Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The Magic Library – The New Chapter @ MyTown Shopping Centre, Kuala Lumpur ( 19 July ~ 26 August 2018 )


Time to protect biodiversity

The DaMaI Rainforest Complex, which comprises the Danum Valley, Maliau Basin and Imbak Canyon (pic), has been nominated as Sabah’s second Unesco World Heritage Site.

KOTA KINABALU: The new state government must take on reforms in managing natural resources and strengthening biodiversity conservation.

Towards this end, Sabah Environmental Trust chief executive officer and founder Dr Rahimatsah Amat spelt out five initiatives that it could take.

This includes having more Unesco World Heritage Site national parks, looking into state marine resources and biodiversity, as well as protecting coastal and marine areas, water catchment areas and wildlife.

“The main aim is to have at least two more of our country’s national parks recognised as Unesco World Heritage Sites.

Secondly, with the success of the Heart of Borneo (HoB) Initiative for terrestrial conservation efforts in Sabah, the state government needs to start looking at its marine resources and biodiversity.

“The Sabah Blue Ocean Initiative (SBOI) is the next big thing for biodiversity conservation in pursuant to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” he said.

The initiative is chaired by Datuk Pang Yuk Ming, the former assistant Tourism, Culture and Environment minister, and a report has been completed and is pending submission to the state Cabinet for endorsement, Dr Rahimatsah said.

On the protection of coastal and marine areas, he said that by 2020, at least 10% of such areas are targeted for conservation.

“Currently, Sabah has about 1.02 million hectares of marine protected areas (MPAs) or about 7.36% of its sovereign waters.

“A total area of 7.44% (1.03 million hectares) has been identified to be considered for protection, thus achieving MPAs exceeding the 10% requirement as specified under Target 11 of the Aichi Targets under the United Nations Convention on Biological Diverstiy,” he said.

He also said that up to 2014, 20 water catchment areas have been identified and mapped, amounting to 2.9 million hectares, but to date, these areas have yet to be approved as part of the catchment management plan.

“Subsequently, it is to be followed by declaring the said areas as water protection areas, water conservation areas, floodplain management areas, or river and shore reserves.

“Without a full-fledged Water Resources Director appointed under Section 12(1) of the Sabah Water Resources Enactment 1998, it will be impossible to administer Section 12(2) and the rest of the legislation.

“The Enactment provides the opportunity to collect charges and royalties (as Payment for Ecosystem Services) and rules can be created for the purpose of collecting these charges or royalties under Section 67(2)(a).

“Such charges and royalties will contribute to the state’s coffers,” Dr Rahimatsah highlighted.

Lastly, globally threatened species from poaching and wildlife trade need urgent attention.

“Over the years, incidents of wildlife poaching in protected areas, forest reserves and marine waters have been on the rise, with several major reports of the killing of elephants, tembadau and other mammals.

“These activities must be stopped immediately, and the need to address wildlife habitats and corridors has to be considered,” he said.

Dr Rahimatsah suggested that agencies such as the Sabah Forestry Department, Sabah Parks, Sabah Wildlife Department, and the Land and Survey Department, among others, could be placed directly under the Environment and Natural Resources Ministry at the state level.

“All these five initiatives need serious commitment from the state to ensure that appropriate attention is given to having the right resources in manpower and finance to manage our natural resources and biodiversity,” he said.
-thestar online.

Shila Amzah “Loving You” World Tour – Genting @ Arena of Stars, Resorts World Genting ( 29 September 2018 )

Singing sensation Shila Amzah is coming back to Arena of Stars this September after having a sold out concert “My Journey World Tour" at the same venue last year.

Shila is one of the most popular contemporary female recording artists in Asia and she is the first Malay artist to break through the Chinese music market. Her Sina Weibo account has more than 2.5 million followers. She is the only Malay artist with the highest Mandarin single sales in Hong Kong, China, and Taiwan and her single achieved 1 million downloads in just two days on Weibo Music.

She has entered numerous singing competitions and was the first runner-up of Bintang Kecil RTM in 2000, first runner-up of One in a Million (season 2), winner of Asia New Singer Competition in 2008 and first runner-up of Anugerah Juara Lagu in 2011 and 2015. Her breakthrough came when she moved to Shanghai, China and won the Asian Wave in 2012 and then second runner-up of I Am a Singer (season 2) in 2014.

Alibaba's Malaysia Week targets China's consumers

Alibaba co-founder and executive chairman Jack Ma.

