Melaka govt seeks to relax conditional MCO to allow inter-district travel

MELAKA: The Melaka government is seeking to relax the conditional movement control order (MCO) in the state to save its ailing tourism industry, says Chief Minister Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali.

Sulaiman said he will table his appeal to the relevant stakeholders during the National Security Council meeting on Covid-19 to look into relaxing the conditional MCO to allow inter-district travel.

"Melaka is a tourism state, highly dependent on the industry for its fiscal growth," he said on Sunday (Nov 8).

Earlier, Sulaiman launched a tourism initiative called "Melakans visit Melaka", aiming at cushioning the impact of low domestic tourist arrivals due to ongoing conditional MCO at Klang Valley and Seremban.

Senior Minister (Security) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said on Saturday (Nov 7) that all states in the peninsula will be placed under conditional MCO from Monday (Nov 9) except for Kelantan, Pahang and Perlis.

Sulaiman said nine roadblocks will be manned in Melaka from Monday (Nov 9).

"This means, people from Alor Gajah and Jasin will not be able to enter the heart of the historic city," he said.

The conditional MCO has also placed the "Melakans visit Melaka" initiative in uncertainty.

Under the initiative, locals will be able to enjoy discounted entrance tickets to 18 tourist destinations in the state.

Melaka also highly depends on tourist arrivals from Johor after the travel restrictions imposed for visitors from the northern neighbours.

Meanwhile, Melaka Tourism Business Club's vice-chairman Dennis Samford thanked Sulaiman for considering the plights of tourism players.

"The Chief Minister has been supportive to our cause and hopefully, the conditional MCO can be relaxed to ensure the industry survives," he said.

Samford said hoteliers would not be able to survive with a one-month conditional MCO.

"Many hoteliers posted ‘wailing’ emojis on tourism WhatsApp groups when the travel restriction was announced," he added.

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