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 Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani
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 Local councils not committed to promoting tourism

Local councils not committed to promoting tourism

Kuala Lumpur (The Star) Wednesday, July 25, 2001 - Due to the globalslowdown, the manufacturing sector is likely to play a lesser role ineconomic growth and the shortfall will have to be met by other industriesto soften the blow.In view of this, the Government has targeted the agriculture sector,namely the palm oil industry, to pick up the anticipated export slack aswell as other products. Naturally, petroleum is going to be another keyplayer in this effort to keep up the export momentum.The price upsurge in the price of palm oil has come at the right time andthis should brighten the economic outlook somewhat. The price has goneabove the RM1,000 mark for the past few weeks thus giving hope that thenation will avoid a recession, technical or real.The Government is looking at all sectors to ensure that there issufficient input to keep things humming along and the nation will notsuffer the same fate expected in neighbouring countries.While analysts and foreign observers have been forecasting Malaysia'sdifficulties in the coming months, the signs are good that a serioussetback could be avoided.The people should not be too concerned with the doomsday scenario of theeconomy as these foreigners have been running the country down for thepast many years anyway.So long as the people are behind the Government in its efforts to revivethe economy and to ensure jobs are created and redundancies are kept to aminimum, the nation should be able to pull through with the least damageto the economy.However, there is one industry which has remained untapped in spite of itsvast potential in creating jobs and as a foreign exchange earner. Thismuch neglected sector is tourism and though all round efforts to promoteit has been rather lackadaisical, it has still managed to pull its weightin helping growth.While the Government has been spending millions to attract more tourists,the local authorities unfortunately have not shown any serious commitmentin supporting the federal effort.Due to this lack of interest, the Culture, Arts and Tourism Ministry'sattempts to entice more tourists, both locals and foreigners, are notachieving the desired results.Malaysia has some of the most beautiful scenic spots in the region, if notthe world, and this has been recognised by foreign writers and travelagents. But such attractions will not amount to much unless these areasare kept in good condition.Due to this neglect, even local tourists are put off by thepoorly-maintained facilities meant to make visits to these places morepleasant and so one could only imagine the disgust of foreign visitors whoare used to a higher standard of maintenance when they have to use theseamenities.It will not help tourism if the scenic attractions are spoilt by anunsightly environment which will only put visitors off.The local councils must really buck up now and not keep on engagingprivate contractors to look after these tourist spots. No efforts shouldalso be spared to monitor their activities to make sure they carry outtheir work satisfactorily.

Malaysian Palm Oil Board ( MPOB ) Lot 6, SS6, Jalan Perbandaran, 47301 Kelana Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan, MALAYSIA.
Tel : 603 - 7802 2800 || Fax : 603 - 7803 3533