YONG PENG: A six-year plan to turn Yong Peng into a tourist hub is underway, says Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.
Dr Wee, who is also MCA deputy president and the Ayer Hitam MP, said Yong Peng was identified with great potential to be developed as a tourist spot which will eventually open up more business opportunities for the local community.
“Strategically located in central Johor with four exit points, Yong Peng has been a pit stop for many travellers along the North-South Expressway.
“Tourists, especially Singaporeans, come to grab a bite and purchase locally made products. Highlighting popular spots such as the four Chinese temples built with unique architectures would be a reason for them to prolong their stay,” he said.
Dr Wee said this during a dialogue session with some 100 Chinese non-governmental organisations (NGOs), including over 300 community leaders here yesterday.
He explained that for the first year a detailed transformation plan would be outlined, which will take into account the suggestions and feedbacks of the major Chinese clans through dialogue session.
“The second and third year will focus on implementing projects or programmes that are related to tourism,” he said, adding that he would look into ways to open up more business opportunities, especially for the younger generation.
Dr Wee said the number of youngsters who remain in their hometowns were depleting, as they move to the city to look for better pay.
“We have over 600 new villages but hardly 5% of the youngsters remain in their homes,” he said, adding that it was also high time to come up with ideas to modernise the new villages.
During the session, Dr Wee also announced some RM30,000 in funds for various associations for road repair works and some RM20,000 to a Chinese Independent school for additional desks and chairs.
On Saturday, during a speech at the Southern UC 25th Anniversary dinner, Dr Wee said the SMEs in Johor could work with local universities such as Southern University College (Southern UC) or Universiti Teknologi Malaysia to upgrade their businesses.
“We hope to encourage SMEs to conduct more R&Ds with higher learning institutes and they too can get double tax reduction for a maximum of RM50,000,” he added.