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Zero income for Taman Negara tour guides due to Covid-19 : April 1, 2020

JERANTUT: Licensed tourist guides at Taman Negara, one of the world's oldest tropical rainforests, are experiencing a sudden loss of income after the park closed its doors due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Taman Negara Nature Tour Guide Association president Mohamad Anas Zainudin said 170 tour guides, who rely heavily on tourist arrival to the national park, have now lost their main source of income. He said the tour guides here solely earn a living by taking up jobs provided by tour agents, resort operators and Gunung Tahan mountain guides.

"Every year, our income will drop between November and February due to the monsoon season before tourist arrivals pick up again in late February. The peak season is between June and September when a tourist from European countries start to visit the national park. "However, due to Covid-19 things look bleak for the tourism industry here and tourist guides are now facing hardship. We are usually well-prepared for the monsoon season but the Covid-19 outbreak has caught us by surprise. "I hope something is done to provide assistance to the tour guides who have always been on the frontline to promote tourism activities. We have been always working hard to promote tourism and now I hope someone will come to assist us," he said.

Meanwhile, Anas said he has been forced to fish at a nearby river to put food on the table while some of his friends have been forced to borrow money from relatives and friends to provide food for their families. "Everyone is facing tough times....we have no other options or opportunity to take up other jobs. Most of the villagers here work as tourist guides and we hope the authorities will help by providing some relief till we can return to work," he said. He said the 170 tourist guides here were those operating at Taman Negara Kuala Tahan, Taman Negara Sungai Relau Merapoh and Kuala Gandah National Elephant Conservation Centre in Lanchang, Temerloh. Source : NST

China firms contribute 50k face masks to Pahang : March 29, 2020

KUANTAN: Three companies from China operating near Gebeng here contributed some 50,000 disposable surgical masks to the state government today to help in the battle against Covid-19. Beibu Gulf Holding (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, Jianhui Paper (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd and Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park (MCKIP) distributed the boxes to the state government at Wisma Sri Pahang and also to the State Disaster Operation Controlling Centre.

Beibu Gulf Holding (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd executive deputy general manager Lu Yong said when the Covid-19 outbreak hit China, Malaysia provided strong support and continuously distributed aid to the country. "Since the situation in China has improved and Malaysia is starting to see an increasing number of Covid-19 cases, we want to assist the people and the Pahang government. This is to display our solidarity with Malaysia. "The close Malaysia-China relationship has allowed MCKIP along with several organizations from China to contribute the face masks to the state government," he said in a statement after handing the contribution to Pahang state secretary Datuk Seri Dr. Sallehuddin Ishak today.

Yong said to overcome the shortage of face masks, China will send the supplies in stages to Pahang. He said due to the Covid-19 pandemic in Malaysia, Beibu Gulf Holding (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd and Jianhui Paper Kuantan (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd have started to implement restrictions on the entry and exit of its staff, and also at various international logistics routes under the Movement Control Order (MCO). Beibu Gulf International Port Group is a multinational company ranked among the top 500 in China. It has invested some RM7.5 billion in several projects including the MCKIP, Kuantan Port and Alliance Steel (M) Sdn Bhd in Pahang.

Famous Teluk Cempedak beach deserted : March 22, 2020

KUANTAN: The usually bustling Teluk Cempedak beach here is eerily deserted these days with no visitors and empty parking bays. The popular beach will usually be brimming with visitors, with large crowds during the weekends and school holidays. However, following the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO) on March 18 to curb the spread of Covid-19, and the "partial lockdown" of selected districts in Pahang yesterday, the famous beach that was once buzzing with life is now almost completely devoid of people. A handful of people were spotted at several fast-food outlets near the beach, but they left immediately after packing food. A restaurant helper said the beach area has never been this quiet. The three fast food outlets in the vicinity were always packed to the brim with patrons.

"The beach will be lively with activities especially during school holidays....there will be superhero and Disney mascots, children playing bubble balloons, people resting on the beach, stage shows and people swimming. Now the entire stretch is empty. "Business has been slow for fast-food outlets. There were some visitors during the first two days but now people have chosen to stay away," he said, adding the Kuantan Municipal Council(MPK) enforcement team regularly patrolled the area.

Meanwhile, Kuantan Municipal Council (MPK) public relations officer Norkamawati Kamal said besides Teluk Cempedak; Cherating, Balok and Batu Hitam beach are no-go zones during the 14-day MCO which ends March 31. She said banners had been put up in the area to remind visitors about MCO and MPK’s enforcement team patrolled the area regularly to ensure people adhered to orders. Source: NST

Ferry services suspended; Tioman island closed to outsiders : March 24, 2020

 

ROMPIN: Ferry services to Pulau Tioman has been temporarily suspended until March 31 in line with the Movement Control Order (MCO) to tackle the spread of Covid-19. Tioman assemblyman Datuk Seri Mohd Johari Hussain said ferry services from both the Mersing jetty in Johor and Tanjung Gemok jetty here have been stopped to ensure outsiders, including tourists, would not enter the island. "Ferry services from both the jetties have been stopped so no one is allowed to go to the island. We have advised those living at several villages on the island to remain at home and not leave the island to the mainland on the speedboat," he said today.

Johari, who is also the state Youth and Sports Committee chairman, assured that some 3,600 villagers living on the island have a sufficient supply of food and essentials, and will not face shortages. He said all the forward bases on the island have been fully-stocked with sufficient food supplies and other necessities. "The state government has adopted preparations similar to those used when facing the monsoon season. Food items are kept at the forward bases so people on the island will not be required to travel out. "Residents at six villages, namely Kampung Tekek, Salang, Juara, Mukut, Genting, and Paya have enough supplies and if they face shortages, arrangements will be made to send more supplies. The Village Security and Development Committee (JKKK) along with the police will monitor the situation," he said.

Meanwhile, Johari said the one-off cash assistance of RM150 and food items like rice, flour, sugar and others worth RM50 for those affected by the Covid-19 pandemic in the Rompin parliamentary constituency was distributed today. He said some 1,000 individuals from three constituencies namely Tioman, Muadzam Shah, and Bukit Ibam received the aid. Yesterday, the Pahang government announced special financial aid, including one-off cash assistance of RM150, to help those who suffered a loss in income due to Covid-19 in the state. Source: NST 

Popular beaches among tourist destinations in Pahang to be closed : March 17, 2020

KUANTAN: All famous beaches here will be no-go zones during the two-week restriction of movement order beginning tomorrow. Kuantan Municipal Council (MPK) public relations officer Norkamawati Kamal said Cherating, Teluk Cempedak, Balok and Batu Hitam are among the tourist destinations here that will be closed until March 31. She said besides staying away from the beaches, visitors are also advised not to go to the Teruntum Mini Zoo, Sungai Lembing, Serambi Teruntum and Balok recreational area. “We do not want the public to frequent the beaches or other areas, or gather in groups. MPK’s enforcement team will patrol the area regularly to ensure people adhere to the orders. “The Pahang Urban Transformation Centres (UTC) in the town centre and pasar malam (night market) at areas under the MPK’s jurisdiction will also not operate until March 31,” she said in a statement today. She urged the public to adhere to the order and help curb the Covid-19 outbreak. Call MPK’s Public Relations and Corporate Section at 09-512 1555 or visit MPK’s website at www.mpk.gov.my for further queries. Source: NST

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