Tourism to drive economy

Ayer Hitam Forest Reserve is one of several places in Puchong that MBSJ plans to promote as a tourist attraction. — Filepic

Subang Jaya City Council (MBSJ) is keen on spurring the economy through tourism.

At its full board meeting, Subang Jaya mayor Noraini Roslan said the city council would work with private sectors to promote the Ayer Hitam Forest Reserve and Orang Asli village in Sungai Rasau as tourist attractions in Puchong.

“There is potential to develop these areas as tourism products, especially since Subang Jaya is a popular destination for shopping and theme park leisure activities.

“Travellers from the Middle East and those who have not experienced our tropical rainforest climate would be interested to visit these areas.

“The Orang Asli village also has potential to draw visitors. In Australia and New Zealand, tours are organised to visit native villages and we can do the same here, ” said Noraini.

She added that Orang Asli villages might not have the funds and needed guidance in terms of showcasing their culture to visitors.

The council, she said, would engage a private tourism company to develop and promote the products.

“Hotels can promote these tour packages to tourists.

“Even the bird’s nest industry in Puchong has the potential to be an attraction. We can plan stops at these locations too, ” she said.

Noraini said the ideas were meant to help generate the economy as many sectors were hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic.

She added that with suitable promotions in place, the businesses and localities would flourish.

“For example, if the bird’s nest business does well, its owner will hire more people and this is what we want.

“If his business does well, it is good for the council too.

“However, we need to provide hospitality training to improve the service at these attractions, ” she said.

Noraini urged city councillors to keep an open mind and understand that there was a need to strengthen the economy.

MBSJ also hoped to venture into indoor agriculture by converting industrial land and tapping into the urban indoor farming sector.

Separately, the city council recorded 174 dengue cases from Jan 1 to Jan 23.

Among the hotspots identified were PJS 9/2, PJS 9/30, Taman Sungai Besi Indah 1 (Jalan SB Indah 1/2 to 1/9 and USJ 11/4.

Additionally, MBSJ projected over RM278mil in estimated revenue for 2021 and over RM297mil for expenditure.It expects to see an increase of RM21mil in revenue this year compared to last year and a deficit budget of RM19mil.

The city council has also increased its cash reserves from 2019 to 2020.

In 2019, its cash reserve was RM57.7mil while last year it was RM81.9mil, recording an increase of RM24.2mil.

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