREMBAN DOKEK YO!!, ‘TAK DISANGKA SEMUANYA ADA’.
KATA-KATA ALUAN YANG DIPERTUA, MAJLIS PERBANDARAN KOTA BHARU BANDAR RAYA ISLAM
Assalamualaikum dan Selamat Sejahtere.
Saya amat berbesar hati dan ingin merakamkan ucapan terima kasih kepada KSI Strategic Institute for Asia Pacific di atas usaha terbaik untuk melancarkan projek laman sesawang MyHometown.com.my . Terima kasih juga di atas pemilihan bandar Kota Bharu untuk diperkenalkan melalui projek ini.
Kota Bharu adalah sebuah bandar yang diasaskan dalam tahun 1844 oleh Al Marhum Sultan Muhammad ke II. Pada masa itu pusat pemerintahan negeri Kelantan adalah di tebing Sungai Kelantan. Kemudian akibat banjir besar maka dipindahkan pusat pentadbiran itu ke sebuah kota yang baharu dibina lalu dinamakan Kota Bharu . Kota itu ialah Istana Balai Besar yang masih wujud sehingga sekarang.
Kota Bharu kaya dengan warisan dan budaya masyarakat Melayu Islam yang telah mempelopori aspek perniagaan, keagamaan dan kemasyarakatan. Keunikan Kota Bharu terserlah dengan budaya tersendiri dalam semua aspek kehidupan. Walaupun majoriti masyarakat Kota Bharu beragama Islam, namum perpaduan dalam masyarakat majmuk amat baik sekali sejak zaman berzaman.
Dalam tahun 2005, Kota Bharu telah disytiharkan sebagai Bandar Raya Islam oleh Al Marhum Sultan Ismail Petra. Dasar Membangun Bersama Islam yang diterap oleh Kerajaan Negeri Kelantan sehingga sekarang telah banyak diterjemahkan oleh Kota Bharu melalui konsep falsafah keilmuan, kepatuhan, kebersihan, kebajikan dan kesejahteraan. Elemen ini telah dipraktikkan dalam sistem pentadbiran di Kota Bharu secara fizikal dan kerohanian.
Kota Bharu terus membangun dengan pesat dan menjadi salah satu destinasi wajib kunjung kepada jutaan pelawat dari dalam dan luar negara. Keistimewaan Kota Bharu ialah budaya yang unik melalui makanan yang menyelerakan dan pusat membeli belah yang murah. Selain itu, warisan dan sejarah tersendiri peninggalan penjajah British dan Jepun telah juga menarik pelancong bertandang ke Kota Bharu. Kota Bharu juga kaya dengan permaian dan seni tradisional seperti Wayang Kulit, Dikir Barat, Rebana Ubi, Wau Bulan, Gasing, Silat Jatuh dan Mak Yong. Kota Bharu sentiasa mengalu-alukan sesiapa sahaja untuk datang dan menikmati keunikan dan kemesraan masyarakat di Tanah Serendah Sekebun Bunga ini.
Sekian, terima kasih.
YM Haji Tuan Zainal Abidin bin Tuan Yusuf
Yang Dipertua, Majlis Perbandaran Kota Bharu Bandar Raya Islam
History and Heritage for Harmony in Diversity
Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon (Message for MyHometown.com.my Website)
As a multi-ethnic country in the tropics, straddling across the South China Sea, Malaysia is blessed by its rich and vibrant cultural and ecological diversity. This unique combination of nature and culture has enabled Malaysia to successfully emerge as one of the top tourist destinations in the world, leveraging on the tag line “Malaysia, Truly Asia” in the past 20 years.
It is imperative that this uniqueness is appreciated, not only by tourists, but, by all Malaysians. We should treasure such great natural and cultural assets as our common Malaysian heritage, which we should all strive to preserve and promote. Hence, I support and congratulate the MyHometown team for their initiative, imagination and ingenuity in creating this website for all Malaysians to contribute stories about various aspects of our own hometowns, starting with twelve major cities.
