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Tour guides, undergrads benefit from Pahang government initiatives : April 8, 2020

KUANTAN: Tour guides and undergraduates from Pahang are among the recipients of nine new initiatives worth RM2.1 million by the state government in its efforts to assist those affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail said the state government had set aside RM63,900 for tour guides whose livelihoods have been affected by the pandemic. “426 individuals comprising Taman Negara nature tour guides, tour guides and Taman Negara tour boat operators will each receive RM100 cash along with essential items worth RM50.

“Pahang-born undergraduates who remain at their campus hostels due to the Movement Control Order (MCO) will each receive RM150 cash. A total of RM97,500 has been set aside for 650 recipients,” he said in a statement today. Wan Rosdy said the state government had agreed to distribute 21,000 rice packets involving a cost of RM304,500 to all 14 parliamentary constituencies (1,500 recipients each) in Pahang to be distributed to deserving individuals, here. He said families under quarantine at home as patients-under-surveillance (PUS) for Covid-19 would receive essential items worth RM50 and some RM175,000 had been allocated for 3,500 head of families under the Ziarah Prihatin programme. “For those in areas where the MCO has been tightened and facing difficulties to obtain food supplies, essential items worth RM200 will be distributed to some 200 head of families at each district in Pahang.

“The Disaster Operation Control Centre at each district will receive RM5,000 to supply and distribute these items to the heads of the families. “3,500 settlers under the Felda Development and Security Committee and 3,100 recipients under the New Village Security and Development Committee will each receive RM100 cash and items worth RM50.” Wan Rosdy said the state government would also contribute RM30,000 to help e-hailing micro-entrepreneurs especially in the state capital who were badly affected by the MCO. Meanwhile, he said some 1,027 imam in Pahang will receive an early payment of RM500 each starting April 9 which is part of the RM1,000 one-off special payment announced during the state budget last year.

Pahang introduces online Ramadan bazaar portal : April 8, 2020

KUANTAN: No Ramadan bazaars, no problem.

After deciding to cancel the annual Ramadan bazaars this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pahang government has initiated an online Ramadan bazaar portal called "PahangMart" to assist traders and customers during the upcoming fasting month. Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail said the new online Ramadan bazaar portal would serve as an alternative for traders to promote their breaking of fast mouth-watering delicacies and allow customers to place their orders with just a single click. He said the PahangMart portal would display a list of Ramadan bazaars throughout the state along with the "stalls" operating in the areas.

“Images of food items sold by traders will be displayed to make it easy for customers to make their choice before placing orders. Delivery services (runner) is provided. “So besides the existing food delivery service riders, PahangMart will also provide a platform for delivery riders and those interested to take up the job (as delivery riders) can contact PahangGo for further details," he said, adding that PahangMart would also include the names of all the supermarkets in Pahang along with the goods which they have on offer. Wan Rosdy said he hoped that the initiative would not only help people purchase food items for their breaking of fast and essentials from the bazaars but also pave the way for traders and hawkers to continue doing business during these tough times. Meanwhile, Wan Rosdy said the move to cancel the Ramadan bazaars at all 11 districts in Pahang was to help curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and heed the advice of Health director-general Datuk Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah which is to avoid mass gatherings for the next six months to a year. He said they had to call off Ramadan bazaars at 94 locations in Pahang which involves some 4,639 traders.

This is based on the records obtained last year from all 11 local authorities and the Tioman Development Authority. Wan Rosdy said the move to introduce PahangMart was made following concerns expressed by traders who needed to get by during these trying times. It is learned that Ramadan bazaar traders in Pahang will be required to register with the portal before their services can be displayed on PahangMart, which will be part of the existing PahangGo mobile application. Source-NST

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

127 foreign tourists decide to remain in Pahang : April 7, 2020

KUANTAN: A total of 127 foreign tourists have decided to remain in popular tourist destinations in Pahang following the spread of COVID-19 in their respective countries. Pahang police chief Datuk Abd Jalil Hassan said they included 85 people in Tioman Island and 42 in Cameron Highlands. “All of them, aged between 20 and 80, are from the United States, China, Spain, Italy, France and the United Kingdom. “They have been in the resorts before the MCO was enforced and it is learnt that the Immigration Department has been informed of the situation and it is ready to assist them,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Hasbullah said a total of 7,000 Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) personnel have been deployed to assist the Royal Malaysia Police in enforcing the second phase of the Movement Control Order (MCO) from April 1. He said during the first phase of the MCO from March 18 to 31, between 5,000 and 6,000 MAF personnel had been mobilized. He said the number was increased following stricter rules enforced for the second phase of the MCO.

“In addition to assisting the MCO operations through roadblocks, some 5,000 personnel are tasked with maintaining security and order in the country’s borders,” he told reporters. Ahmad Hasbullah said the MAF also helped in the enforcement of enhanced MCO in Simpang Renggam, Johor; Sungai Lui, Selangor and Menara City One in Kuala Lumpur by mobilising 20 personnel at one time. “We are also assisting in monitoring the delivery of essential items including food to the interior parts of Sabah and Sarawak from last Sunday and this will continue until Friday,” he said. Ahmad Hasbullah also said there had been no COVID-19 case among the MAF personnel. -- Bernama

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.

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