Malaysian Tourism Board and the Indonesian blogger

This is a good parable of how institutions ignore blogs at their own peril.

The story goes like this: Back in January the Malaysian Tourist Board invited 109 journalists from Indonesia, including 17 Indonesian TV journalists to cover the Floral Fest as part of its Visit Malaysia Program. It was a great opportunity to showcase the nation’s attractions, but some lowly official stuffed up and the result was a harrowing experience for the journalists. Unhappy with the treatment, one of the journalists, Nila Tanzil, bloggd about her experiences both in her personal blog and her corporate blog.

Nila and the crew from an Indonesian TV station in KLThe reaction of the Malaysian Tourism Board? Instead of being thankful about the feedback Board officials instead got angry. It is unclear whether MTB HQ in KL knew about it but the local MTB officials raised a hue and cry with the TV station Nila worked with. The result is that she is no longer being invited to host the travel show Melancong Yuk.

Unspun blogged about the MTB’s actions and outlined how it may become a yet bigger issue for the Malaysian Tourism Board if it continues to live in denial and ignored instead of addressing the issue. Unspun had thought that the issue might be picked up by Malaysian bloggers and from there spill over onto the Malaysian mainstream media.

But Unspun was wrong: This issue was instead picked up by a soon-to-be blogger, Wong Chun Wai, who writes the Comment column for The Star, Malaysia’s largest circulating newspaper (Thanks SK Thew for the alert – Unspun believes he’ll be blogging about this development too as he posted about this issue early on).

Wong said that the last thing Malaysia needs is poor execution from low-level officials and that Nila’s postings “must be taken seriously because her complaints have made its rounds among Jakarta’s press fraternity and bloggers who have become a new but important and powerful alternative media source.

“Someone in the ministry has to explain to Nila and certainly to Malaysians who’ve read her complaints,” he said.

And someone should. But the main lesson here is that companies and institutions would do well to monitor blogs or be blindsided from now on. When you have someone like Wong Chun Wai, who’s the second most powerful man in the editorial floor of the nation’s largest circulating newspaper planning to become a blogger, and therefore being plugged into what the Blogosphere is saying, what choice is there? (see Screenshots on power of blogs)

21 thoughts on “Malaysian Tourism Board and the Indonesian blogger

  1. Hi Ong.

    You’ve got Nila Tanzil’s web site URL slightly wrong. It’s .

    Nice to know that we “bloggers … have become a new but important and powerful alternative media source.” There are times when I think we should have more ‘cafe’ blogs so that particular issues can be more focussed and, hence, be more powerful voices.

    In covering the Adam Air whitewash, I got the news first from the UK, in a comment ~ 3 days before the Jakarta Post.



  2. Dear Unspun:

    Hang on…you write “…the local MTB officials raised a hue and cry with the TV station Nila worked with. The result is that she is no longer being invited to host the travel show Melancong Yuk.”
    THAT’S the story, no? Let the Malaysians rot – if they are so incompetent that they can’t see the value of getting good media coverage to boost tourism arrivals, they deserve what they get.
    But the real shocker is that a local TV station, having read Nila’s detailed and balanced appraisal of how the MTB screwed up a golden opportunity to get some good press in indonesia, decides to shoot the messenger for telling it like it is. What kind of perversion is that?
    Drop the keyboard for a bit and get busy burning some tires outside the office of that cowardly TV station already!




  3. Dear Kay :
    What do you mean with “cowardly TV station”?

    Dear Jakartass:
    If you read all links were wrote this case correctly, you will find a conspiracy.


  4. asri: Mea culpa! Guilty as charged! Do not forget to expose our complicity in the JFK shooting and at Rosewell as well.

    Seriously though, you’re not going to get very far as an anonymous person flinging innuendos and insinuations in this blog. If you have facts, let’s see you lay them out. I’d like to know who “all of us” are conspiring with and against whom for whose benefit. Also if you’re anti conspiracy, you’d be more credible if the readers here know your full identity, as they do ours.


  5. Dear Unspun: You did a best thing in the JFK shooting and at Rosewell, So did MTB cases.

    But I still stick in my opinion. Your job is proofing that no connection beetween all bloggers, especialy for Maverick where Nila work with. If you don’t mind.

    I like your articles.



  6. asri: I’m begining to think u and Tengku Adnan are in the same league where brains are concerned.

    If you wanted to establish that Nila and I work in the same office all you have to do is refer to my first posting on the issue – Bolehland: How not to invite journalists for Visit Malaysia Year. There I said Nila was my colleague. That word usually meas we work in the same office.

    But this is diversion. The issue is whether the MTB stuffed up. I’ll be posting more on that and their esteemed leader’s reaction tomorrow.


  7. Malaysia has always been one of the most loved tourist destinations.Malyasian Tourism Board has always provided the best possible hospitality to its guests.
    With the popular Twin Towers in Kualalumpur Malaysia’s scenic beauty & other tourist spots have invited a large no of visitors to this predominantly Islamic country!!
    It is truly attractive!!
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    I suggest we start giving it a try. Give love to the ones that need it.
    God will appreciate it.


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