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Cloud seeding needed in Pahang - March 24, 2019

KUANTAN: Cloud seeding should be conducted to boost water levels at main rivers in Pahang. State Tourism, Environment, Plantation and Biotechnology Committee chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Sharkar Shamsuddin said cloud seeding was necessary due to drop in water levels at some of the main rivers in the state. He said the hot and dry weather had affected Sungai Pahang, Sungai Tembeling, Sungai Jelai, Sungai Semantan and Sungai Kuantan.

Sharkar said water at these rivers was not only used for domestic purpose but also for agriculture as well as to rear freshwater fish in cages. He said as such the federal government should intervene by conducting cloud seeding to restore river water levels. "I will table a complete report at the next state exco meeting on the main rivers' water level and what needs to be done to counter the extended long dry weather including the need for cloud seeding," he said.

The website which shows water levels of several major rivers in the country including Sungai Pahang showed that the main water artery in Pahang had seen a drop of up to three metres due to the hot weather. The Sungai Pahang water level at Paloh Hinai in Pekan stood 5.42m compared to its normal level of 6.5m, while in Maran, the water level now stood at 11.82m (normal 14m), followed by 43.16m in Jerantut (normal 44m) and 23.12m in Temerloh (normal, 26m).

In addition, Sungai Jelai at Lipis had dipped to 53.44m (normal 55m), Sungai Bentong in Bentong was at 90.93m (normal 92m), Sungai Triang in Bera at 30.57m (normal 31m) and Sungai Kuantan in Bukit Kenau was at 16.18m (17m). NST

Tour operators urged to keep track of haze situation : March 18, 2019

PUTRAJAYA: Tour operators are being urged to keep tabs on the haze situation and provide face masks if necessary. Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi, who made the call today, also urging everybody, including visitors, to keep themselves updated on the Malaysian Air Pollutant Index at (Apims). “The public, especially children, senior citizens and those with health problems, are advised to wear face masks and limit their involvement in outdoor activities,” Mohamaddin said the ministry was keeping a close watch of the situation, especially at tourist attractions, including Banting, Selangor and Rompin, Pahang. “Banting has recorded unhealthy API (Air Pollutant Index) at 104 and Rompin at 176 as of 3 pm (on Monday).” Apims categorises API reading of between 0-50 as good, 51-100 as moderate, 101-200 as “unhealthy”, 201-300 as very unhealthy, and 300 and above as hazardous.

Sultan Abdullah a 'people-centric ruler' : January 13, 2019

KUANTAN: Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah is a ruler who cares so much for his subjects that he is willing to set aside protocol to listen to and help them. Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Fuziah Salleh said this was because the sixth Pahang Sultan prioritised the people’s welfare. The Kuantan member of parliament said Sultan Abdullah and his wife, Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah, were always the first to visit disaster victims.

She said Sultan Abdullah was always in the people’s hearts due to his down-to-earth nature. “If the people of Pahang are asked about whenever a disaster like floods or fire occur, they will definitely say that his majesty (Sultan Abdullah) is the first to visit the people and ask how they are doing,” she told the New Straits Times today. “This attitude has always been with his majesty since young until he became Tengku Mahkota Pahang and until today.” Fuziah, whose portfolio is religious affairs, was welcoming the proclamation that Sultan Abdullah would succeed his father, Paduka Ayahanda Sultan Ahmad Shah.

She prayed for the continued prosperity of Pahang under Sultan Abdullah. Meanwhile, state Tourism, Environment and Plantation Committee chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Sharkar Shamsuddin said he had confidence in Sultan Abdullah’s ability and vast experience to rule Pahang. The Lanchang assemblyman said the sultan was trained since childhood by Paduka Ayahanda Sultan Ahmad Shah and had wide experience in state administration.

“When Sultan Ahmad Shah was appointed the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tengku Abdullah since a young age was appointed Regent (of Pahang) to administer the state. “From there, one can see his majesty’s (Sultan Abdullah) maturity in carrying out his duties and responsibility the best he can,” he said. Sharkar also praised the Pahang Malay Sultanate as it had never been involved in any controversy and had the wisdom to differentiate between the powers of the ruler and the executive.

