Published on : Thursday, February 2, 2017
Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) President Datuk Hj Hamzah Rahmat is saddened with the recent boat tragedy, and regrets the unnecessary and untimely comments made by various quarters that aggravated the situation instead of alleviating it.
Hamzah said “The proper step to take is for the main government agency in charge to conduct a thorough investigation. The Marine Department of Malaysia, in collaboration with Sabah Ports and Harbour Department, has set up a special taskforce to investigate the tragedy involving the capsized catamaran off Pulau Mengalum”.
“Until details of the investigation is made known, all possible reasons remain speculative, which would hurt the victims and their families even more. Our focus should be on search and rescue of the remaining victims and prevent such incidences from recurring. Kota Kinabalu City Hall had dismantled part of the jetty used by the ill-fated catamaran. It was built by Malaysian Fisheries Development Board without City Hall’s approval.”
“Anyone painting tour operators with a broad brush would be missing the forest for the trees. Tour operators essentially package a range of services provided by others,such as airline, train, bus, cruise, boat, hotel, restaurant and theme park operators.They are required to attend the Travel and Tours Enhancement Course in order to renew their company licence with the Ministry of Tourism and Culture. The module for ‘Safety and Security of Tourists’ covers hazard identification, risk control and assessment. They are aware a trip up a mountain is riskier than travelling on an expressway, but this does not mean they should recommend tourists to avoid Genting or Cameron Highland. Likewise, they should not be held accountable should a plane crashed or a train derailed.”