YAN, Aug 31 — The Kedah state government hopes that the island of Langkawi can be opened under the tourism bubble starting Sept 16 in conjunction with the Malaysia Day celebration.

Kedah Menteri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor said the matter had been discussed with the Langkawi Development Authority, Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture and the National Security Council.

However, he said the opening up of Langkawi was subject to the Kedah State Health Department’s risk assessment and the number of COVID-19 cases on the tourist island.

“The issue now is we want the number of daily cases to go below 10 before we can open (Langkawi),” he told reporters after visiting the Yan Perikatan Nasional (PN) Disaster Operations Centre in Kampung Acheh here today.

He said all the plans were in place to launch the tourism bubble operation on the island, among others by providing four daily ferry trips from the Kuala Kedah Jetty and six from the Kuala Perlis Jetty.

“We have also decided to facilitate 10 daily flights to Langkawi. We have already set everything, only the timing (of when to open) is left,” said Muhammad Sanusi.

Meanwhile, on infrastructure recovery work, especially involving the rural tourism sector in Yan, which was affected by the mud floods on Aug 18, he said the state government was still assessing the matter.

“Many damaged structures cannot be repaired, for example, the chalets near the river. Before offering compensation, it is necessary to determine whether the land has a title, and if there is permission and approval from the Yan District Council.

“This matter is important for safety purposes, it’s not to stop people (from doing business),” he said, adding that there were 14 chalet operators affected in the tragedy which also claimed six lives.


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