KUALA LUMPUR: Alibaba Group has launched its "Malaysia Week" online promotion as the company aims to raise the profiles of Malaysia's tourism attractions and its products to Chinese consumers.

The initiative, which will take place from July 6 to 12, will showcase over 50 Malaysian brands across a wide range of product categories.

"The "Malaysia Week" campaign will showcase an array of "must-see", "must-eat" and "must-experience" Malaysian products and tourism across Alibaba's platforms", Alibaba said on Monday.

The promotion is the result of the collaboration between the Malaysian government and Alibaba.

In November last year, Alibaba launched its international eHub in Malaysia under the electronic world trade platform initiative, which the first outside China.

Alibaba has also launched its national office in Bangsar South, Kuala Lumpur on Monday, which was officiated by Alibaba co-founder and executive chairman Jack Ma.
-thestar online.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Direct flights from Hanoi to Penang from July 1

AIRASIA will be launching direct flights from Hanoi to Penang with four flights weekly starting July 1.

State Tourism Development, Heritage, Culture and Arts Committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin said currently, there were seven direct flights weekly from Ho Chi Minh City to Penang, with an average passenger load of 80%.

“Now that we have an additional route for direct flights from Vietnam, we are confident that we will be getting a significant increase of tourists from Vietnam,” he said.

Yeoh had earlier led a Penang delegation to meet 88 Vietnamese travel agents and tour operators during a familiarisation programme in Hanoi last month.
-thestar online.

Perak to reopen Pulau Sembilan by year end after massive clean-up

Tan Kar Hing said the state government is working towards sustainable tourism.
— Picture by Marcus Pheong

IPOH, June 13 — The cluster of islands known as Pulau Sembilan off the coast of Bagan Datuk, Perak is expected to be open to visitors again by end of this year.

The islands have been closed to the public for restoration works since April 2017 due to man-made structures that threatened to wipe out its rich plethora of marine wildlife, including rare plankton that emits a blue glow in the dark along its shorelines.

“The clean up on the islands have been completed. New trees have been replanted. We just need to put up basic infrastructure such as a small jetty,” state Tourism, Culture and Arts committee chairman Tan Kar Hing told Malay Mail during a recent interview.

But he indicated that the state government has learnt its lesson and will be strict in implementing protective measures to prevent further damages to the islands and its rich but fragile marine ecosystem.

“There are seahorses, sharks, turtles, eagles and phytoplankton,” Tan said.

He said the state government is working towards sustainable tourism by limiting the number of visitors to Pulau Sembilan this time and banning the construction of permanent structures such as holiday chalets.

“Visitors wanting to overnight on the islands can only put up tents,” he said.

He also said the state may be adopting the internship programme at Pulau Redang, off the east coast, where undergraduates who visit the island have been helping with maintenance.

Tan said he would be meeting state Ruler Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah to update him on the islands’ progress.

Malay Mail had previously reported that the former state government closed the islands to safeguard it from degradation.

The islands had been advertised as a “must visit” destination during the Visit Perak Year 2017.

The authorities had then said continuous tourism activities would harm the islands’ main attraction — the rare species of plankton that glow in blue after sunset along the coastlines.
-malay mail.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Tourists interest on Langkawi SkyCab still popular despite February setback

LANGKAWI, June 12 (Bernama) -- More tourists are expected to ride on the Langkawi SkyCab, a cable car system operated by Panorama Langkawi Sdn Bhd here this year, despite an incident when the system stalled last February.

Panorama Langkawi director, Datuk Azizan Noordin said the cable car ride which has become a tourist attraction in the island over the last 15 years, is targeted to receive 1.5 million riders, against 1.2 million recorded last year.

"Based on the number of tourists who came after the incident last February, it appears that there have not been any negative impact and tourists have not been deterred from taking the ride," he said when met after a breaking-of-fast ceremony organised by Panorama Langkawi last night.

In the incident on Feb 18, a total of 1,048 tourists and 78 staff were stranded at the top of the mountain as well as inside the cable cars, after a faulty bearing caused the system to break down. However, all the victims were brought to safely after about seven hours.

He said since the incident, in addition to replacing the faulty parts and cables, thorough maintenance was carried out by the system supplier, Doppelmayr Garaventa Group from Austria.

According to Azizan, who is also the chief executive officer of Langkawi Development Authority (LADA), the parent body to Panorama Langkawi, additional safety features such as telecommunication facilities and safety signage in various languages have also been included.

He said even a day after the incident, about 6,000 people were registered to ride on the cable cars and the figures had continued to be within the same range over the next few months.

