Dogged by the high cost of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (Pata) conference held in April this year, Tourism Minister Ng Yen Yen indicated that her DAP counterpart who had hammered at the issue lacked standards.

"Do not think them (attendees) as tourists, they are not tourists, they are leaders of the tourism industry.

"It is the most important (conference) in Asia Pacific, therefore we needed to ensure that the program projects an image of 'Malaysia Boleh'," she told Parliament this afternoon.

NONEShe was responding to Anthony Loke (DAP-Rasah) who had queried about the cost of the conference, which had ballooned from RM1.7 million to RM3.4 million.

Loke (right) had further went by it item by item, including a RM17,000 painting as souvenir for Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who officiated the event.

Among other items that Loke had highlighted on were the high cost of meals for conference members and a banner for the event that costed a whopping RM1,500.

"If RM150 per head for dinner in Kuala Lumpur, it is not an issue. If you cannot accept, then sorry, this is international standard, not Rasah's standard," said Ng.
azlanAt this, Loke stood up to interject, saying: "I know you have a lot of standard".

However, Ng refused to allow Loke to speak and shot him down: "You drop our standards, no need (to interject)".

Addressing the RM17,000 gift for Muhyiddin, Ng pointed out that Malaysian paintings have fetched RM30 million within three months this year.
However, Loke again interjected: "I did not say the painting did not have standard, I asked why the need to give one to the deputy prime minister, don't give grandmother's story".

Responding to this, Ng said: "This is to promote (our paintings) to the world, what is the trouble if we give a souvenir drawn by locals to our deputy prime minister? We can show (conference members) this is a painting by Malaysians".
Wee: Ng a 'tourist minister'
Earlier, Ng had poured scorn on Wee Choo Keong (Independent-Wangsa Maju) who labeled her as "tourist minister".

NONEWee (left) had accused Ng of spending more time being a tourist than tourism minister, including her trip to Austria to visit an ice hotel.

"I have never been to Austria before, you can check my passport," she said, accusing Wee of spreading falsehoods.

Wee then claimed that he could produce evidence of his claim, however, a fiery Ng demanded that they be presented to her immediately.

This eventually descended to a shouting match between the duo before Wee finally decided to back down.

Later, when exiting the Dewan Rakyat, Ng was greeted with cheers and applause from her officers for her fiery performance in the house.