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Tourism Official Advises the Development of Pangkor

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Tourism Official Advises the Development of Pangkor TravelNews

There are other more important things to take care of than push for Pangkor’s duty-free status to be officially declared, Perak Tourism Association (PTA) Chairman Datuk Mohammad Odzman Abdul Kadir says.
Mohammad Odzman said while he supports the idea, the new Pakatan Harapan state government should, however, hold off on immediately implementing the initiative and look into resolving other issues first.
He said tourists visit Pangkor for its sea and beaches and not for shopping.
“Pangkor, in my personal opinion, is the only place on the west coast of the peninsula, where the sea is unpolluted and the beaches are still in good condition.
“We must continue to maintain it as a preferred holiday resort for tourists,” he told MetroPerak.
Mohammad Odzman was commenting on a June 18 report in The Star that called on the new state government to declare the island duty free.
The people of Pangkor are also said to want the island to be rebranded to boost local economic growth and spur development.
Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had during its Budget 2018 announcement last year said that Pangkor would be declared a duty free island.
The status, however, would not cover items such as alcohol, cigarettes, and motorised vehicles.

Mohammad Odzman said the authorities must also be bold enough to clean up beaches and unsightly stalls in some locations.
“We need to keep the beach frontage clear. People who stay in chalets near the beaches should not have their view of the sea blocked,” he said.
“The food stalls along some beaches only add to the pollution of the sea. There is bound to be refuse when there are food stalls,” he added.
He said food stalls near beaches should be relocated to designated area.
“There’s no doubt that hawkers should be allowed to do business near tourists but they need to operate away from the beaches.
“The Manjung Municipal Council should provide a clean centre with proper waste disposal facilities and utilities for the hawkers,” he said.
“Pangkor also boasts some of the best seafood in the state, but this is not enough. There needs to be a clean environment and proper pricing,” he added.
Mohammad Odzman said the island’s food businesses should encourage people to come back and not scare them away with high prices.
“We want repeat travellers, let’s not scare them away with exorbitant prices during festive seasons or public holidays,” he said.
He also said that Pangkor lacks evening and night activities that might encourage tourists to lengthen their stays.
“After 5pm, there is nothing much to do. We must come up with activities for adults and children to enjoy in the evenings,” he said.

He also urged the locals, especially youths who are employed for jobs tied to the island’s beaches and tourism, to understand that their livelihoods could be at stake if they do not work together with the authorities.
“You can see in Phuket, Thailand or Boracay, in the Philippines, the locals understand that their livelihoods depend on the beaches.
“They are united to ensure they maintain the beaches so that tourism is not adversely affected by pollution and over-development,” he said.
“Cleanliness is an important factor, you can hardly see cigarette butts at Phuket. I think we can also do it in Pangkor,” he added.
Mohammad Odzman said a town hall meeting or dialogue should be held to discuss all the issues and to share opinions on how to make Pangkor a better tourism destination.
“Pangkor is still a sought-after destination for tourists.
“All the stakeholders, government, non-governmental organisations and people of the island should work together,” he said.
“The PTA can play a role as the catalyst to bring all these groups together,” he added.

(Article from www.thestar.com.my--30 June 2018)
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