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Colourful launch of VMY 2007 by PM
Published on: Sunday, January 07, 2007

Kuala Lumpur: The Visit Malaysia Year (VMY) 2007 was officially launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi at the Taman Tasik Titiwangsa, here, in an elaborate and colourful ceremony Saturday night.The rain in the Federal capital failed to dampen the spirit of the more than 20,000 visitors who had flocked the Taman Tasik Titiwangsa to witness the glittering event.

The event was launched exactly at 10pm with a fireworks display which was greeted with loud cheers from the spectators who remained at the recreational park even when the rain turned heavier as soon as Abdullah completed the launch.

In his speech, the Prime Minister called on Malaysians to help make the programme a success by welcoming and treating the tourists in a friendly manner.

He also urged the people to promote the country to enable Malaysia to emerge as one of the top tourist destinations in the world.

Abdullah said Malaysia was prepared to hold the programme as it was confident that Malaysia had much attractions to offer the tourists.

"As proof, we have people of diverse ethnic groups who live happily and peacefully to bring progress to their country. These are assets that enrich our culture and are an attraction to the visitors," he said.

Abdullah said Malaysia was also fortunate because besides having beautiful natural environment, the country also had a good road and transportation network.

"We are proud when visitors have no difficulty in going to visit the scenic spots as there are good roads for a comfortable journey.

"We also have good land and air transport networks which give us an edge in wooing the tourists," he said.

Abdullah hoped that Malaysians would welcome and treat the tourists well as they were noted for their hospitality worldwide.

"The people of Malaysia are wellknown for their courtesy, hospitality and friendliness. Let us prove that this is our identity and that we are very proud of it," he said.

The kind hospitality accorded by Malaysians to the foreign tourists could become an attraction to them to continue to visit Malaysia and invest in this country.

"I believe many of them will want to invest and open up factories and so on, besides developing the tourism industry, this would also develop the country's economy," he said.

Abdullah said the country's tourism sector had received international recognition when more than 17 million tourists visited Malaysia last year and spent more than RM37 billion.

The Prime Minister also took the opportunity to try the "Ferris Wheel" which was opened for the first time in conjunction with the launch of the VMY 2007.

Besides the Ferris Wheel, VMY 2007 will also organise more than 240 events and activities in various locations throughout the country.- Bernama



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