"We are also planning to bring in an amusement system as additional attraction to the cable car ride and we will continue to upgrade it to meet the highest safety standards," he said.

Being a product that had attracted the largest bulk of tourists to Langkawi over the last couple of years, he said the Langkawi SkyCab would continue to become the yardstick to gauge tourists interest and to spearhead the promotion of other products in the island.

"Last year, foreign tourists from China, India and the Middle-Eastern countries contributed to 60 per cent of the ridership. We aim to increase this to 70 per cent this year through our continuous promotions," he said.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Tech3 proudly announces contract extension with Hafizh Syahrin for one more year

The French squad is delighted to declare that Hafizh Syahrin will open a new chapter together with Tech3 in 2019. Following his late call to MotoGP this year, the Malaysian youngster delivered an outstanding rookie performance, collecting points from his first ever race in the premier class and showing an extraordinary learning curve. Yet, the 24-year old very talented rider and Tech3 are happy to continue their collaboration with high motivation and ambitious objectives.

“It’s hard for me to say and to believe. First of all, I have to say thank you very much to Hervé for trusting in me and giving me this opportunity to stay with the Tech3 family and at the same time to join the KTM family. I also have to express a huge thank you to my manager Dato' Razlan, who helped me to achieve this dream arriving in the MotoGP class, plus thank you to KTM for believing in Hervé and in me. I will work hard for 2019 and I’ll be better prepared, as this is not as surprising as this season. I’m incredibly happy to get this chance, I even feel close to cry for joy. Thanks to everybody and especially to Hervé and Dato' Razlan for always believing in me.”

Dato’ Razlan RAZALI
SIC Chief Executive Officer
“I’m extremely excited for Hafizh to get this opportunity to ride in MotoGP category for a second year. I must really thank Hervé for the faith that he has in this boy. Hafizh Syahrin’s journey to MotoGP is a fairytale story, it’s something that should be idolized by young Malaysians. When you work hard, when you are patient and focused, you can achieve your dream and that’s exactly what Hafizh is doing. He has attracted a lot of attention, especially from Hervé for this year and his continued faith in him together with KTM, so we appreciate this support from the team very much. As a Malaysian, as a fan, we are incredibly excited, finally, Hafizh will get to ride a factory bike, he’s a factory rider and how often can we say that we have a Malaysian who has a factory ride in MotoGP, so we are very happy and of course we look forward for him to come to Sepang and wearing the new Tech3 KTM colours in 2019.”

Team Manager

“Today is a very special day for me and for the whole Tech3 team! Since Hafizh jumped on our MotoGP bike, it’s been like a dream, every single day, because he’s been very fast and a lot faster than some people were thinking and we’ve been very proud of what he did. I know it was a great achievement for a Malaysian rider to be the first one of his country arriving in the MotoGP class, for his first ever MotoGP race, he scored points and since that day he has been consistently battling for the top rookie spot and apart from that, Hafizh is a very special character. He is a very nice young man, very well educated, very humble, very respectful of everything, hard-working, wanting and wishing to learn a lot, which is what he is doing and a very funny guy, too, a fact I like a lot. Everybody who knows Tech3 a little bit, is aware that I always consider my team my family, I always try to have this family atmosphere in the garage. Hafizh fits in very well and he makes everybody laugh. From almost day one we started to work with him, I wanted to give Hafizh a second year, because year one is important to learn, but the second year is maybe even more important to prove yourself. Clearly, for us all to move to our new project with KTM, where we have the insurance that the four KTM on the grid in 2019 will be the same evolution, it’s going to be a massive boost for Hafizh. He will be on the same machine like Miguel Oliveira, Johann Zarco and Pol Espargaro and this is a great challenge. I’m very proud to take this challenge together with Hafizh, always with the support of Razlan. I think we got the best rider, we could have picked for our 2019 line-up and I’m quite sure that Miguel Oliveira and Hafizh Syahrin will be a strong package of new talented and ambitious riders. Tonight, we are a happy team, because everything is clear and decided, so welcome for another year, Hafizh!”
-Monster Yamaha Tech3.

Baik Punya Concert 4D @ Istana Budaya, Kuala Lumpur ( 26 ~ 28 Julai 2018 )

Baik Punya Concert 4D menampilkan empat sahabat berbakat iaitu Dato’ Awie, Dato’ Afdlin Shauki, Dato’ AC Mizal dan Dato’ Hans Isaac. Ya, 4Dato’ di dalam 4Dimensi! Tiada kena-mengena dengan nombor ekor, harap maklum.

