Langkawi to be promoted as preferred Muslim destination, Dewan Rakyat told


KUALA LUMPUR: Langkawi is being positioned as a preferred Muslim destination with an emphasis on family-friendly and spiritual tourism, says the Deputy Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister.

Khairul Firdaus Akbar Khan told the Dewan Rakyat on Monday (June 24) that this would help enhance Langkawi's competitiveness among regional islands for the upcoming Visit Malaysia Year 2026.

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"We recognise that Langkawi may face challenges competing with other islands in the region, so the ministry's strategy is to promote the unique attractions of different islands, ensuring each has distinctive tourism characteristics," he said.

Teresa Kok (PH-Seputeh) asked if tourists wearing shorts and drinking alcohol would face problems from the authorities on Langkawi.

"The situation is under control and quite good. I urge that we do not highlight matters that are not truly serious in our country," Khairul Firdaus replied.

Datuk Mohd Suhaimi Abdullah (PN-Langkawi) then raised concerns about the cleanliness of Langkawi's waters, particularly around Bukit Malut.

"The problem now is that the sea is dirty. Those who go out to watch the sunset will notice that the pollution is out of control.

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"I urge the (government) to focus on cleaning the sea. I am also unsure which ministry is responsible for this," he said.

Khairul Firdaus replied: "We have never neglected any state. Our Minister (Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing) has directed us to elevate Langkawi as one of the top islands in our country."

He said a volunteer programme could be activated under the ministry to help clean up the beaches.

Last year, Tiong raised concerns about non-Muslim tourists being harassed in Langkawi.

Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor denied Tiong's claims, stating that non-Muslims are allowed to wear shorts and drink alcohol in Langkawi.

Khairul Firdaus also told the Dewan Rakyat that, as of April, tourist arrivals in Malaysia reached 7.56 million, up from 5.93 million during the same period last year.

"This clearly shows that the strategies we have implemented are having a positive impact," he added.

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