Perak to ensure tourist sites are safe

Gaining popularity: Visitors enjoying their time at Tasik Cermin in Gunung Rapat which has yet to be recognised as a tourist destination.

IPOH: Three new tourist attractions in Perak have been identified as “high risk areas”.

State Fire and Rescue Department director Azmi Osman said the three locations were Tasik Cermin, the Tanjung Tualang tin dredge and Tasik Banding.

Azmi said state authorities had yet to recognise Tasik Cermin in Gunung Rapat as a tourist destination.

“The site has become a popular filming area with tourists going there to take photos due to its beautiful landscape.

“The public have been visiting the place by word of mouth as well as ‘promotion’ via social media, ” he told reporters after the department’s annual parade at the state headquarters here yesterday.

Tasik Cermin or Mirror Lake is reputed to be a hidden gem surrounded by limestone karst towers.

Recently, it was reported that some 10 underwater caves were discovered beneath the lake by cave divers.

Azmi said his officers had visited the lake and saw it was not safe for rafters. Most did not wear life jackets.

“We will continue to warn tourists on the dos and don’ts.

“The site is also not officially declared as a tourist spot, so proper safety infrastructure is not in place.

“As for Tasik Banding, we are planning to construct a fire post there to respond swiftly during emergencies.

“At the tin dredge, although there is no untoward incident reported, we will continue to advise tourists and the operator on the importance of safety, ” he added.

Azmi said they were also closely monitoring 16 other existing tourist spots, including beaches, waterfalls and rivers, especially during the holidays.

On another matter, he said they had submitted a safety report to the Mentri Besar on the status of Pulau Pangkor as a duty-free island.

Azmi added that the island was generally safe to receive a higher number of tourists, except for a few fishing villages.

“We have to ensure proper water pumps and the deployment of more personnel as well as vehicles to be used for narrow areas there, ” he noted.

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