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Ng Yen Yen

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Ng Yen Yen

Dato' Sri
Dr. Ng Yen Yen
黄燕燕
MCA Vice-President
Incumbent
Assumed office
18 October 2008
President Ong Tee Keat
Chua Soi Lek
Malaysian Minister of Tourism
In office
10 April 2009 – 5 May 2013
Prime Minister Najib Razak
Preceded by Azalina Othman Said
Succeeded by Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz
Malaysian Minister of Women, Family and Community Developmment
In office
18 March 2008 – 9 April 2009
Prime Minister Najib Razak
Preceded by Shahrizat Abdul Jalil
Succeeded by Shahrizat Abdul Jalil
Member of the Malaysian Parliament
for Raub, Pahang
In office
1999 – 5 May 2013
Succeeded by Mohd Ariff Sabri Abdul Aziz
Personal details
Born (1946-04-06) 6 April 1946 (age 68)
Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Malayan Union (now Malaysia)
Political party Malaysian Chinese Association - Barisan Nasional
Spouse(s) Dr. Chin Chee Sue
Children 3
Alma mater University of Malaya
Occupation Medical doctor
Religion Christian
Website www.drngyenyen.com

Dato' Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen (Chinese: 黄燕燕; pinyin: Huáng Yànyàn; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: N̂g Iàn-iàn) is a Malaysian politician and the former Minister of Tourism in the Malaysian Cabinet. She is the current Vice-President of Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA). She was the chief of the Women's wing of the Malaysian Chinese Association till 2008. Her appointment as minister marked a milestone as the first Malaysian Chinese woman to hold a cabinet position.

Early life

Dr. Ng is a Kelantan native who was born in Kampung Kubang Pasu, Kota Bharu. As a teenager, she had to give tuition to finance her Form Six education at the Victoria Institution in Kuala Lumpur.

Her father, who was old-fashioned, wanted to marry her off when she was 17 years old. Fortunately her mother stepped in and made sure Dr. Ng completed her education to whatever level she aspired.

Dr. Ng obtained a scholarship from the State Government of Kelantan[1] and then graduated from Universiti Malaya in 1972 with a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS). She was also awarded a Diploma of Reproductive Medicine from the Johns Hopkins University, USA.

She was awarded an honorary doctorate by Josai International University (ranked 252nd in Japan[2] ) on 4 September 2012 for her "significant contributions in tourism industry development, nation building and forging of closer relations and cooperation between the university and Malaysia".[3]

Political involvement

Dr. Ng, currently is Kelantan Wanita MCA chairman and the national MCA vice-president, the first woman to be elected to the post. She was a former Deputy Culture, Arts and Tourism Minister, and Deputy Finance Minister (2003 and 2008).

She was first elected as Member of Parliament of the constituency of Raub in 1999. She retained her parliamentary seat in the 2004 and 2008 elections.[4]

She was not renominated as the candidate for the parliamentary seat in the 2013 elections.[5]

Member of Parliament

Bukit Koman, an area under the Raub parliamentary constituency of which Ng is the member of, is notorious for it's gold mining activity. Villagers of Kampung Bukit Koman have been facing health and environment problems after a gold mine operator started using cyanide in the extraction method.

During the 2008 elections, Dr Ng, who is seeking her third term as MP for Raub, said she saw the gold mining project in Bukit Koman as a way of developing Raub into a tourist town and generating other economic activities much like the Australian city of Ballarat, where its legacy of wealth from the 19th century gold rush is still visible today.

“If the mine is not safe, I will be the first one to ask for its closure,” the Wanita MCA chief stressed.[6]

However when villages approached Ng three months after the election, she has been reported to say that there is no cause for concern for the villagers of Bukit Koman, saying that she had already looked into the matter three years ago.[7] At least 300 villagers, including the elderly and children, have complained of suffering from different medical symptoms due to cyanide. Ng has been criticized for her care-less attitude towards the villagers.[8]

Senatorship

Before being a member of parliament, she was a senator in the Dewan Negara. She was recommended to be a senator by the then MCA deputy president Lim Ah Lek. Her senatorship was from the Pahang state government under MCA's quota and her candidacy had to be endorsed by the Pahang State executive council and Legislative Assembly. Ng took her oath of office as a senator in August 1993.[9]

Ng's senatorship was scrutinized and it was found that she was a permanent resident of Australia when she took the oath of loyalty to King and country to be appointed a senator. Before receiving her senatorship she had declared herself as a permanent resident of Australia in documents filed with the Australian authorities. She was still an Australian PR in between 1990 to 1995 during her tenure as a Malaysian Senator.[10] Ng chose Tusmore, Adelaide, South Australia as her place of residence and had been living in Australia for approximately three years.[9]