Chemistry di antara 4 orang seniman ini amat kuat dan sentiasa berjaya menghiburkan penonton. Kejayaan filem Baik Punya Cilok, Cuci, Buli, serta pertunjukan teater Cuci The Musical, dan Teater Baik Punya Cilok adalah bukti bahawa persahabatan mereka bukan saja menjadi di dunia luar malah di layar filem dan juga di atas pentas.

Baik Punya Concert 4D bukan sahaja akan menonjolkan nyanyian, malah Baik Punya Concert 4D mempunyai naratifnya yang tersendiri tentang perjalanan hidup empat sahabat ini yang akan dipersembahkan dalam sketsa-sketsa pendek.

Nyanyian Dato’ Awie, Dato’ Afdlin Shauki, Dato’ AC Mizal dan Dato’ Hans Isaac akan diiringi oleh sebuah kumpulan muzik yang diterajui pengarah muzikal terkemuka, Datuk Acis.

Penceritaan Baik Punya Concert 4D pula akan dibantu oleh seorang pelipur lara etnik yang tidak asing lagi iaitu
Encik Kamrul Hussin (dari kumpulan muzik tradisional Geng Wak Long).

Senarai lagu yang akan dipersembahkan pasti akan membuat penonton turut menyanyi, menari dan bersama menggegarkan panggung Istana Budaya. Dari lagu original muzikal Cuci dan filem Baik Punya Cilok ke lagu-lagu evergreen sehinggalah ke lagu-lagu popular terkini. Baik Punya Concert 4D pasti akan membawa anda melangkaui jalan kenangan zaman-berzaman.

Baik Punya Concert 4D akan menemui penonton pada 26 Julai sehingga 28 Julai 2018 pada jam 8.30 malam di Istana Budaya, Kuala Lumpur. Harga tiket bermula dari RM98! Untuk sebarang pertanyaan tentang pakej korporat atau pembelian secara pukal, sila hubungi Tall Order Sdn. Bhd. di talian 03-4253 2241
-AirAsia RedTix.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Increased Connectivity Set To Bring In More Tourists From Australia To Malaysia

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA, 7 JUNE 2018: Malaysia is eyeing more tourists from Australia, with the increased airline connectivity between the two destinations by Malaysia Airlines and Malindo Air recently.

The reinstatement of Malaysia Airlines’ direct flight between Brisbane and Kuala Lumpur which commenced on 6 June sees the airline fly four times per week, with a total of 1,160 seat capacity weekly.

Australians will also have the choice of flying Malindo Air’s newly launched daily flights from Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur via Denpasar, Indonesia, beginning 7 June 2018. It offers 1,125 weekly seats.

With the increased flight capacity, there are now a total of 123 weekly flights offered by three Malaysian airlines (Malaysia Airlines, Malindo Air and AirAsia X) with 37,065 weekly seats. Malaysia is now easily accessible via major Australian cities, namely, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane and Gold Coast.

Tourism Malaysia’s Director General, Datuk Seri Mirza Mohammad Taiyab said, “It is no secret that the Australian market has always been an important market for Malaysia. The addition of these flights by Malaysia Airlines and Malindo Air will certainly help boost our efforts to attract more Australians to Malaysia.”

He added, “I look forward to see greater collaboration by the tour and travel industry operators in Australia and Malaysia and I hope they will take this opportunity to develop attractive packages and promote the flow of tourists between the two countries.”

Last year, Malaysia welcomed 351,232 Australian tourists to Malaysia. This year, the target is to welcome 695,500 Australian tourists.

Malaysia Airlines is celebrating the reinstatement of its Brisbane-Kuala Lumpur flight today in Brisbane with some 60 guests consisting of Malaysia Airlines management team, the Australian tourism industry players and media representatives. The Australian Assistant Minister for Tourism Industry Development, Ms. Meaghan Scanlon, and Director of Tourism Malaysia Sydney office, Mr. Ahmad Esa were also present.

Meanwhile, on 8 June, Tourism Malaysia, represented by Mr. Zulkafli Yahya, Senior Director of International Promotions (Americas, Europe and Oceania), and Malindo Air are hosting a cocktail event in Melbourne for a total of 120 Australian agents, media representatives and corporate guests to celebrate the launch of its new flight.

