High prices and spread of extremist religious ideologies ailing Langkawi, says Tourism Minister

PETALING JAYA: Do not politicise the drop in tourism in Langkawi and work together with the government, says Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday (Nov 15), the Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister said that politicians such as Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor should stop pointing the finger at him for the industry's failures there.

"Like it or not, the reality is that there have been many complaints from tourists towards Langkawi.

"Firstly the price of food and accommodation is too high and illogical.

"Secondly, tourists are feeling uneasy and uncomfortable due to the spread of extremist religious ideologies.

"We have to pay attention to any claims and investigate to prevent this small extremist group from creating chaos and destroying the tourism industry," the Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister said in a Facebook post on Wednesday.

The minister also urged politicians to stop using religion for their own political interests.

"The actions of these groups are capable of creating misunderstandings and disunity amongst the people, especially in the tourism sector, while creating ethnic conflicts.

"I also do not agree at all with the statement issued by PAS president Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang stating that they can control the types of clothes used by Muslims and non-Muslims in states ruled by PAS.

"The Terengganu state government has also said that it will strictly enforce what can be worn by tourists in accordance to Islam rules.

"We must allow international tourists to feel that their privacy and freedoms are protected when they step foot into Malaysia.

"Do this to increase their confidence towards Langkawi tourism and encourage them to return," he said.

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