In Australia, Ng teamed up with Soh Chee Wen, General (Rtd) Mohamed Ngah Said and two Australians to run stock-broking business via New South Wales-based company, Indo Pacific Securities Limited, from April 1992 through May 1995.[9] She was a director of the company from April 1992 until she resigned in May 1995.[9] In an interview to Malaysiakini, Ng said she revoked her permanent residency in 1995, in her second year of senatorship, as she need not travel to Australia that frequently anymore. Thus, she said the question of her 'dual citizenship' does not hold anymore.[10]

Ng has said that she obtained the PR status to facilitate her frequent travelling to Australia to look after her three sons who "were in their early formative years and studying there".[10]

Lim Ah Lek, the person who had recommended Ng for the senatorship, has said that he was misled and regretted his decision, saying:

"Recommending someone who holds a PR in a foreign country for a senatorship brings disrepute to the Senate, and in this case, also to the Pahang exco and to the Legislative Assembly. I am shocked to learn about what was reported... I need to clarify this as my reputation is at stake,"[9]

Rais Yatim, the then de-facto Law Minister of Malaysia, commended that Dr Ng Yen Yen’s past status as an Australian permanent resident while serving as senator was "morally untenable" though it is not legally wrong.[11]

Ministerial positions

Dr. Ng is the first Malaysian Chinese woman to hold a cabinet position and only the second minister in charge of the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development. She said her new job was more than handling women issues as it invariably also included men, children and the community.

She said she intended to have more participation from Malaysian men because they "made up the equation" where it would lead to strong families being formed and subsequently a better nation.

Among her initial plans are to educate the community on gender equality, beginning at school level; create a gender-friendly environment for working women; improve community development by working closely with the relevant non-governmental organisations; and also addressing issues faced by elderly women.

Dr. Ng said she would meet with her predecessor Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil to seek her advice.

Minister of Tourism

On 9 April 2009, she was appointed Minister of Tourism in Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's new cabinet.

Under her stewardship, Malaysia was rated the ninth most popular tourist destination by United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). In 2011, Malaysia received 24.8 million tourists, generating RM58.3 billion in tourism receipts. The ministry also spent RM 1.8 million on a Facebook marketing campaign to promote tourism.[12]

One of her first few concerns as Tourism Minister was to promote the Homestay programme whereby tourists will get to stay in villages and experience the true essence of Malaysia's rural lifestyle. Her approach increased the numbers and earned the Ministry of Tourism Malaysia the coveted UNWTO Ulysses Award for Innovation in Public Policy and Governance for the Malaysia Homestay Experience Programme on 15 Nov 2012.[13]

To keep tourist numbers rolling in, she launched new programmes and events, specifically targeting different segments of the tourism market. As a natural extension of the successful "Malaysia Truly Asia" brand, she launched the "Fabulous Food 1 Malaysia" event, a 3-month promotion campaign (Oct to Dec) highlighting Malaysia's gourmet, restaurants and street food. Malaysians generally are proud of their wide variety of food choices, the result of their multi-ethnic and multi-cultural heritage.

Other new programmes aimed at increasing the tourism receipts are the Malaysian International Shoe Festival (MISF), and the Malaysian Contemporary Arts Tourism Festival. Banking on Malaysia's well known shoe designer, Jimmy Choo, the Malaysian International Shoe Festival is fast gaining recognition for Malaysia as the Shoe Capital of the East.

The Malaysian Contemporary Art Tourism Festival (Jul–Sept) gave much needed spark of life to the local art scene. With the Ministry's focus on contemporary art promotion, the interest, awareness and appreciation for art is growing steadily. The ultimate objective is to attract foreign tourists to invest in Malaysia's contemporary art. This should not be too difficult in light of CNN's rating for Kuala Lumpur as the fourth most popular shopping destination in the world after New York, Tokyo and London.[14]

Dr. Ng is a firm believer in responsible tourism. Her mantra is tourism protects, preserves and conserves Mother Nature. One of Malaysia's key attractions is eco-tourism, notably Sipadan Island.,[15] which is often credited as the top dive site in the world. Additionally, the recent visit by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate, to Danum Valley, one of the verdant green sanctuaries in Malaysia has created a lot of publicity and awareness for Malaysia's ecotourism attractions.

With 2014 designated as Visit Malaysia Year, Dr. Ng and the people of Malaysia are busy preparing to welcome visitors with warmth, hospitality and promise of a great holiday in Malaysia.

Family

Dr. Ng is married to Dr. Chin Chee Sue and has three children, all of whom are successful professionals.

References

External links

  • New ministers and deputy ministers, The Star, 19 March 2008.
  • Yen Yen becomes MCA’s first woman minister, The Star, 19 March 2008.
  • Official website
Preceded by
Azalina Othman Said
Tourism Minister of Malaysia
10 April 2009
Succeeded by
Incumbent
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