To promote the new route, Malindo Air is offering passengers who have purchased tickets the opportunity to fly Malindo domestic flights to Langkawi or Penang for free. The sale period is from 4 to 17 June 2018, while the travel period will begin from June 2018 till February 2019.
-Tourism Malaysia.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Malaysia’s zero GST spurs domestic travel this Hari Raya season

Melaka (pictured), Langkawi and Taman Negara popular domestic choices this Hari Raya Aidilfitri

The current tax holiday that Malaysians are enjoying is spurring domestic travel, with inbound agents and hoteliers seeing an uptick in domestic tour package and room bookings for the coming Hari Raya Aidilfitri (June 14-15) holiday.

Demand for travel is partly spurred by cheaper costs of holidaying since the zero-rated goods and services tax(GST), down from six per cent previously, began on June 1 while the sales and services tax has yet to kick in.

Kingston Khoo, director of sales and marketing at Mutiara Taman Negara, said: “We’re seeing a slight pick up on domestic bookings for Hari Raya. Bookings are mainly for FITs and young families. We see more eco-adventure packages being purchased by millennials such as via ferrata adventure near Taman Negara and trekking to the waterfalls.”

Similarly, Eric R Sinnaya, managing director of Langkawi-based Morahols Travel, has recorded a 10 per cent increase in forward bookings from the domestic market. Clients are mainly from the northern region, Kuala Lumpur and the east coast.

S Jayakumar, director, Dayangti Transport & Tours, anticipates a 20 per cent boost in domestic travel. He shared that apartment stays are popular especially with extended families of five to seven people travelling together. Melaka, Johor and Langkawi are among the destinations favoured by his clients.

Iskandar Zulkarnain, director of sales and marketing at The Andaman, A Luxury Collection Resort, Langkawi, is also optimistic about seeing an increase in domestic family stays. The resort has an ongoing local resident package up to December 22 for the Malaysian and Singapore markets, providing a daily F&B credit of RM100 (US$25).
-TTG Asia.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Top 10 Tourist Arrivals To Malaysia - January~December 2017 (By Nationality)

1. Singapore 12,441,713

2. Indonesia 2,796,570

3. China 2,281,666

4. Thailand 1,836,522

5. Brunei 1,660,506

6. India 552,739

7. South Korea 484,528

8. Japan 392,777

Philippines 370,559

10. United Kingdom 358,818

Total worldwide arrivals 25,948,459 (-3.0%)

-Tourism Malaysia.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Eleven to heaven for Miguel Oliveira at Mugello

06/03/2018 - Mugello Circuit, Italy
A thrilling performance at Mugello on Sunday took Miguel Oliveira to his first victory of the season, as he fought his way through the field and clinched the win on the final lap. His Red Bull KTM Ajo teammate Brad Binder also had a great performance, with his sixth position meaning he has taken four consecutive Top 10 finishes so far in 2018.
Oliveira had a masterclass of a start, as he took off from eleventh on the grid but was already up into fifth coming out of the opening corner. By the time the first lap came to an end, he was riding in third. Oliveira would not leave the podium positions from then on, and would battle with first Pasini and Bagnaia, then late on with Baldassarri. Eventually, it was the Portuguese who took the chequered flag first.
Binder had one of his typical fightbacks during the race. From the seventh row of the grid, the South African gained five places on Lap 1 for twelfth. It was not until the tenth lap that he entered the Top 10, and with 6 laps to go he jumped to sixth -a position that he held onto.
With the 25 points earned today, Miguel Oliveira continues in second in the overall standings and cuts the gap to the series leader to 13 points difference. Brad Binder is eighth with 47 points. In the team standings, the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 outfit are first with a 3 point advantage.

Aki Ajo - Team Manager
"It’s been incredible. This victory means a lot to us after a difficult weekend and, in general, after a period of two-three races with difficulties. We have never given up, we have never lost hope, and we knew that better times would come around. This is a very important victory and we are very happy about it. Not only has it been an important race because of Miguel [Oliveira] winning; this has been a key day, in terms of results, for the whole team. Brad [Binder] also had a very good race, coming from far back and finishing sixth.
On Friday and Saturday morning the team had many problems. Eventually, in the afternoon we managed to find something on the bike that made the riders feel more comfortable and, although the positions in qualifying were not what we had hoped for, that was the most important thing. This morning in the warmup, we tried new things and took another step forward. In the end, we found a good setup for the race. Thanks to the riders and the whole team for the great work that they have done."
Results (Race)
1. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 39:42.018
2. Lorenzo Baldassarri (Kalex) +0.184
3. Joan Mir (Kalex) +0.334
4. Francesco Bagnaia (Kalex) +0.484
5. Alex Marquez (Kalex) +3.537
6. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +5.985

