KUCHING: Chong Chieng Jen (DAP-Kota Sentosa) raised his doubts about an approved allocation of RM60 million for 13 Key Result Areas (KRAs) projects as announced by Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah in his winding up speech today.
Chong also wondered why the Mulu National Park, which is a world heritage site, was not included in the KRAs, adding that the UNESCO-listed site was underutilised.
“I have paid attention to the 13 KRAs and I didn’t hear any promotions for Mulu Caves. And I think RM60 million is highly insufficient,” he said when seeking a point of clarification from Karim, who was then reading out his winding up speech.
In a response, Karim said Mulu National Park “is definitely a world tourist destination, something which we should be proud of.”
He added: “This is only my tenth day as the minister. But I’m not going to say that we are not going to look into this matter.”
“As to the RM60 million allocated, I can’t really say whether it’s sufficient or not.
"But I will make sure all areas which we should market and sell will be looked into."
Just as Karim was about to proceed with his winding up speech, Irene Chang (DAP-Bukit Assek) sought to be told whether there were any (tourism-related) plans for Sibu since it is now Visit Sibu Year 2017.
Karim told the august House that the budget for the Visit Sibu Year 2017 must have been approved last year.
“That should have been in the budget last year. Like Mulu (as raised by Chong) will be in (the budget) next year.”
Earlier, Karim said among the approved KRAs projects were branding for Sarawak, upgrading of tourism infrastructure and facilities, development of new tourism products, creating fringe events for several iconic events and increasing direct flights. -TheBorneoPost