Visit Malaysia 2020, Not by numbers alone - February 13, 2019

MALAYSIA Tourism Promotion Board, or Tourism Malaysia, has big plans. In 2020, it was originally planning to bring in 36 million international tourists and RM168 billion in tourist receipts. Are we branding and marketing the country rightly? There are about 200 countries vying for the tourist dollar. Taglines do work for some countries, but is “Malaysia, Truly Asia” pulling in the people? According to Tourism Malaysia, it is. They argue the “Malaysia, Truly Asia” tagline has positioned Malaysia as a “destination of diversity, with the country showcasing a kaleidoscope of customs, religions, traditions, festivals, heritage, arts and crafts, and cuisines of the Malays, Chinese, Indians, and various ethnic groups”.

But is the tagline doing the trick? Numbers may have the answer. In 2017, 25.9 million tourists visited Malaysia contributing to tourist receipts of RM82.2 billion. Last year’s first nine months’ data of 19.4 million tourist arrivals and tourist receipts of RM61.9 billion point to a possible decline, posing a tremendous challenge for Malaysia to reach Visit Malaysia 2020’s target of 36 million tourist arrivals (now revised down to 30 million) and tourist receipts of RM168 billion (now revised down to RM100 billion).

The tagline, “Malaysia, Truly Asia,” may not be working as it did before. Looks like Tourism Malaysia has lots of work to do to get the numbers up. In 2016, tourism contributed RM73.3 billion to the country’s gross national income, making it the third highest contributor. Marketing Malaysia —or any other country — is all about branding our authenticity. When people think of a country they think of something special, something very unique.

What defines Malaysia? What is the national character of the country? Nation branding experts tell us that we must have two things when we market a country. One, there must be a strategy. Two, those who are charged with the promotion strategy must be able to marshal the people behind it. The first may be easier to do than the second, but the two must be there for a country marketing strategy to succeed. The wisdom behind the latter is to get all Malaysians to act in a way consistent with the national strategy. All we need is one misalignment, and our reputation as a nation will go south.

The errant behaviour of many of our taxi drivers is a case in point. In fact, in 2015, placed our taxi drivers on top of the list of the 10 worst taxi drivers in the world. Malaysia can do without such infamy. Add to this, statistics on road rage, snatch thefts and other errant ways of ours then you will not look elsewhere for the reasons behind the declining numbers. In this context, it may not be out of place to engage in some introspection of a national kind.

Who are we really? Would our individual conduct find a happy mention in the postcards the 26 million tourists write home? Would they speak highly of our outlook? National or otherwise? And about our attitude towards others? Do we hasten to help others in trouble? Do we treat immigrants like we do the tourists who bring us the dollars? Make no mistake. Our national character does influence tourism. And the link is not tenuous.

Source : NST

E-brochure to boost tourism : December 31, 2019

KUANTAN: The publication of “Salam Pantai Timur Highlights 2019” electronic brochure will help boost the tourism industry, including highlighting the latest products in Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan. Tourism Malaysia (East Coast region) director Dr Zaliha Zainuddin said links to the publication, accessible on Tourism Malaysia’s east coast region Facebook site, would allow tourists to decide on their vacation plans for the year. “This move is to enhance the initiative of promoting tourism in line with technological advances. There will be monthly updates on the Facebook site.

“The content also covers the dates of tourism events so visitors can make choices on selecting the dates and events and plan their trips,” she said after officiating the East Coast Region Tourism Highlights (ECRTH) 2018/2019 here. Also present was Pahang Tourism, Arts and Culture director Datuk Idros Yahya.

In citing Pahang as an example, Zaliha said the Royal Pahang Billfish International Challenge in Cherating and Tioman Island would be featured in the electronic brochure and Facebook site, allowing both foreign and local fishing enthusiasts to book the dates. She said tourism authorities in the east coast gathered travel industry players to identify and update existing products and to improve weaknesses in the industry. Meanwhile, Idros said works on upgrading the suspension bridge at Taman Negara in Kuala Tahan, Jerantut, would be completed within three years.

He said the government provided an allocation of RM4.2mil for the bridge which would have a new route over a longer distance. “The current route is 550m-long and has been recognised as the world’s longest suspension bridge. When completed, it may reach between 750m and 950m,” said Idros. The additional distance was to enable visitors to appreciate the beauty of Taman Negara and to give them an experience that they would not find elsewhere, he said, adding that upgrading work was also done without felling trees to protect and preserve the environment. – Bernama


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