ALOR SETAR, Nov 9 (Bernama) -- Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) is planning to build a chain of tourist-friendly factory outlets at several locations next year, said its chairman Tan Sri Annuar Musa.
Among the proposed locations are Langkawi and Bukit Kayu Hitam in Kedah, Rantau Panjang in Kelantan, Melaka and Kuala Lumpur, which are popular tourist destinations.
Annuar said the factory outlets, which to be built on a shopping village concept, would be able to attract tourists who were looking for a variety of products when shopping while being entertained to traditional performances by Malaysia's diverse society.
"As in Langkawi, Bukit Kayu Hitam and Rantau Panjang, all products sold (at the factory outlets) will be tax-free. Prior to this, branded goods were only available at major stores, but we will change the concept to attract tourists.
"We plan to sell more than 100 branded products in addition to having local products on display for tourists," he told Bernama after meeting Kedah Menteri Besar, Datuk Seri Mukhriz Tun Dr Mahathir at Wisma Darul Aman today.
Annuar said he believed the establishment of the factory outlets would also lead to an increase in the number of Bumiputera retailers in future.
In addition, he said Mara also planned to renovate the Mara-owned Langkawi Island Plaza building in Kuah, Langkawi, and turn it into a budget hotel at a cost of RM20 million.
In another development, he said Mara would continue to cooperate with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to resolve the fraud issue in connection with the purchase of properties worth RM65 million in Australia.
Annuar said MACC was still investigating the case to obtain concrete evidence to prosecute those who had committed the fraud.
"Mara has also appointed a panel of external auditors to conduct forensic audit investigation with an allocation of RM2 million. So we are not just keeping quiet about the issue, investigations are ongoing," he said.