Moto2 World Championship Standing 2018
1. Francesco Bagnaia (Kalex) 111 points
2. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 98 points
3. Lorenzo Baldassarri (Kalex) 84 points
4. Alex Marquez (Kalex) 78 points
5. Joan Mir (Kalex) 64 points
8. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 47 points
-Red Bull KTM Ajo Motorsport.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Destini Akef Villa tarikan Langkawi

Di Pulau Langkawi, terdapat banyak hotel dan inap desa (homestay) yang menawarkan pelbagai aktiviti pelancongan menarik kepada pengunjung yang ingin menikmati percutian santai dan menyeronokkan.

Destini Akef Villa merupakan salah satu daripadanya yang sentiasa bersedia memenuhi permintaan pelancong yang inginkan kepuasan ketika bercuti.

Walaupun agak baharu bagi kebanyakan pengunjung yang sudah biasa bercuti di pulau itu, namun ramai pengunjung tempatan dan pelancong asing dari negara-negara Asia Barat, China, Rusia dan Finland memilih Destini Akef Villa sebagai lokasi penginapan.

Pengurusnya, Norazam Othman, berkata, Destini Akef Villa dibuka pada Disember 2016 dengan permulaan sebanyak 20 buah bilik ditawarkan.

“Hanya pada tahun berikutnya barulah kesemua 40 buah bilik dibuka kepada pengunjung. Harga berbeza mengikut jenis bilik, namun kadar sewa bagi bilik yang menempatkan katil single dan queen adalah sama.

“Harga satu malam bagi bilik Deluxe adalah RM195 (single/queen), Super Deluxe (RM235), Superior (RM175, single/queen) dan Super Superior (RM215).

“Antara kemudahan disediakan adalah kolam renang (untuk dewasa dan kanak-kanak), ruang makan, ruang resepsi yang dilengkapi pendingin hawa, kemudahan mesyuarat dan tempat letak kereta. Sarapan turut disediakan kepada pelanggan,” katanya.

Tambah Norazam, pihaknya turut menyediakan pelbagai program pelancongan sekiranya pelancong ingin masa percutian mereka diisi dengan aktiviti lasak dan santai.

“Kami boleh bawa mereka melakukan aktiviti sukan air seperti ski air, selam skuba, bot pisang, papan luncur, layar-layang (parasailing), mengelilingi pantai atau danau dan jelajah pulau ke pulau. Jika pengunjung ingin merasai pengalaman menaiki helikopter, kami juga boleh aturkan perjalanan anda,” katanya.

Berhampiran dengan Destini Akef Villa terdapat Telaga Walk @Chenang yang boleh dikunjungi mereka yang ingin bersantai sambil menikmati angin malam bersama keluarga.

Di lokasi itu, terdapat banyak pilihan restoran yang boleh disinggahi bagi menikmati makan malam. Kedai menjual pelbagai barangan turut disediakan.

Bagi kanak-kanak, sudah tentu kereta berhias cantik dengan lampu warna-warni yang diubah suai seperti basikal ala-ala beca menjadi tumpuan.

“Aktiviti lain yang diadakan adalah menjemput penceramah agama dan artis di kawasan berdekatan bagi memeriahkan lagi suasana Telaga Walk@Chenang,” katanya.
-utusan online.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Menjelajah wilayah Kejora

SEBAHAGIAN peserta yang mengikuti program Day Trip Tourism Kejora
di Kota Tinggi, Johor, baru-baru ini.

KOTA TINGGI 31 Mei - Jika ingin menikmati suasana tenang di perkampungan tradi­sional, mungkin lawatan ke Kota Tinggi ada jawapan yang paling ideal.

Ini kerana Lembaga Kemajuan Johor Tenggara (Kejora) dengan beberapa pihak yang berkaitan kini giat mempromosikan sektor pelancongan di sekitar wilayah kendaliannya, khususnya di tiga perkampungan tradisional iaitu Kampung Linting, Johor Lama dan Panchor, dekat sini.

Menerusi program ‘Day Trip Tourism Kejora’ (DTTK) yang menawarkan pakej berkumpulan, para pelancong boleh menikmati keindahan alam semula jadi, melihat kesan peninggalan sejarah dan pembuatan produk kraf ta­ngan serta menyelami kehidupan masyarakat setempat.

