'Nude squat case won't affect tourist arrivals'

By Chuah Bee Kim

State Tourism and Domestic Trade Committee chairman Hoo Seong Chang says the incident involving two

Singaporean women allegedly forced to do nude squats by Immigration officers in Johor Baru will not affect tourist arrivals.

The women had passed through border controls without getting their passports stamped on June 17. 

Hoo said an isolated incident such as this would not deter tourists, especially Singaporeans, from coming to the country through Johor.

He said this at the 12th state assembly yesterday in reply to a supplementary question by Gwee Tong Hiang (DAP-Bentayan), who wanted to know what the state government was doing about the issue.

Hoo (right) said the Immigration Department was investigating the two officers and it would take action once it finished its probe.

During the first three months of this year, Johor recorded 3,981,555 visitor arrivals compared with 3,525,883 in the first three months of last year, registering a 12.92 per cent increase.

There was a 9.59 per cent increase in tourist arrivals last year compared with the previous year, with 16,501,582 arrivals compared with 15,057,542 in 2009.

Hoo said there were plans to seek a higher allocation to promote tourist attractions. "A rise in the number of tourist arrivals will benefit the tourism industry; promotions, too, will draw more tourists to Johor."