Most Read
Most Commented
Read more like this
From Our Readers
LETTER | Tourism as an inter-civilisational encounter

LETTER | It is mind-boggling to hear the idea from Deputy Tourism, Art and Culture Minister Khairul Firdaus Akbar Khan about turning Langkawi into a niche holiday destination for Muslims.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Tiong King Sing has to apologise for his deputy’s statement by claiming that he may not have clearly explained the matter.

One has to understand that the essence of any tourist destination where certain heritage sites are promoted around the world is not merely about a particular religious community or race, or the glory of any civilisations, but an encounter among people of all cultures and the learning that comes from historical, cultural, and archaeological sites.

When I made a trip to Turkey recently, I realised that even though Turkiye had a brutal past from the actions of various empires, what was significant is that there was interaction and learning among its ancient civilisations in that region in terms of sharing knowledge, skills, and governing systems.

The Greeks, Romans, Persians, and Turks learned from each other and produced one of the best monuments in history.

Besides that, there was a unique blend of Turkish and Arabian culture that was accommodative to all people, revealed by dance and entertainment.

The urban Turkish people wear modern attire incorporated from the West and some wear traditional Muslim attire without being seen as imposing on others.

Turkish cuisine incorporates Mediterranean, Balkan, Middle Eastern, Central Asian, and Eastern European cuisines.

From this historical and modern perspective, tourism destinations should be seen as an opportunity to interact with other cultures and learn to contemplate the good and common.

Malaysia should portray a universal and particularistic dimension of its culture by incorporating universal multi-ethnic and religious themes that reflect its population and cuisines and its particularistic unique Malay-Islamic, and other ancient Asian civilisational encounters in its tourism promotion.

It is hoped that tourism in Malaysia projects inclusivity and encounters among cultures.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

Please join the Malaysiakini WhatsApp Channel to get the latest news and views that matter.