KUALA LUMPUR – The government’s decision to shut down Tourism Malaysia offices nationwide with immediate effect without prior notice has left the affected staff in limbo, said Congress of Unions in the Public and Civil Services Malaysia (Cuepacs).

Its president Datuk Azih Muda said staff from the 14 tourism offices were only made aware of the closure through the announcement made by the Tourism and Culture Ministry in news reports.

“Until today, those that are affected by the closure have not received any official announcement or letter of transfer from the ministry.

“Which office would they be transferred to then? What about their salary? Where would they go after this? There was no black and white or official announcement from the ministry to the affected staff,” he told a press conference at Wisma Cuepacs here.

Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz (pix) on Monday had announced the closure of the offices on grounds to avoid redundancy of jobs with state agencies in promoting tourist attractions.

Azih called for the government to put the closure order on hold until the ministry could decide on the fate of the 232 affected staff.

Calling the decision as drastic, Azih said Mohamed Nazri should at least think about the future of the staff, especially those with family to support.

“They are feeling unappreciated as they had been left in the dark over the closure. They should at least be informed and given ample time to adjust to their position.

“This might be considered a small issue to the government, but not to the staff. Is there no sympathy? Can every minister simply open and close offices?” he added.

He said Cuepacs would arrange a meeting with Mohamed Nazri as soon as possible to voice out the issue and claim justice for the affected staff.

He also said that Tourism Malaysia offices had played an important role in the growth of domestic tourism, especially through the “Cuti-cuti 1Malaysia” campaign.

– Sundaily