Malah, Kejora memperkenalkan pakej DTTK untuk berkongsi ilmu menerusi sektor pelanco­ngan pendidikan (edu-tourism) ba­gi membuka minda peserta mahupun pengunjung mengenai pelbagai produk yang ditawarkan.

Pembantu Tadbir Bahagian Pelancongan Kejora, Muhammad Hafiz Aziz berkata, para pengunjung akan dibawa menjelajah bermula dari Muzium Nelayan Tanjung Balau, Desaru yang satu-satunya muzium menyimpan dan mempamerkan pelbagai khazanah golo­ngan nelayan tradisional seperti sampan, jaring, pancing dan bubu.

“Kompleks muzium ini mempunyai empat galeri tambahan, iaitu Galeri Geologi, Galeri Keselamatan Laut, Galeri Kapal Karam Desaru dan Galeri Pameran Khas.
“Apabila memasuki kawasan perkampungan tradisional, pengunjung akan dapat menikmati suasana kampung serta ketena­ngan berada di kampung sete­rusnya melihat dan menjejaki sendiri kesan sejarah pemerintahan Kesultanan Melayu Johor suatu ketika dahulu,” katanya kepada Utusan Malaysia, baru-baru ini.

Sambil menikmati suasana kam­pung yang tenang, para pe­ngunjung juga boleh menyaksikan pembuatan pelbagai produk kraf tangan oleh penduduk.

Dalam pada itu, Penolong Pe­ngurus Bahagian Pelancongan Kejora, Sheh Khayul Zahri Sh. Raof berkata, Kejora kini giat mempromosikan produk pelancongan yang terdapat di dalam wilayah­nya menerusi platform media sosial dan aplikasi mudah alih.

Menurutnya, langkah itu seja­jar dengan hasrat kerajaan untuk membangunkan khususnya wilayah Kejora ke arah ekonomi digital.

“Dalam usaha mencapai pres­tasi, penggunaan internet dan pemasaran secara dalam talian berkaitan pelancongan akan men­jadi saluran utama untuk me­masuki pemasaran.

“Biarpun pemasaran digital di­gunakan secara meluas, namun kami masih menyediakan pemasaran secara terbuka kerana masih relevan dalam industri pelancongan,” katanya.
-utusan online.

PATA unveils new executive board

Bottrill (middle in blue tie) is the new chairman of PATA’s executive board

Following its recent annual summit in Gangneung, South Korea, PATA has announced its new executive board, with Chris Bottrill, international director and dean of the Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts at Capilano University in North Vancouver as chair, replacing Sarah Mathews, TripAdvisor’s head of destination marketing Asia-Pacific.

Bottrill joined PATA in 2011 and has participated in a range of roles, including as chair of the Human Capital Development Committee and vice chair of the Sustainability and Social Responsibility Committee since 2014. He has also been a trustee of the PATA Foundation for the past three years.

The new executive board comprises Haji Azizan Noordin, CEO, Langkawi Development Authority; Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, director, Macao Government Tourism Office; Bill Calderwood, managing director, The Ayre Group Consulting; Jon Nathan Denight, president & CEO, Guam Visitors Bureau; Shahid Hamid, executive director, Dhaka Regency Hotel & Resort; Luzi Matzig, chairman, Asian Trails; Benjamin Liao, chairman, Forte Hotel Group; Deepak Raj Joshi, CEO, Nepal Tourism Board; Mohamed Sallauddin Mat Sah, general manager marketing, Malaysia Airports Holdings; and Gerald Perez, managing director, Leading Edge.

Haji Azizan Noordin was also elected as the new vice chairperson, while Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes was elected secretary/treasurer.

In addition, Peter Semone, president & founder – Destination Human Capital, Ireland and Soon-Hwa Wong, CEO – Asia Tourism Consulting, Singapore have been appointed to the executive board as non-voting members.

Abdulla Ghiyas, president – Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators and PATA Face of the Future 2018, also joins the PATA executive board as a non-voting member and observer for a one-year term.
-TTG Asia.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Massive Dubai-like reclamation project planned for Langkawi by Bakun dam's Ting

File photo of Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad signing a plaque in 2011, while Tan Sri Ting Pek Khiing of Upline Hotel and Resort (which went into receivership later) looks on, during the opening of Four Points Hotel in Padang Matsirat, Langkawi. - Bernama

LANGKAWI: After keeping a low profile for the last 16 years, developer Ting Pek Khiing has announced a Dubai-like RM30 billion development project to be built on reclaimed land in Langkawi.

The Langkawi New City project will be located on 81ha of reclaimed land off the west side of the island, reports Bernama.

