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Profits from hotel to be used to help the poor - August 22, 2017

KUANTAN: All profits from the renamed Grand Darul Makmur Hotel will go towards helping the eight categories of asnaf; which include the poor and the needy.

Formerly known as MS Garden Hotel, the renaming of the hotel marks the full ownership of the Majilis Ugama Islam dan Adat Resam Melayu Pahang (MUIP) which began paying for the hotel in instalments since 2012. MUIP deputy president Datuk Seri Wan Abdul Wahid Wan Hassan said 100% of the profits made from the hotel will go to the asnaf through MUIP.

“This is a huge increase as previously only 10-15% of the profits would go to asnaf. “In addition, the full monthly rental of RM220,000 for the hotel that is paid by MUIP Hotel to MUIP, will now also go to the asnaf,” said Abdul Wahid after the renaming ceremony at the hotel here.

Pahang Regent Tengku Mahkota Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, who officiated the ceremony, said the RM55mil purchase of the hotel will bring many benefits to MUIP. “The hotel has brought benefits like creating jobs, a halal certification for the restaurants, profits from the rental and also increase the value of the hotel over time,” said Tengku Abdullah. “The hotel is also located in the centre of Kuantan city and will continue to bring benefits and also be the economic strength of Muslims in the city.” He added that the name of Grand Darul Makmur will also bring many potential business opportunities in the future. “The decision by MUIP to manage the hotel is also spot on, where with full ownership they can run the hotel according to their policies,” he said. Tengku Abdullah also hoped the state government will be proactive in promoting tourism to attract more visitors to Pahang.


Raub’s Musang King durians popular in China - August 22, 2017

RAUB: All parties should work together to promote local produce to penetrate overseas market, said Pahang Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry chairman Tan Sri Lam Kam Sang.

He said Musang King durian species from Raub district was one such product which attracted huge interest.

“Musang King has received many good reviews from foreign visitors, especially Chinese tourists.

“They find the king of fruits from Raub very unique and delicious.

“We have brought many representatives from the Chinese trade mission here to savour the fruit and they have pledged to help promote it back home,” he said during a dinner gathering in Sungai Ruan here with some 2,000 guests.

The Chinese new village is now the official home turf for the district’s renowned Musang King species.

It will also be promoted as Malaysia’s eco-tourism destination to attract both local visitors and foreign tourists in conjunction with the ongoing Visit Pahang Year 2017.

Present to witness the “double trademark” occasion were China’s economic and commerce attaché in Malaysia Shi Ziming, the Chinese embassy third secretary Zhai Yi Bo, MCA vice-president Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun, Pahang executive councillor Datuk Seri Shahiruddin Ab Moin and Raub MCA leaders such as Datuk Chan Choon Fah, Datuk Lim Nget Yoon, Datuk Wong Teik Weng, Ng Leap Pong and Khoo Foo Ping.

Lam, who is also Pahang MCA deputy chairman and Raub MCA division chief, said he was told during his recent visits to China that many provinces were awaiting Malaysia’s king of fruits.

“I dare say durian from Raub is among the best in the country due to the climate and natural surroundings.

“Many Chinese told me that they were hoping to come to Raub to taste the fruit in the orchard during the season,” he said, adding that farmers should seize the opportunity to capture and expand market penetration in China.

Lam also urged the state government to help promote Raub district and its places of interest to boost economic growth for the locals.

Calling it a win-win situation, Lam said the participation of Malaysia in China’s Belt and Road initiative was a good platform to further boost socio-economic ties.

“I am leading a delegation to Shanghai from Nov 13 to 20 to take part in a food and beverage exposition. Let us all work together to promote our species of durians there,” he said, urging farmers and land owners to join him on the trade mission.


Breath of fresh air in Bentong - August 12, 2017

BENTONG in Pahang is set to become one of the top destinations for city dwellers to take their mind off their hectic schedule, as it will soon serve as a satellite town to Kuala Lumpur.The lush greenery, in the strategically located Bentong, is one of the key reasons tourists find it a great place for a short retreat.While it is undoubtedly an upcoming destination town, Bentong can still learn a thing or two from Taiwan to push the envelope of its tourism sector further.Taiwan is a country with very limited resources and forest areas but it is deemed quite successful in maximising its agricultural and agro-industries.Bentong, will be able to tap into its rich natural resources for ecotourism.

Its district officer Datuk Azhar Arshad said the planning and methods adopted in Taiwan could be applied here to maximise the returns from ecotourism.“Among the proposals that we are looking into are to improve the Bentong ginger cultivation area and our organic estates so that it can be Bentong’s tourism products.“We also have our very own unique multicultural practices and the livelihood or activities by our orang asli which can be of interest to tourists,” he said, adding that one of the most vital factors was the professionalism and positivity in handling tourists, be it from foreign countries or other Malaysian states.Azhar recently led a delegation from Bentong to Taiwan for a knowledge-sharing trip with their Taiwanese counterparts and other officials to boost the tourism sector in Bentong.

