Ipoh can be a city of music and draw Muslim tourists, says Mayor

IPOH: The new Unesco recognition as a City of Music will not hamper efforts to attract more Muslim tourists, says Datuk Rumaizi Baharin.

"Getting the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation's (Unesco) Creative Cities Network (UCCN) City of Music recognition is something that we have worked hard for.

"Now that we have an eye on drawing more Muslim tourists, I don't see a clash between the two," he said.

Rumaizi added that it would lead to the creation of more programmes that compliment these two.

The Ipoh Mayor told reporters this after the Ipoh City Council (MBI) full board meeting at the MBI headquarters in Greentown, here today (Nov 30)

On Nov 1, Ipoh joined the list of cities in the UCCN list.

According to a statement by Unesco on its official website, Ipoh is one of the 55 new cities that has joined the UCCN list, announced in conjunction with World Cities Day on Oct 31.

On this, Rumaizi said that the first meeting to discuss the city's music plan will be set on Dec 14.

Recently, PAS and Federal Territories mufti, Datuk Dr Luqman Abdullah, called for the highly-anticipated Coldplay concert to be cancelled, claiming that it promotes hedonism and the band is linked to immoral groups promoting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) practices.

The concert saw over 75,000 fans gathering at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Wednesday night (Nov 22).

On Nov 21, MBI, along with other local authorities in Perak such as Kuala Kangsar, Batu Gajah, and Kampar, as well as the Kangar Municipal Council in Perlis and the Alor Setar City Council from Kedah, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to promote Muslim-friendly tourism.

The MOU was also signed by the Islamic Tourism Centre, the Centre for Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand (CIMT) Growth Triangle Subregional Cooperation, Malaysia's national Unesco commission director, the Hatyai Deputy Mayor from Thailand, and the Aceh II Commission Head from Indonesia.

The Ipoh City Council aims to draw at least 150,000 Muslim tourists next year.

Rumaizi said the city council has several plans focussing on its City of Music status for the next three years.

"The UCCN recognition is a license valid from Jan 1, 2024 until 2026.

"To ensure that we will continue to be on the list, the city council has drafted several plans focusing on three aspects: activities, education and economy.

"Among the activities that we can reveal for now is setting up an art month and promoting the Indie-Rock genre from our archipelago regions such as Indonesia, Singapore and Brunei," he said.

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