Of the twelve major cities, Malacca (Melaka) and George Town (Penang) stand out for several reasons. Historically and economically, the Melaka Sultanate marked the beginning and the golden era of the Malay-Muslim polity, and was a major port in this region since the early 15th century, while George Town was the first British port established in Southeast Asia (1786). Politically, the history of Malacca and Penang thus spanned the evolution of Malaya and Malaysia from monarchy, through colonial rule, independence to today’s parliamentary democracy with constitutional monarchy.
Culturally, both port cities have been the meeting places and a living testimony of the multi- cultural heritage, traditions and religions of Asia and the West, with unique architecture, culture and townscape considered as “without parallel anywhere in East and Southeast Asia” (UNESCO). These constitute and qualify as the “Outstanding Universal Values” for both cities to be listed by UNESCO as Joint World Heritage Sites in 2008, after joint efforts of preservation and promotion by civil society, municipal, state and federal governments, since the mid 1990s.
Other than the vast variety of architecture and built environment in both heritage cities, we must also appreciate the rich diversity of the “intangible” living cultures and cuisines, the stories of prominent personalities and common people, who together, have contributed to the growth of each city. Equally important is the need for concerted efforts by all to ensure the continued sustainability and livability of both cities for future generations.
In this context, deserving particular mention here is the good work of Think City. It has grown from a federal grants agency for George Town under Khazanah Bhd since 2009 to become a “city-making” organisation devoted to creative and effective city and environment planning and solutions, as well as the promotion of local participation and initiatives, with projects in Kuala Lumpur and Johor. I suggest that the “MyHometown website should provide hyperlinks to the websites of Think City and Think City Institute, in addition to those of all the 13 city and municipal councils.
The experience of George Town, Malacca and Think City can definitely serve as examples for other cities to refer, though not necessarily to replicate. More importantly, all of us must learn from one another through this website. We must learn from the best practices of selected cities in the world which have fascinating success stories, and from the good work of the UN Habitat. Such hyperlinks should also be established.
One of the major objectives of the MyHometown website is for Malaysians to rediscover their roots. Actually, many stories of our ancestors and their life journeys are already available in biographies, novels, short stories and publications of various local economic, social and religious organisations, guilds and clans. As many of these are written in various languages (Malay, Chinese, Tamil, etc), there is a need for the MyHometown website to summarise and translate these into English for sharing with the world, again with suitable hyperlinks.
Finally, I believe that the MyHometown website is not just about the past and the present, but also about how we can together build a shared future, achieving harmony while celebrating diversity. In this respect, online interactive technology offers a lot of potential for the sharing of information, ideas and initiatives, especially amongst the younger generations. I look forward to the spawning of many meaningful actions and activities by the MyHometown website which will make our cities, our country and our world a better habitat for all. Selamat Maju Jaya.
* Now the Chairman of Wawasan Open University’s Board of Governors, Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon is the former Chief Minister of Penang (1990-2008) a former Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (2009-2013) and a former President of Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia (2009-2013)
Sending best wishes and warmest congratulations to you on the launching of MyHometown.com.my website & mobile app.
What an impressive achievement! A great initiative and information platform to the nation. Keep it up!
Dato’ Ho Su Mong
Malaysia Singapore Coffee Shop Proprietors’ General Association
MESSAGE FROM SAYA ANAK BANGSA MALAYSIA
Any initiative that aims to nurture a sense of belonging in our beloved Nation, is most welcome. Rediscovering personal roots in our hometowns is certainly one way of opening minds to our rich heritage and diverse multicultural traditions.
We are confident that your initiative will inspire Malaysians to discover the “gems” in their respective hometowns. We hope it will also lead our people to discover the many other gems in our Tanah Air.
We view the My Hometown initiative as an excellent platform to nurture the spirit of inquiry and engender a tradition of lifelong learning in our local communities. We hope this will lead our people to re-discover and truly value our common, shared history as a multi-ethnic, multi-faith and multicultural Nation.
