LUMUT, 15 Sept 2020:
The Perak government has applied to the Finance Ministry to relax the condition to enable tourists to enjoy duty-free facilities on Pulau Pangkor.
Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu said the current condition – of having to stay for two nights or 48 hours before tourists could enjoy duty-free shopping – was not suitable due to the small size of the island.
“It also does not have many rooms right now. One day is enough for tourists to enjoy the activities available.
“If we set the 48-hour or two-night requirement, the number of tourists will not be high. If we allow 24-hour requirement, it will attract more tourists to come and spend the night,” he told a press conference after attending the Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA) meeting here today.
The 23rd meeting, which was the first NCIA meeting outside Putrajaya, was chaired by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
Pulau Pangkor became a duty-free island effective Jan 1, but the official declaration of the status is expected to be made by the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Nazrin Shah, on a date to be determined later.
Ahmad Faizal said there is no time period given by the Finance Ministry regarding the state government’s application submitted at today’s meeting.
Meanwhile, he said the state government had also submitted a proposal to upgrade the main jetty, cargo jetty and landing zone in Pulau Pangkor with an estimated total cost of RM300 million.
The state government would also work with the NCIA to bring more investment to Perak thus opening up more job opportunities, he said adding that 500,000 tourists visited the island since January.