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Get real and go to the ground

Pantai Cenang

By CY Ming

IT is disturbing to read a report that the Langkawi Tourism Association (LTA) had to lodge a police report over a stalled road project.

The association must have lost faith with the local authorities and had to make a police report over a non-criminal matter, or was there a criminal breach of trust?

While I was in Langkawi for three weeks tourism training conducted in a leading resort at Pantai Tengah in October, I often walked to Pantai Cenang for dinner.

I suspected there was no urgency to complete the road-widening project. It has now been confirmed, with no end in sight despite the many meetings the LTA had with relevant government agencies and project contractors.

What is happening at Pantai Cenang is a reflection on the poor state of affairs on the island. If a road-widening project cannot be resolved, and fallen overhead cables and trees were left unattended on the sidewalk, whatever Langkawi Tourism Blueprint there is was no more than a ‘syiok sendiri’ exercise.

The local authorities in Langkawi should work closely with the private sector and bodies such as the LTA to develop the island, which has so much to offer to visitors but I will not be back for a long time.

Whatever Key Performance Indicators used by the local authorities to trumpet their success can be thrown out of the window if feedbacks are negative by local tourism industry players.

It would be a shame if LTA had to send a memorandum to the Prime Minister as a last resort asking for his intervention.

The matter may be trivial at the highest level but it is severely impacting businesses in Pantai Cenang and tourism in Langkawi.

*The views expressed here are the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Times (TMT).

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