Y.Bhg. Datuk Dr. Victor Wee Eng Lye has been appointed the Chairman of Tourism Malaysia effective 6 May 2009. Datuk Dr. Wee was the former Secretary-General of the Ministry of Tourism from August 2004 until he retired from the civil service in 2008. His appointment, according to the Minister of Tourism, YB. Dato’ Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen, was based on his vast experience in the tourism industry.
During his tenure as the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Tourism, Datuk Dr. Wee has directed the formulation and implementation of the National Tourism Policy, National Eco-Tourism Plan and National Rural Tourism Master Plan, as well as the programmes of 17 State Tourism Action Councils to make Malaysia a prime tourist destination.
He was also the Chairman and overall coordinator for Visit Malaysia Year (VMY) 2007 Campaign, which saw a 19.5% hike in tourist arrivals in 2007 compared to the previous year, as well as an increase of RM10.4 billion in tourist receipts. The VMY 2007 Campaign won a gold award from the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA). In the international arena, Datuk Dr. Wee is currently the Chairman of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Programme Committee. He has also served in various capacities such as the Chairman for the Officials Meeting at the UNWTO General Assembly at Cartegena de Indias, Colombia; Chairman of the Organizing Committee for the UNWTO World Tourism Conference 2007; Malaysia Commissioner General for EXPO Zaragoza 2008; and Chairman of the ASEAN Tourism Task Force on Investment.
Before joining the Ministry of Tourism as Deputy Secretary-General in March 2004, Datuk Dr. Wee was the Senior Director of the Economic Planning Unit, Macro and Evaluation Section. Better known as the Coordinator of Malaysia’s 10-year economic development plan and the Third Outline Perspective Plan 2001-2010, he was also involved in the preparation of the Eighth Malaysia Plan and the National Economic Recovery Plan following Malaysia’s financial crisis in late 1997 when he was the Deputy Head of the National Economic Action Council (NEAC) Secretariat. Upon retirement, Datuk Dr. Wee became an Advisor to the Ministry of Finance. He served as the Chief Editor of the Economic Report 2008/2009 which was released with the Budget speech. He also provided advice on issues pertaining to macroeconomics, public finance, and economic policy, as well as guidance on capacity building among Treasury officials.
Datuk Dr. Wee received his B.Econ (Hons) from University Malaya; M.A. from Brown University, USA; and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Bristol, UK. He has also attended training programmes at Harvard University, USA; and Victoria University in New Zealand. During his career as a civil servant, Datuk Dr. Wee has written and published various articles and reports on the country’s economic development as well as presented many papers on tourism.