Camping safely a priority

May I have a cuppa?: Nga speaking with a family of campers during the launch of the Campsites Planning Guideline at D. R. Seenivasagam Park in Ipoh, Perak. — Bernama

IPOH: Camping site operators have been given two years from 2024 to adhere to the newly-launched Campsites Planning Guideline, says Nga Kor Ming.

The Local Government Development Minister said he believes the two-year period will allow operators to make the necessary preparations before local councils issue operating licences.

He added that the government is being understanding and did not create the guidelines as a form of punishment for camping operators.

“It is to help them set up a campsite,” he said at the launch ceremony of the guideline at D. R. Seenivasagam Park here yesterday.

Nga said the guideline was developed in response to the landslide at the Batang Kali campsite in Selangor in December last year, which claimed the lives of 31 people, including children.

He added that operators provided feedback, stating they lacked guidance on setting up a campsite due to the absence of any such regulations.

He said existing campsites located near unsuitable locations should be relocated.

“Operators are strongly advised to move to a proper area. There is nothing more important than safety and lives,” he said.

“Certain areas, like those near rapid waterfalls, are unsuitable for campsites.

“For privacy and safety reasons, tents must be at least 3m apart to prevent one tent’s fall from affecting a neighbouring tent,” he said.

Nga said the guideline was based on six principles addressing safety, comfort, sustainability, legal compliance, economic prosperity and social continuity.

“These are crucial because visitors to a licensed campsite should feel secure.

“We identified various aspects, including the site’s suitability for campsite development.

“Amenities such as toilets, surau, lighting and Internet connectivity should be provided for camping activities.

“Parents taking their children camping should opt for licensed campsites. It is crucial not to visit unsafe locations.”

Nga said that before licences are issued, operators will need to seek technical advice from authorities such as the Mineral and Geoscience Department to ensure the land structure at an area is suitable to be developed into a campsite.

Separately, Nga announced an allocation of RM750,000 to set up a lighting system for D. R. Seenivasagam Park.

“We want to brighten up the place in conjunction with Visit Perak Year 2024.

“We want to make the park more interesting and attractive as a tourist location,” said Nga, who is Teluk Intan MP.

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