Shortly after Singapore's social media was abuzz with quotes of its Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat mentioning his East Coast plan during his nomination speech, Tourism Malaysia decided to jump on the bandwagon and seize the opportunity to promote its East Coast.
Last week, Singapore's DPM Heng, who is an electoral candidate for the East Coast Group Representation Constituency for Singapore's 2020 General Elections, said in his nomination speech: "We also have a plan for East Coast. We have a East Coast, Singapore, we have a together [sic] at East Coast plan. We care for East Coast."
Taking a page from brands in Singapore, Tourism Malaysia said in a Facebook post that while it has stumbled in its delivery as of late, it has also come up with an East Coast Plan.
The tourism body added: "We also have a plan for the East Coast. We have a East Coast - Malaysia. We have a together, an East Coast Plan. We care, at Tourism Malaysia Singapore." It then went on to list five islands on the East Coast of Malaysia that travellers should visit post-COVID - Redang Island, Tioman Island, the small and big Perhentian Islands, and Kapas Islands.
The post garnered 3.6k shares, 2.3k reactions and 541 comments. Most of the reactions were positive, with several saying they cannot wait to check out Malaysia's East Coast and that many Singaporeans are interested to know about Tourism Malaysia's East Coast plan. While several netizens commended the brains behind the social media post, one netizen said it is "indeed unfortunate" that Tourism Malaysia has resorted to mocking Singapore in order to market itself.
Tourism Malaysia was not the tourism body to have been cheeky with the "East Coast plan" reference. The Tourism Authority of Thailand's Singapore branch office also attempted to lure visitors with its East Coast plan by showcasing its stretches of beaches and islands of Thailand that are an hour away from Bangkok.
"Tourist attractions in Chonburi, Pattaya, Chantaburi and Trat caters for all preferences from luxurious beachside resorts to simple guesthouses. Beach and nature-lovers would especially love the East Coast. Come and check out the East Coast - you won't regret it!" it said in a Facebook post. The post amassed 355 reactions, 504 shares and 54 comments.
Meanwhile, the recent slip up by Singapore's DPM has seen brands across the causeway using it to inject humour into their marketing. Nando's Singapore was one of the first few which trendjacked the East Coast plan to promote its delivery service in the area. Nando's, Caltex Singapore, Circles.Life, MyRepublic Singapore, Durex and JJ Drinks Singapore also shared their own "East Coast plan" in subsequent social media posts.
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