IPOH: New guidelines for operators to set up camping grounds will take effect in 2024, says Nga Kor Ming.
The Local Government Development Minister said it was prepared by the ministry's PLANMalaysia to allow existing and potential campsite operators to adhere to a set of conditions when running such premises.
Nga said the new guidelines were prepared following the tragedy at Batang Kali where 31 people were killed near a camping site during a landslide in December last year.
"It is done based on six principles: safety, comfortability, sustainability, legal compliance, economic prosperity and social continuity.
"I feel these are important, as when visitors go to a licensed campsite, they can feel safe," he said during the launching ceremony at DR Seenivasagam Park here on Saturday (Dec 2).
"We identified several aspects, including the suitability of a location to develop a campsite.
"There also needs to be the availability of amenities for camping, like toilets, surau, lighting and Internet connectivity.
"All these are guidelines for licenses to be issued by the local council," he added.
The landslide incident at the Father’s Organic Farm campsite occurred on Dec 16, 2022, which saw 31 people buried and killed.
Nga said existing campsite operators would be given two years to conform to the guideline.
"The government is understanding, and the guideline is not created as a punishment.
"It is to help them set up a campsite," he said, adding that there had been feedback from operators that they did not know how to set up a campsite, as there were no guidelines previously.
"For those interested in setting up a campsite, there is now a set of guidelines," he added.
He also said existing campsites that were located near unsuitable locations were advised to relocate.
"They are strongly advised to move to a more strategic area.
"Some areas cannot be used as a campsite, for instance, a site that is near rapid waterfalls," he said.
"In terms of privacy and safety, tents must be at least 3m from apart, so if a tent falls, it will not fall on another tent.
"There is nothing more important than safety," he added.
On the redevelopment plan for the Waller Court flats, Nga said it would also integrate DR Seenivasagam Park.
"As it falls under my constituency, I will work super hard to realise it," said the Kepayang state assemblyman.
Nga had in December last year announced that the dilapidated flats – once considered the longest in South-East Asia – would be refurbished and the area redeveloped.