PETALING JAYA: The annual Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (Lima) exhibition may be run by different organisers next year.
Quoting an unnamed source, the New Straits Times (NST) reported the attraction of the region’s premier maritime and aerospace exhibition had somewhat deteriorated over the years, prompting the Defence Ministry to call for a tender.
The source had also alleged that the previous organisers, Lima HW, had reported loses each year despite growth in participation.
“The ministry wasn’t happy with the media coverage of Lima, believing that there could have been so much more,” said a source.
Sources mentioned that several companies with extensive experience in organising exhibitions in the scale of Lima had tendered their proposals, including an organiser of a defence exhibition in Europe and another that organises a major show in the country.
These companies were also flown to Langkawi to get a better understanding of the logistics there. However, it is still unknown which company will be granted the contract.
“The ministry has not decided yet on which company will be awarded the contract to run Lima. It may be soon, it may be later,” said a source.
NST reported that officials from the aerospace, maritime and defence industries had voiced concern that if a decision was not achieved soon, the event may not take off as it was less than a year away.
The show may face the possibility of postponement too, as schedules for industry players who attend these shows are usually set a year or two in advance.
“Take for example, the Red Arrows. They have been at several Limas and were a favourite of the crowd, but have not been back for years.
“They have schedules which are set two years in advance and the organisers of Lima over the years have had trouble getting them back to Langkawi because they don’t book them early enough,” the source said.
An unnamed Defence ministry spokesperson, however, said the show would go on as planned.
“It is expected to be held in March as originally planned. Nothing has changed. It may just likely be a different organiser.”