Sim Choo Kheng, Malaysian theme park builder blames the tourism industry ‘extremely corrupt’

Published on : Tuesday, July 18, 2017

indexLately, Sim Choo Kheng, CEO of Sim Leisure Group and a Malaysian who is known to take the theme park industry on the world stage, has explained the local attractions and tourism support industry as “extremely corrupt”.

 

He said this last week while talking about his experience on the hidden cost of carrying on business in Malaysia.

 

The Penang-born Sim, whose company is known to have built some of the high-profile theme parks in 50 different countries, said that corruption has become kind of a norm in this part of the world.

 

“When we talk about corruption, most people only think about the corruption in governments.

 

“But the private sector is more corrupt than the public sector,” he said at the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) on tax and regulatory policies.

 

“Corruption also doesn’t just mean you will be paying inflated prices for goods and services, but the hidden cost is that you’re not getting the right person for the job because it’s not based on merit.”

 

Sim also mentioned that this was the reason why he left Malaysia to seek a level playing field and has shifted his company to Dubai, where “the best” companies have assembled and compete with each based on merit.

 

But regardless of his achievement in abroad, Sim further added that he wanted to contribute to the tourism industry and built ESCAPE, an adventure theme park in 2012.

 

However, the industry in Penang was “very corrupt” he said sadly.

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