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New Straits Times 16 April 2001

Boost for Langkawi

By K. Bala

LANGKAWI, Sun. - A 20-point programme with features taken from cities like Tokyo will be implemented to give true meaning to this island's recent status as a municipal council-tourism city, Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Syed Razak Syed Zain said today.

He said the new-look features outlined in a master plan will see Langkawi becoming a developed city within the next 10 years. It will have modern, quality amenities and services to resemble developed cities like Tokyo and Hawaii.

"The island is already blessed with greenery, beaches and other natural attractions.

"The infusion of modern city amenities and features including the on-going cable car project and Menara Intan will blend with the natural attractions without any damage to the environment," he told reporters after launching the American Express Langkawi Heritage Trail at Taman Lagenda.

Among the features of the 20-point programme are the relocation of motor workshops to designated areas, building clean and modern food outlets and stalls.

He said some of the existing stalls would be re-built or relocated to new attractive premises. The operators of these outlets will also be given training to constantly keep their stalls clean and attractive.

Earlier, when launching the heritage trail, he stressed that the authorities have ensured that the development of Langkawi "takes place judiciously with emphasis on the preservation of its pristine environment like mangroves, beaches and the unique smaller islands".

Syed Razak said the judicious care of the environment was of utmost importance in the efforts to make Langkawi a world class destination. He said as there was intense competition for the tourist market, the Government and private sector could not afford to to be lax in the battle to woo tourists.

Earlier, American Express Country manager Chan Yuen Kiong said the latest project was the fifth heritage trail project in Malaysia fully sponsored by the American Express Foundation.

As the world's largest travel company, he said, the company had a vested interest in cultivating an appreciation of heritage as a motivator for tourism. The project is a self discovery trail which introduces visitors to the island's history, heritage and legends through informative signboards and brochures in Bahasa Malaysia and English.


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