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LUMUT, July 11 — The state government needs to seek a special formula to continuously assist tourism operators in Pulau Pangkor as the sector has been affected for so long due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pangkor assemblyman Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir said giving one-off aid is not suitable currently and a special long term plan is required to help the sliding sector.
“I have sought the help of the state government for continuous aid such as rehabilitation assistance when the sector reopens.
“I have also heard complaints by traders and hawkers and I will present these grievances as before this, the government had announced giving moratorium but in the context of shops, perhaps the rent could be lowered to ease their burden,” he said.
He was speaking in a media conference after launching the Pangkor Island Care Programme organised by the Pangkor Island Hotel and Resort Development Association in Pulau Pangkor here today.
Four hundred employees from 53 hotels and homestays in Pulau Pangkor received contributions of essential food items to help lighten their burden.
In this regard, Zambry said he had also proposed to the state government that the vaccination process in Pulau Pangkor should speed up to achieve herd immunity and thus enabling the faster reopening of the tourism sector which a major sector the people in Pulau Pangkor depended on.
“I have informed the Tourism Exco on the herd immunity plan on the island as achieving herd immunity would itself enable tourism to reopen on the island,” he said.
Meanwhile, Pangkor Island Hotel and Resort Development Association chairman, Mohd Zamzuri Suid, 52, said more than 300 hotel and resort workers in Pulau Pangkor have to be terminated after the island resort was closed to tourists following the implementation Movement Control Order (MCO) this year.
Mohd Zamzuri said many islanders have lost their jobs as tourism is the mainstay of the duty-free island.
"Hotels have to let go these workers because they could not pay their salaries due to the absence of tourists which caused hotels to suffer much losses,” he said.
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