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Hear tour guides out, Sabah DAP urges tourism ministry

 | July 17, 2017

Sabah DAP chairman Stephen Wong says the state office of the federal tourism ministry should find a win-win solution to the tour guides' concerns.

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KOTA KINABALU: Sabah DAP has urged the state office of the federal tourism and culture ministry not to suppress the local tour guides who protested against allegedly unlicensed guides at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) last Sunday.

“It is unnecessary for the ministry to take such severe action against local tour guides who just wanted to voice out their problems as well as difficulties.

“Instead, the ministry should meet these tour guides and their leaders at the STGA (Sabah Tour Guides Association) to find a win-win solution to resolve this issue,” Sabah DAP chairman Stephen Wong said in a statement today.

Wong added that freedom of assembly is safeguarded in the constitution.

“Therefore I urge the ministry to listen to their voices and address the real issue instead of ignoring their problems and sweeping them under the carpet.”

In the incident, local tour guides reportedly staged a protest at the airport against tour guides said to be operating without a licence.

The protest was said to have caused the guides to flee and tourists from China to be stranded for about two hours.

Wong said there were demands and issues raised by local tour guides regarding foreign tour guides who are purportedly working illegally in Malaysia.

“This is a serious issue.

“I hope that the government will look into these claims and sit down with the involved players to find a way out for this issue.”

The Sandakan MP said suppressing the voices of the local tour guides by revoking their licences without listening to them was not a reasonable move.

“It is totally uncalled for. It further shows that our government is suppressive and ignorant,” he said.

“Nonetheless, tourism is a dynamic industry which creates billions’ worth of production value for Sabahans.

“I think this wealth and opportunity should be shared with more local people so that they can enjoy a better life.

“I hope that this issue will not jeopardise any industry players including local tour guides as well as the entire tourism industry.”


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