Ipoh’s much-touted but now debt-ridden theme park, Movie Animation Park Studio (MAPS) in Meru is back in the limelight; and like before, it is all for the wrong reasons.
The theme park launched in June 2017 is owned by Perak Corporation Berhad, a subsidiary of Perak State Development Corporation. Since the beginning, it has been plagued with one problem after another. And in the process, so much money has been expanded and lost. Recovery is no simple feat, as a complete overhaul is badly required. The major flaw is management.
Perak DAP Chairman, Nga Kor Ming, during a media conference on Monday, November 26, suggested that the state government close MAPS, as it has been running at a loss. Selling the property to a third party or to a keen investor is a viable option considering the losses incurred by the state government in keeping the park afloat.
The maxim, “government has no business being in business” rings true. A theme park of MAPS stature should be managed by professionals, not bureaucrats who have neither the training nor the expertise to run a theme park.
Menteri Besar Ahmad Faizal Azumu, during a media conference on Friday, December 3, refuted Nga Kor Ming’s statement. He claimed that the park is doing well and attendance is picking up. He praised the park’s management for doing a good job.
“Maybe Nga didn’t get the latest information on MAPS,” he told reporters. “The number of visitors is on the increase. Hence, it must be allowed to continue operating,” he insisted.
Asked on the possibility of the park winding down, Faizal replied if losses were too much for the state to bear, action to close it down would be considered.