Group: No sign that tiff will hurt tourism


  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 08 Jan 2003

KUALA TERENGGANU: Malaysia’s tiff with Singapore over several issues will not affect visitors from the republic coming to Terengganu or other parts of the country. 

Stating this, Terengganu Tourism Association chairman Datuk Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah said Singaporeans were among the biggest group of tourists who come to the state every year. 

There was no sign showing that the issues, such as the dispute over Pulau Batu Puteh and the water issue, would affect them although there is likely to be a drop of visitors from other countries, he said. 

Raja Kamarul said besides visitors from Singapore, other visitors to Terengganu were largely from Britain and other European countries. 

European tourists who travel here via Singapore, including expatriates working in the republic, are expected to be fewer because of misinformation about the situation in Malaysia, he told a press conference here yesterday. 

He said the foreign media had related Malaysia with issues such as terrorism and this had given a negative picture to foreigners and created fear of the country. 

Raja Kamarul called on the state government to have meetings with tour operators in Terengganu to ask their views on its plan to have a 'state culture policy' to avoid confusion on the matter. 

He said the state government should try to avoid any misunderstanding such as what occurred when it introduced the tourism policy. 

Raja Kamarul also urged the state government to clear the air over the formation of the state’s Tourism Action Council and the appointment of its chairman. 

The association, which is represented in the council, was ready to act as “middle man” between the state government and the Culture, Arts and Tourism Ministry over any dispute regarding the council, he said. 

Any problem, he added, should not be prolonged as this could affect the tourism industry in Terengganu. 

Raja Kamarul said the association would work closely with the local media to disseminate the correct information about Malaysia to foreigners and to counter false reports by the Western media. 

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