Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Serving smuggled drinks will spoil our image: Masidi
The tourism image of the State will be tarnished if hotel operators continue to serve smuggled alcoholic drinks to their customers.Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun yesterday disclosed that there were complaints that several small hotels were selling contraband liquor to their customers in the hope to gain quick profit without realising the damage it would cause in the long run.“I believe tourists, especially those from foreign countries, would tell their experiences while holidaying in our country. And if the small hotels were to sell contraband liquor, they would definitely share it with their family and friends.
“When such bad experience is spread, our tourism industry’s image will be tarnished,” he said at a dialogue session between the police and resort and tourism players in the State yesterday. Also present were State Police Commissioner Datuk Noor Rashid Ibrahim, his deputy Datuk Abdul Razak Ghani and some 200 tourism players from throughout the State.Masidi added tourists would think that the laws in the State are ‘incomplete’ and easily broken to enable such thing to happen.“They would think that we are unable to handle the situation and in long run, our good name will be affected,” he said.After learning this, many foreign visitors would avoid coming to the country, and if this happens, the tourism industry will be badly affected.The act, he said, would also cause losses to the Government in terms of taxes, but the bigger impact would be on the tourism industry.Masidi also advised resort and hotel operators to be cautious when employing employees to work in the service line. “Check their background carefully. Do not just simply employ anybody. Their records must be clean, meaning they have never been involved in any crime whatsoever,” he said, adding such thorough checking would prevent any untoward incident from happening. “Our hospitality employees are very much well trained and annually, about 10 per cent would be absorbed by foreign hotels. “Such situation would cause an urgent need for employees. However, hotel and resort operators must be careful when selecting their workers make sure they are fit and with clean background before employing them,” he said.