Malaysia is a multicultural and multilingual country, which is also one of the main reasons why many tourists come here to experience our unique culture. We have tourists coming from all over the world so it only makes sense that our airports have staff that can handle enquiries that come from different parts of the globe.
However, just last month in September, some KLIA2 guards were spotted being rude to some Chinese tourists who couldn’t speak Malay and even asked them to “Balik China”. This has prompted outrage on social media and it looks like there is now a new, positive development on this issue.
Just yesterday, Transport Minister Anthony Loke put out a statement on Facebook, announcing that Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) had hired six Mandarin speakers to be deployed at both KLIA Main Terminal and KLIA2. Wah, so efficient!
He said that starting from September 30, MAHB would be placing two fluent Mandarin speakers and four basic Mandarin speakers at various spots in the airports, which include at the Satellite Building, Contact Pier, immigration arrival and baggage reclaim area.
For those who need assistance in Mandarin, they can easily spot these officers as they have a sash around their bodies which says, “I can speak Mandarin”. Oriental Daily reported that previously, Loke had communicated with the airport management and the Tourism Bureau and they discovered that the airport staff mainly used English to assist tourists.
For tourists who mainly speak Mandarin, they had problems asking for help from the staff, which is why MAHB decided to deploy this special team there. If you are looking for them, they will be available during the morning shift, which starts at 8am to 3pm; and afternoon shift from 3pm to 10pm.
According to Anthony Loke’s post, he says that these are the peak hours for flights that arrive from China and Hong Kong. They are also looking to add more people into the team and are currently trying to collaborate with Han Cultural Centre Malaysia, INTI College and Linton University College to recruit more part-timers.
Netizens who saw the post were largely supportive as they said other countries had done the same as well by hiring staff who could speak other languages in stores or airports.
That is certainly a good move that will encourage more tourists to visit our lovely country! What do you think?
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