Speed up maintenance projects at country's entry points, says PM


KUALA LUMPUR: All maintenance and improvement projects at the entry points into the country including airports and ports should be sped up to accommodate the increase in the arrival of foreign tourists, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim

He said facilities at the entry points into the country needed to be efficient and improved to avoid congestion, like at certain airports such as Tawau, Sabah and Penang.

The Prime Minister said upgrading work of the aerotrain services at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) should also be completed quickly.

"Not only (airports) in Kota Kinabalu, Kuching, Penang, Alor Setar (Kedah) and Kota Bharu (Kelantan), but also Tawau (Sabah).

"As we know the airport in Tawau is small, not designed to receive tourists from abroad. We have to attract tourists from outside. (So) we cannot have work to repair airports to take up to three of four years,’ he said when opening the 2024 National Craft Day 2024 at the Craft Complex here on Saturday (Feb 24).

The event was also attended by Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing and Deputy Minister Khairul Firdaus Akbar Khan.

Anwar - who is also the Finance Minister - said the authorities at the affected locations (undergoing maintenance or repair) need to consult the Transport Ministry and Finance Ministry to expedite the work.

However, he said, the process to speed up the projects in question must be according to stipulated procedures.

Anwar expressed the need for the synergy between ministries and agencies to be intensified to ensure the country's tourism industry, covering various interrelated elements such as service, safety, convenience and attractions, remains competitive/.

Promotion of local products, handicrafts, batik and songket should also be expanded, he added.

"I congratulate the Tourism Ministry for this (promotion) of products from Perlis, Kelantan, Terengganu, Sabah and Sarawak. The promotion should be extensive so that no state feels left out. This is important. Promoting local products, like handicrafts, can raise the dignity of the lives of the poor," he said.

At the event, the Prime Minister also presented the 2024 National Craft Award to Puan Bangie Anak Embol, for her Pua Textile Craft.

The National Craft Day is celebrated in recognition of the involvement and contribution of craft entrepreneurs and activists in developing the country's craft industry. - Bernama

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