MELAKA: Melaka is considering taking over the management of Melaka Zoo and Night Safari, said its Chief Minister Adly Zahari.
He said a decision will be made within a month after an assessment is carried out on all aspects based on a public report, an internal technical report and the auditor-general’s report.
He said the decision was important as Melaka Zoo and Night Safari was a state government asset which had contributed to the tourism sector.
“At the moment, we only have two choices, take over the management of Melaka Zoo and Night Safari or to continue with privatisation plans.
“We are aware there is a 60-year agreement for the privatisation of the zoo but if that agreement leads to losses for the state government, a more appropriate solution must be found.
“Even though it is privatised, the zoo is an asset of the government,” he said after visiting the Melaka Zoo and Night Safari here.
Also present were Hang Tuah Jaya Municipal Council president Mahani Masban and Melaka Zoo and Night Safari director Mohd Nawayai Yasak.
Adly said if the state government takes over the Melaka Zoo and Night Safari, it would be managed by the local authorities or an agency under the state government.
He said the Melaka Zoo and Night Safari used to be among the best and most popular in the country among local tourists but that there were many aspects now that needed attention, such as the well-being of the animals, safety of visitors as well as asset and facility management.
Meanwhile, Mohd Nawayai said the zoo now had 554 animals compared to about 600 in 2015.
However, he said the number of visitors had dropped from 450,000 in 2016 to 420,000 last year. — Bernama