The Tourism Ministry's RM15mil jersey sponsorship of the Cardiff Football Club is justified as it has helped to generate tourism reve-nue for the country, said Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz.
"We feel that the expenditure is justified because going by the calculation of the RM15mil (S$0.6 million) for advertisement, it has brought in tourism receipts amounting to RM65bil," he said in reply to Hee Loy Sian (PKR-Petaling Jaya Utara) when winding up on points raised in the debate on the Budget.
The team, said Nazri, had played more than 60 matches using the sponsored jerseys and to a global viewership surpassing two billion viewers.
Last year, some 420,000 British tourists visited the country, he said.
Hee had questioned the ministry's sponsorship of the jerseys, describing it as a waste.
"Why is there no sponsorship for other football teams such as Liverpool or Manchester United? Is the sponsorship merely to help promote the team belonging to taikor (big brother) Tan Sri Vincent Tan?" Hee asked.
Mohamed Nazri said the ministry had approached the Cardiff Football Club when the team was still in the 1st Division to promote the country.
"They agreed to display the word 'Malaysia' on their jerseys free of charge.
"However, when they made it into the Premier League, the team approached us for sponsorship and we agreed only if the word 'Visit Malaysia' was displayed on their jerseys.
"The sponsorship has nothing to do with him (Tan) being a taikor. It's about Malaysia," he said.
Tan owns the controlling stake in the Cardiff Football Club, which was promoted to the Premier League for the 2013/2014 season.
Earlier, Deputy Home Minister Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar told William Leong Jee Keen (PKR-Selayang) during question time that there was currently no plan to set up an auxiliary police unit for each state as this would only overlap with the authority of the police force.
Saying that such a unit would also not be practical, Wan Junaidi said the authority of policing and combating crime fell under the the purview of the Federal Government as stated in the Federal Constitution and under the command and control of the Inspector-General of Police.
"The proposed setting up of a unit of auxiliary police for each state will only create confusion among the public," he said.