Wednesday, April 4, 2012

protest tourism

Today, we learn that these BERSIH folks want to stage another rally. As recent as a year ago, I would have written (or at least said to anyone within earshot) that this is ridiculous. These days, I have realised that Malaysians are politically immature. Just the other day, someone accused me of being pro-BN, just because I had the audacity say PR was talking rubbish.

This coming elections, I think battlelines have been long drawn. If you support somebody, it is pretty much set in stone and impossible to change your mind. It would be a waste of my time to ask you to fully educate yourself because if you wanted to, you would have already.

Therefore, I am going to make the best out of this BERSIH protest. So, listen up. And if you know that Ng Yen Yen woman or any of those Tourism Ministry folks, send them my way and I can give them free advise.

Let's get one thing straight. No matter what the government does, this thing will go ahead. If I was in power, or had some say, I would not fight it. Not because I am a big fan of this mythical concept of "human rights", but because I am a Chinaman, and if there is something a Chinaman is good at, it is making money. And Goddammit even the cendol seller knows our government needs the money.

Now, our country has been trying to promote various types of niche tourism activities. We open plush hospitals and promote 'medical tourism'. We have Taman Negara and so someone said, let's do 'eco-tourism'. Then someone said, let's copy those Kiasuwankers down south and do 'Shopping Tourism' so now we have Malaysian Megasale.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you, "PROTEST TOURISM".

The Tourism Ministry can coordinate with whoever wants to hold a protest and they could come up with promotional activities, you know, to spur the economy and promote spending. They missed a huge opportunity with the Lynas protest in Kuantan the other day! I mean I have friends who thought Kuantan was up North near Penang (serious!). They could have chartered busses to ferry people from KL to Kuantan on the Saturday before the protest. On Saturday, all these KL folk could have gone to famous landmarks such as Teluk Cempedak and Sungai Lembing. Package it with a hotel room and another bus to send people to the protest area. All for just RM100++. Majukan perlancongan untuk negara!

But no fear, another great opportunity presents itself!

Come April 28th, BERSIH intends to have a sit-down protest in Dataran Merdeka and they are targetting 500,000 attendees. I have a few pointers for Tourism Malaysia to consider seriously:

1. Ferry people from outside KL to promote Cuti-cuti Malaysia. Package a two way bus ride with a motel room in Petaling Street (including dim sum breakfast at Yok Tho Hin Restaurant). Only RM88+

2. Barricade Dataran Merdeka, charge RM2 per entrance. Easy RM1mil profit.

3. For a nominal sum, say RM10, people can purchase a "Protest Survival Kit" at the entrance. The kit shall include a vial of salt, poncho and goggles. For an additional fee of RM50, participants can rent a gas mask. Old people might not be able to sit for long, so sell picnic chairs for RM15.

4. For the adventurous tourists, offer a front row seat where the action is. We can call it "Water & Smoke Experience" RM20 to martyr yourself. Comes with a photo of you getting showered by the water cannon truck. Additional RM5 for a "I SURVIVED THE WATER & SMOKE EXPERIENCE" certificate. Always useful for showing off to your friends later. T-shirt optional.

5. For the richer tourists, who would like to be there but would not like to risk getting too close to the action, we can set up Corporate Boxes in the nearby Sultan Abdul Samad building overlooking the padang. Only RM5000 per box, and you can invite 10 friends to come along and watch the action down below. Prawn sandwiches, Godiva chocolates and Moet champagne will be served.

6. Finally, the coup de grace - this activity should not be limited to Malaysians. With proper branding, we can attract tourists from Singapore and China who will never, ever in their lives get to experience a proper protest in their home countries. We can also market this novel idea to the Arabs as a training ground for when they next intend to overthrow their Draconian government. Of course our government is not Draconian, but the Arabs have to learn by taking baby steps. And it goes without saying that we shouldn't even bother marketing this idea in USA and Europe. They have way more experience in this, but are stupid for not thinking of monetizing the idea. No wonder they seem to be going bankrupt.

I have the ideas but lack the funding. Do hit me up if you intend to venture into this new and exciting business opportunity with me.