KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has requested that all maintenance and improvement projects at the entry points into the country, including airports and ports, be expedited to accommodate the increase in the arrival of foreign tourists.

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 today.

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

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

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

The prime minister 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 Ministry of Tourism for this (promotion) ...promoting products of 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

Clickable Image
Clickable Image
Clickable Image