Perhentian Marriott & Spa set to create new jobs and businesses for locals

KUALA BESUT: Growing up as an East Coast boy, Ikhasas Group Managing Director Tan Chee Kian has made good and built the first five-star resort in Pulau Perhentian which is set to provide jobs for 480 locals.

Tan said that growing up in Mentakab, Pahang, he noticed there was a lack of quality jobs and that is why youths are leaving the region in search of a better life.

The newly launched Perhentian Marriott Resort & Spa is nestled within the Perhentian Island Marine Park in Pulau Perhentian Kecil, Terengganu.

“With Marriott Resort here, all the East Coast children would have better jobs. After months or years of training, the world belongs to them.

“They can go to Singapore, England, or other countries, as long as Marriot is there,” said Tan to reporters during a press conference after the grand opening ceremony of the Perhentian Marriott Resort & Spa at Pulau Perhentian Kecil on Thursday (May 30).

“If we don’t have proper jobs to train the next generation, I think very soon, the East Coast corridor will become an old folk home or a childcare centre,” added Tan.

Tan also said there is a potential multiplier effect on the local economy with the launch of the resort, as he had told Perhentian Marriott Resort & Spa General Manager Anne Busfield to source food, fruits and drinks from local traders.

“We want to encourage and introduce Malaysian delicacies to the world through Marriott International,” added Tan.

At the same time, Tan also said he was touched that the grand opening ceremony of Perhentian Marriott Resort & Spa was graced by the Sultan of Pahang Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah and the Sultan of Terengganu Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin.

“Today in East Coast history, two Sultans came together to our grand opening ceremony,” added Tan.

Accompanying Sultan Mizan to the launch were the Sultanah of Terengganu Sultanah Nur Zahirah.

During the ceremony, Sultan Mizan signed a plaque to commemorate the hotel’s launch.

Their arrival at the Perhentian Marriott Resort & Spa was received by Ikhasas Group Managing Director Tan Chee Kian, and Ikhasas Executive Director Tan Sri Nelson Tan Jyh Yaong.

Meanwhile, Tan highlighted the unique crooked jetty that was constructed at an extra cost in the Perhentian Marriott Resort & Spa to avoid a big piece of coral located underneath the seabed.

“A professor from Universiti Malaya told me that I may have lost a million from the crooked jetty, but it will require another million to grow back the coral under the seabed.

“This made me wake up. I think this is the first crooked jetty in Malaysia and this is how we emphasise sustainability to our children,” said Tan.

YBD Dive Centre is one of few diving schools that offers state of the art facilities such as Enriched Air (Nitrox), Deep Training Pool, Catamaran Dive Vessel and many more.

According to Tan, students at the YBD Dive Centre are required to plant a coral at the seabed before graduating.

“It is compulsory and by doing that, we can preserve our marine life and have a better future for the next generation,” added Tan.

Hotel construction, which costs about RM400mil, began in 2017 and was fully completed in April, 2024.

The Perhentian Marriott Resort & Spa features 200 rooms, 17 villas, three royal villas and various world-class amenities, such as gourmet dining options, a state-of-the-art spa, and a variety of recreational facilities.

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