KANGAR, Aug 26 — The Perlis government is looking for private firms that have the expertise to manage several troubled tourism operations in the state.
Menteri Besar Perlis Datuk Seri Azlan Man said the state government lacked the necessary expertise to manage these tourism spots, and therefore, they needed to be handed over to private operators.
“The issue concerning the five tourism centres run inefficiently as highlighted in the 2019 Auditor-General’s Report issued yesterday is something that has been happening for some time.
“It has been problematic even since the administration of the two menteri besars before this, the issue is because the tourism centres are located in a permanent forest reserve and need to comply with relevant (forestry) laws,” he told reporters outside the Perlis State Assembly building here today.
The audit report found that the five tourism centres, the Perlis Grape Farm, Perlis Equine Centre, Perlis Herbal Forest, Bukit Ayer Chalet Phase I to III and Alternative Treatment Centre and Spa and run by the State Agriculture Department, Veterinary Services Department and Forestry Department have not been run efficiently.
Azlan said the problems could perhaps also be traced to poor planning and lack of direction before this.
As such, he felt that such tourism attractions should be left to the private sector to manage and not the state government as they have the know-how and expertise.
He said prior to this, there were two private companies interested in managing the spots but backed out because the state government does not have the authority to grant very long lease terms.