The Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA), in anticipation of an increase in tourist arrivals as Malaysia transitions into the endemic phase of COVID-19, is actively collaborating with the Perak State Government to modernise and redevelop several tourism related infrastructure development projects.
The redevelopments of the Pulau Pangkor Jetty Complex, the Lata Kinjang Eco Tourism Project and the Ipoh Heritage Tourism Project which involve several iconic tourist locations are expected to further boost tourist spending in Perak.
“The State Government of Perak, together with NCIA is focused on revitalising the tourism sector as the sector contributes to the state economy and job creation in line with the National Recovery Plan. We welcome the various high-impact projects and initiatives introduced by NCIA that will ensure the sustainability of Perak’s economic growth,” said Perak Menteri Besar, Dato’ Seri Saarani bin Mohamad after chairing the state’s second Jawatankuasa Pemandu Negeri (JPN) meeting for 2022 recently.
Under Phase One of the Ipoh Heritage Tourism Project, NCIA in collaboration with Ipoh City Council (MBI) has upgraded the basic amenities at Kinta Riverwalk, while Ipoh Padang now boasts of a light and sound show for families to enjoy in the evenings.
Phase Two will also see the modernization of the Ipoh Town Hall building as it will be converted into a Performing Arts Center, while the Old Post Office building will be turned into a Digital Art Gallery, with work expected to commence by end of 2022.
To ensure equitable development throughout the State, NCIA has collaborated with Jabatan Kemajuan Orang Asli (JAKOA) to establish the Koperasi Orang Asli Lata Kinjang (KOALK). KOALK will be the main operator for Taman Eko Rimba Lata Kinjang, an eco-tourism park with various attractions such as waterfalls, campsites, picnic facilities and other basic infrastructures that are now undergoing upgrading works.
Expected to be open to the public later this year, the pioneer socioeconomic development project aims to address poverty among the Orang Asli community by bringing economic activity into their community.
The development of the Pangkor Island Passenger and Cargo Jetty Terminal Complex is another key project to further fuel the revival of Perak’s tourism industry. Already experiencing a marked increase in tourist arrivals, the project is currently undergoing a comprehensive technical feasibility study to ensure it meets its objectives of contributing to the development of Perak’s tourism industry.
Reaffirming Menteri Besar’s statement, Chief Executive of NCIA, Mohamad Haris Kader Sultan said, “Together with the State Government of Perak, NCIA is conducting various simulations aimed at redeveloping the Pulau Pangkor Jetty Complex. The redevelopment project is primarily aimed at delivering sustainable economic activities with modernised infrastructure and facilities that will increase the island’s attractiveness as a premier tourist destination in Malaysia. This in turn will help boost the local tourism industry while creating entrepreneurship and employment opportunities for the people in Perak”.
The project will involve the redevelopment of both passenger and cargo jetties, and a mixed development comprising commercial and retail facilities.
This dynamic development plan is in line with Malaysia’s National Tourism Policy 2020 – 2030 and supports the Federal Government’s initiative to create more modern tourist destinations whilst complementing Pulau Pangkor’s status as a duty-free island.
The project will be implemented via a Public Private Partnership (PPP) model. It is intended to encourage the involvement and innovation by the private sector to take advantage of the growing tourism market in Perak.
The redevelopment of the Pulau Pangkor Jetty Complex will be implemented in two phases. The physical development of the complex in Phase 1 is expected to commence from 2024 until 2026. “We welcome the interest, and participation from private sectors to come on board for this exciting development and play a part in charting the tourism journey in Perak for years to come”, explained Saarani.
Once completed, it is expected to create more than 4,400 new jobs in Pulau Pangkor and will contribute RM262 million to Perak’s Growth Domestic Product (GDP).
To ensure a steady supply of well-trained manpower, NCIA continues their incentive programmes to support the business communities in Perak, with focus on micro, small and medium entrepreneurs. The programmes e.g., the DU@NCER programme has assisted 16 local Perak SMEs and brought in a total of RM 231.5 million investment to Perak with the creation of 633 new jobs. JomKerja@NCER and JomNiaga@NCER have created more than 1,500 jobs and 1,286 new entrepreneurs in the state.
“NCIA has introduced and implemented these initiatives, in line with our Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER) Strategic Development Plan (SDP) 2021-2025 to help in the recovery process of the local tourism industry. In addition, projects such as the Pulau Pangkor Jetty Complex will provide much needed economic spillover from the increased business activities which will help create jobs and retain local talent, boosting the entire local tourism ecosystem in the state of Perak,” concluded Mohamad Haris.