Kudos to you and your team for this people-based, innovative, inspiring and timely nation-building initiative.
Congratulations on the launch of the Website and App. We look forward to My Hometown becoming a vibrant community portal.
Core Group, Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia [SABM]
5 August 2020
MESSAGE FROM DATO ‘ (DR.) ANWAR FAZAL, CHAIRPERSON ,THINK CITY, & DIRECTOR, RIGHT LIVELIHOOD COLLEGE
Our Towns are more than brick and mortar.
They are homes and family ,offices and colleagues,coffee shops and friends, places of worship and Parks. They are about stories, passions and multifarious identities.
This pioneering website, MyHometown.com.my ,is a most welcome platform.It beautifully and insightfully captures the many facets that make our Towns and their special interests,their uniqueness and the multiverse that our communities are. It shares the sounds of houses of worship and smells of all the flavours ,including my favourites – Laksa,Char Koay Teow,Mamak Mee,Thosai, and Roti Chanai, Tea Tarek and Kopi Peng, Chendol,Persambur and Rojak.
Localisation is now more and more appreciated than ever and everywhere in the world the growing celebration of heritage ,tangible and intangible, is proliferating.This platform can play a catalyst role in getting more individuals,communities,schools and local authorities to encourage proactively to sprout their uniqueness and pride.
There are now global movements including the United Nations that acknowledge through various forms of recognition the value of towns,their places, people and passions.They include platforms like Happy Cites,Sustainable Cities ,Healthy Cities,Creative Cities ,Heritage Cities,Peace Cities and many others. This platform can also be used as platform for schools and civil society movements to sprout more stories and governments to pay more attention to local cultural assets
I congratulate the KSI Strategic Institute for Asia and the Pacific for this beautiful, Creative and useful website and look forward to it growing to cover more and more towns and become an iconic platform that touches every person’s interest in not just their hometown but everyone else digitally if not physically.Its availability universally to anyone,anywhere and anytime is a great strength.
It adds to our pride in being a Malaysian who cares and enjoys the places that make our nation great in many small ways.
CONGRATULATORY MESSAGE FROM EMERITUS PROFESSOR ALBERTO GOMES
This wonderfully presented online platform, myhometown.com.my, offers information on the food, festivals, and fun bits of Malaysian hometowns and much more. I wish to congratulate and applaud the initiators, designers, and managers of this brilliant ‘one stop definitive website for Malaysians to rediscover their roots and where their life journeys started’. A click on any of the featured hometowns will open glimpses of the town’s history, commerce, and its many attractions. It offers something for everybody and everything for someone seeking to know more about Malaysia’s hometowns. It is not just a one-stop online portal for a smorgasbord of information about towns in Malaysia but a form of enticement to visit one of many fascinating towns featured. I have bookmarked this site on my web browser for regular online visits.
Emeritus Professor Alberto Gomes
Message by Sr Michael Geh for Myhometown
The Myhometown website is created at the right time when Malaysians are picking up and recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic and Movement Control Order. Malaysia has a rich and diverse cultural background and what better way to highlight this than on a website that can be accessed by everyone in the world.
As a Penang-born Malaysian, I am proud of my heritage and my hometown. I am glad to note that Penang was one of the 12 towns and cities that are featured in the website. I believe this website will do well to illuminate the many facets of the histories of each town and city featured. It is good to showcase the unique stories of each town and city. It will serve to remind past generations of the glorious past while keeping future generations informed of the histories of their hometowns.
This is a good way to cultivate a love and appreciation for our own hometowns. It is also a good way to keep people connected to the latest happenings, art and culture and business news in their respective hometowns. I would like to commend Tan Sri Michael Yeoh and KSI Strategic Institute for Asia Pacific for creating this website. I hope Myhometown will be a leading website for Malaysians and visitors to glean information of the cities and towns in Malaysia.
Sr Michael Geh
President, FIABCI Malaysian Chapter