The project, which will be undertaken by his group of companies, will be launched tomorrow (June 1), he told a media briefing on the project here today. He did not name the companies.

Ting said the project would involve the construction of 30,000 high-end condominium units, commercial centres, berthing facilities for ocean liners and yachts and other facilities.

“Several companies in our group will be involved in the development which is expected to be completed in 10 years’ time, or even earlier,” he said, without disclosing the names of the companies involved.

He told Bernama that the project, which would spur foreign investments in Langkawi, would be the biggest that he ever embarked on since he started his business activities on the island back in 1991.

Ting was reputed to have built a hotel on the island in a record 100 days in preparation for the inaugural Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) exposition in 1991, a feat which caught the attention of then Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The Sarawak-born businessman said he had spent over 20 years on the development plan, claiming that he had already won recognition from developers from France, Russia and South Korea.

“This project is bound to be the biggest ever development of its kind in the northern part of Peninsular Malaysia,” he said.

He said the project’s environmental impact assessment had been conducted, adding that the plan was designed to preserve the beautiful natural surroundings of the area.

“This development would be akin to that in Dubai. This project would get more people to invest and stay here for a longer period, rather than for just one or two days,” he added.

Ting's company Ekran Bhd was awarded the construction contract for the controversial Bakun Dam in 1994, which was opposed by environmentalists and native rights groups. 

The analyst Anil Netto recalls that Bakun's coffer dam collapsed more than 20 times during construction, and the site was said to be jinxed as it was built on native ancestral grave sites. 

Ekran encountered financial problems during the East Asian financial crisis in 1998. It was unable to complete the Bakun dam job, but was reportedly compensated a massive RM950mil by the government.

Ting's Plaza Rakyat project, undertaken by Wembley Industries Holdings Bhd, next to the Pudu Raya bus terminal, also ran into problems, recalls Anil. 

His companies, Ekran and Wembley, were both eventually delisted and ended up in receivership.

Ting himself was declared a bankrupt by the Kuala Lumpur High Court in 2010.

Now, it looks like Ting is set to rise like a phoenix from the ashes.
-thestar online.

MATTA expects GST removal to boost local tourism

MATTA is of the view that air travel to local destinations, such as Langkawi, will be more affordable with the implementation of the 0 GST effective June 1. — filepic

THE Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) welcomes the Federal Government’s decision to have the Goods and Services Tax (GST) reduced from 6% to 0% effective June 1.

Its president, Datuk Tan Kok Liang, said this indirectly granted a “discount” on the cost of local tour and travel.

“The 0% GST is bound to promote spending by both locals and tourists, especially in terms of shopping as well as food and beverage, thus potentially increasing the price appeal of Malaysia as a travel destination.

“Domestic air tickets between the peninsula and Sabah and Sarawak will be more affordable and will augur well for domestic tourism,” he said.

Meanwhile, on Transport Minister Anthony Loke’s call to improve road safety, bring the MH370 episode to a close and scrap the Land Public Transport Commission, Tan said all three issues were closely related to tourism, as safety and security of tourists were paramount in any destination and equally important to local residents.

“We hope the minister will look into specific areas that could spur the growth or transformation of the air, marine, rail and road transportation sectors.

“MATTA would be happy to offer our proposals and we look forward to such meetings, as antiquated laws need to be modernised and current regulations implemented more effectively,” he stressed.

Tan said MATTA was also calling for the abolishment of the Tourism Tax (TTx), which came into effect on Sept 1, 2017.

The TTx imposes a flat rate of RM10 per room night on foreigners staying in hotels or registered private accommodation.

“We welcome tourists to have an enjoyable holiday experience and spend freely on accommodation, food and beverage, tourist attraction and tour excursion, but collecting tax from tourists would be counterproductive.

“MATTA had objected to and expressed concerns over the TTx from day one, as it would impact the tourism industry, particularly price-sensitive tourists and long-haul travellers who spend extended periods in the country,” he pointed out.

Tan added that Malaysia’s tourism sector was trailing behind its neighbours Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines.

Although tourist arrivals to South-East Asian countries had recorded positive growth in 2017 – with a 7.8% increase for Thailand, Singapore (6.2%) and the Philippines (11%) – Malaysia saw a 3% drop with 25.95 million tourists in 2017 compared to 26.76 million in 2016.

“Putting up more barriers may deter tourists from choosing Malaysia as a preferred holiday destination.

“Without the TTx, foreigners would be delighted to come to our country, stay longer and spend more freely,” he added.
-thestar online.