Among the delegates were Pahang Tourism and Culture Ministry director Datuk Idros Yahya and Bentong Municipal Council president Datuk Mohd Shahid Ismail.In terms of ecotourism, Idros said Pahang’s target was “lung-washing” tourism as Bentong’s fresh air could be used to draw tourists.“What we have noticed in quite a number of countries is the lack of clean air for tourists to relax and unwind. Bentong has got the best that nature has to offer.“Location-wise, Bentong is very strategic as it is quite near to Kuala Lumpur. As such, it has a better pull factor,” he said, adding that discussions with industry players were also underway to promote the lung-washing concept.In addition, Bentong could also take a cue from the creativity the delegates saw in Taiwan.

Who would have thought that an abandoned sugar mill could be converted into a cultural hub featuring drums from various parts of the world?Without renovating or modifying the structure of the factory, the tenant of the premises fitted in performance theatres, a drum museum, classes and many other facilities.Located in the Rende District of the Tainan City in Southern Taiwan, that place is known as the Ten Drum Cultural Village.The Ten Drum percussion group took over the place as a rehearsal centre before it expanded and became a tourist magnet.Azhar said abandoned factories and tin mines in Bentong could be reused and turned into tourism attractions such as cultural hubs, depending on the feasibility of the ideas and transformations.

At a discussion and sharing session during the trip, Taiwan Tourism Bureau’s international affairs division deputy director Cheng Ying-Huei said creativity was invaluable and it was very much encouraged by the Taiwan government.The working trip to Taiwan was an invitation by the Taiwan Tourism Bureau, following the success of the national level Chinese New Year open house held in Dataran Bentong earlier this year.Among the other places that the delegation visited were the Sun Moon Lake, Tai-Yi Ecological Leisure Farm, National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium, Hom Chi Organic Leisure Farm, Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village and the Kenting National Park.

During a visit to the Li Kang Biomedical factory in Tainan, its chairman Cheng Yu Hsiu said he hoped to arrange a visit to Bentong and find out more about the market and future development of ginger, which Bentong was famous for.The company, which has more than 30 years experience in the pharmaceutical industry and herbal products, said ginger could be developed and used in health products such as supplements or even cosmetics.

Like Malaysia, Taiwan is famed for its night markets which sell a wide array of items, from street food to consumer goods and souvenirs. One could not help but notice that many hawkers and petty traders were youngsters in their 20s, some selling their own products and others with their own concept of street food. Bentong’s answer to that would be its weekly Bentong Walk on Jalan Chui Yin, which has attracted many visitors since its inception in late 2015.

Sungai Ruan named home of Musang King - August 14, 2017

RAUB: The Sungai Ruan new village here will now be synonymous with the district’s renowned Musang King durian.The village is being promoted as Malaysia’s eco-tourism destination in conjunction with the ongoing Visit Pahang Year 2017.China’s economic and commerce attache in Malaysia Shi Ziming was present to launch the “double trademark” during a dinner gathering before nearly 2,000 guests, visitors and villagers on Saturday.In her speech, Shi said China and Malaysia share close bilateral ties and with the Belt and Road initiative, this socio-economic cooperation could be further strengthened.

 She pointed out that Chinese President Xi Jinping had sampled the Musang King in 2013 during his official visit to the country and found the fruit “tasty and extraordinary”.

“This species of durian definitely has the potential to go big and create a niche market in China,” she said.MCA vice-president Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun said that several years ago, the price of Musang King was about RM5 to RM12 per kilo but it’s up to RM100 per kilo now.“This helps to raise the income of farmers and boost economic growth for the people of Raub.“Musang King will now be an icon for Sungai Ruan to attract more visitors,” she said.Event organiser Pahang Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Indus­try chairman Tan Sri Lam Kam Sang said he would be leading a delegation to Shanghai in November to take part in a food and beverage exposition.

Pahang executive councillor Datuk Seri Shahiruddin Ab Moin said the state government would give its full support.He said Raub’s Musang King is the best in the world.


Liow: This train will arrive ahead of time - August 10, 2017

KUANTAN: The East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) can be up and running well before its estimated completion date in 2024.

“We are confident that China’s contractors will be able to help speed up and implement the project, completing it before time,” said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai after the ground-breaking ceremony here yesterday.

“Yes, I am optimistic, because they are very strong contractors,” he added.

Liow was also positive that ECRL will benefit the east coast, together with the Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park (MCKIP) and Kuantan Port, both of which are expected to be ready by next year.


He added that with a transportation ratio of 70% freight and 30% passengers, the ECRL will see growth in the economic factors of the east coast and also benefit people living in the east coast.

Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce (MCCC) Pahang president Datuk Andy Chiew said the rail-ship concept of the ECRL and Kuantan Port will allow China to deliver goods and material to other Asean and European countries at a lower cost and in less time.

“Once the rail-ship concept is up and running, products and material from China can go through Malaysia to neighbouring countries like Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam,” said Chiew.

“This will save time and cut cost, as currently, China has to go through Singapore port to transport material.”

Chiew said it only takes three days for a ship from Qinzhou Port in China to reach Kuantan Port compared to four days to reach Singapore.

He added that the rail-ship concept provides China with another option for transporting material to Europe.

With ECRL, goods from Kuantan Port can be freighted to Port Klang before being shipped to Europe.

Federation of Chinese Asso­ciations of Malaysia president Tan Sri Pheng Yin Huah said the ECRL will help bring some economic balance between the east coast and the west of Malaysia.

He added that the rail would also boost tourism, giving travellers easy access to tourist spots in the east coast like Taman Negara, Pulau Tioman, Pulau Redang and Pulau Perhentian.

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