Wednesday, April 1

Abd Karim hopes new govt will carry on with stimulus package

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(Standing on the stage, from fifth left) Ting, Abdul Karim, Hii and others give the thumbs up to the participants for completing the RSTG course.

MIRI: Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah hopes that Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and his new federal cabinet which will be formed will consider to implement the RM20-billion economic stimulus package.

The economic stimulus package was announced by interim Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad On Feb 27 to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak.

“Looking at what had been announced, there were good feelings among the tourism sector. It would be good for the federal government to continue with the package because at least it can help to cushion the impact of Covid-19, particularly on tourism industry following the cancellation of tours and reservations,” the Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister told the media after officiating at the certificate presentation ceremony for Regional Specific Tourist Guide (RSTG) course at Meritz Hotel here yesterday.

In any case, the state government would have to wait and see what steps the new federal government would take on the economic stimulus package, he added.

“Let us wait and see what the new government will announce, whether to accept or cancel the package and maybe do some amendments to the package or even announce a new economic stimulus package for the country.”

On China tourist arrivals in Sarawak, he said last year tourists from mainland China constituted about two to three per cent of total tourist arrivals.

“We (Sarawak) are not that affected compared with Sabah. It is because almost 50 per cent of tourists coming to Sabah were those from China. We are not done with the outbreak and hopefully the situation will be back to normal soon.”

He also hoped the authorities will relax the restriction on entry to Sarawak.

“We are proud to say that we got people at all our points of entry to check body temperature of those arriving and even come up with health declaration form.

“These preventive measures against the Covid-19 outbreak reflect the pro-activeness of the state government as even the other states in the country have not done it. With such pro-activeness, hopefully we can relax the restriction on entry into Sarawak.”

Meanwhile, 22 participants completed the Regional Specific Tourist Guide course.

Also present were Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Sebastian Ting and Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture permanent secretary Hii Chang Kee.