KOTA KINABALU: Illegal tour operators in Sabah will face the brunt of the law, warned Tourism and Culture Ministry (Motac) Sabah director Ahmad Zaki Abu Bakar.
There will be “no closing one eye” in enforcing the law against illegal tour operators in the state, he added.
He also dismissed claims by some quarters that the agency did not act against certain illegal tour operators.
The problem came to light when 26 local tour guides protested at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport over the arrival of Chinese tourists on a chartered flight, alleging that illegal foreign tour guides were “stealing their rice bowl”.
The local guides who took part in the protest were issued with showcause letters by Motac.
Speaking to reporters at the opening of the Motac discussion on tourism enforcement, Ahmad Zaki said the guides who handled the Chinese tourists were Malaysians and not foreigners as alleged.
He said recent checks on 200 of the 700 tour companies in Sabah found that 23 were operating illegally and were ordered to shut down.
Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun, who opened the discussion, said he had directed Motac to work with all enforcement agencies to help overcome the problem of illegal tour operators in the state.
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