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Malaysia to alter 'hideous' tourism logo featuring ape in shades

News Desk

Agence France-Presse

Kuala Lumpur  /  Tue, August 14, 2018  /  04:41 pm
Malaysia to alter 'hideous' tourism logo featuring ape in shades

Malaysian netizens have widely criticised the logo as dated and an eye-sore. But Tourism Minister Nazri Abdul Aziz (pictured) has refused to budge. (Via The Star/File)

Malaysia's new government will change an official tourism logo featuring an orangutan wearing sunglasses after it sparked a storm of mockery, a minister said Tuesday.

The "Visit Malaysia 2020" logo has an image of the orangutan with its arm around a proboscis monkey, a picture of a turtle -- also sporting shades -- and multi-coloured, uneven lettering.

It was released in January as part of a campaign to attract more tourists to the tropical Southeast Asian country but it was widely panned for being ugly and outdated, with thousands signing a petition calling for it to be dumped.

Despite the criticism, the then-tourism minister stood by the design, which also includes a retro image of Kuala Lumpur's iconic Petronas Twin Towers.

But the scandal-plagued government of prime minister Najib Razak was booted out of power in May, and new Tourism Minister Mohamaddin Ketapi is now pledging to alter the logo.

Read also: 'Appalling' Malaysian tourism logo to stay: Tourism chief

A contest will be held to re-design it, he was cited as saying in local media, but he insisted it was not being dumped entirely.

"We're not ditching it but we'll improve it. There were many complaints it wasn't nice," he was quoted as saying by news portal Malaysiakini.

The minister told another outlet that the orangutan in sunglasses might have to go as many had criticised it as "hideous".

The decision was welcomed online, with one Facebook user posting: "Finally! Down with that awful logo. Tasteless and ugly."

Malaysia, which boasts white-sand beaches, biodiverse diving spots, tropical forests and a variety of cultures, welcomed 25.9 million visitors in 2017.