Tourism minister Yen Yen gets a Sarawak ‘slap’

By Joseph Tawie, Free Malaysia Today

KUCHING: Tourism Minister Dr Ng Yen Yen got a verbal slap from the Sarawak Chief Minister’s Department for her “negative and destructive statement” about the city’s orchid garden. An irritated assistant minister Daud Abdul Rahman said Ng was factually wrong in her statements and had created “a negative image of our orchid garden.”
“I don’t know what is her problem. To me such a statement is not only a negative one, but a very destructive one in nature. It can give a very negative image of our orchid garden.

“Her statements has slighted us,” said Daud.

Ng who visited the Kuching North City Commission (DBKU) Orchid garden last week had described the DBKU orchid garden “as not impressive and unique enough to compete with other gardens overseas”.

She said that only 48 orchid species featured at the garden and this was insufficient as many of them were of common species, thus it lacked uniqueness.

Malaysia, she said, is the home of more than 1,000 orchid species.

Commenting on her remarks, Daud said: “Not that we don’t want to accept any comment from the minister, but whatever comments should have been constructive.

“She had all her facts wrong. She said there were only 45 orchid species in the DBKU orchid garden when there are actually 65 species with over 600 varieties and about 50,000 plants.

“I don’t know where she got her facts, but her mind is already being poisoned, ” Daud added.

Prize-winning garden

According to him, Ng had made the statements in her speech even before visiting the garden on that day.

“To me we have a very nice orchid garden and the best in Malaysia.