KUANTAN: The Pahang government is calling on the Federal Government, particularly the Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan), to reopen Taman Negara immediately.
Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail (pic) said the recent closure of the park due to the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic was unnecessary.
He said this was considering that Taman Negara and its surrounding districts, Jerantut and Lipis as well as the whole of Pahang, were not under the conditional movement control order (MCO).
"As a result of the closure order, the state government has received complaints from ecotourism activity operators there about losing their source of income.
"They consist of, among others, 170 tour guides, 78 boat operators in Sungai Tahan, 30 boat operators in Sungai Tembeling, 17 travel agencies and 38 accommodation operators.
"This does not include other support operators such as food service operators, suppliers and retailers, who rely on eco-tourism as their main source of income," Wan Rosdy said in a statement on Thursday (Oct 22).
Taman Negara was among several other national parks and conservation centres that had been ordered to close from Oct 6 until further notice as a measure to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Wan Rosdy said the matter was discussed in the state executive council meeting on Wednesday (Oct 21) and it was decided that the state government would ask for the federal government to cancel the closure order immediately.
"If Taman Negara reopens, the state government requests that operators and visitors continue to adhere to the standard operating procedures set by the Health Ministry and the National Security Council," said Wan Rosdy.