KOTA KINABALU: The state Tourism, Arts and Culture (Motac) office is tracking down more than a dozen guides who have yet to explain their involvement in a protest at the airport here.
Its director Ag Ahmad Zaki Abu Bakar said 24 of the 40 guides who participated in the protest had given their statements over the July 15 incident, which affected a group of tourists from China.
“We are looking for the others, identifying them through photos and video clips. We will be calling them,” he said.
“Whatever the case may be, we will still proceed accordingly,” Ahmad Zaki said when asked what would happen if the guides failed to give their statements to the Motac office here.
Ahmad Zaki had given the guides until July 25 to voluntarily explain their involvement in the midnight protest just after the China tourists arrived at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport.
Last week, he said the protesters not only intimidated the three local guides who were hired to handle the China visitors but had also harassed the tourists themselves.
Their actions contravened the Tourism Industry Act 1992 as well as the tourist guide code of ethics.
Ahmad Zaki said an inquiry by Motac showed that the incident was not due to the presence of illegal foreign tourist guides but over the local guides’ "demand" to know where the tourists should go for shopping.
He said the local tour guides were unhappy that the China tour group leaders were more “dominant” in determining which shops or malls the tourists would go to as they stand to gain from "commissions."
He said such commissions could amount to as much as RM10,000 per person monthly, though it was illegal for local guides to receive such payments.
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