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KUCHING: Deputy Tourism Minister Datuk Dr James Dawos Mamit said the ministry would not meddle with the high airfare to Mulu National Park.
He said the fare charged to the destination was the prerogative of the companies concerned, and has nothing to do with the ministry.
Furthermore, Dawos said, the ministry was never consulted on the airfare to Mulu.
“Even though, the airfare (to Mulu) is beyond our control, the people can appeal because even though Mulu is not a prime destination (for foreign tourists) we simply cannot ignore it,” Dawos told a press conference yesterday.
He was asked whether Ministry of Tourism would try to talk to the airline concerned to consider reviewing the airfare that many thought to be expensive.
Dawos yesterday officiated at the closing of Environment Education Seminar at SMK Tun Abdul Razak, some 36km from here, organised by Natural Resources Environmental Board (NREB).
According to Dawos, Semenggoh Wildlife Centre received the most number of tourists last year, reaching 229,000 visitors, followed by Bako National Park (39,000) and Mulu National Park (28,000).
Dawos also regretted that flights to some European countries were being cancelled, thus negatively affecting the local tourism industry.
He pointed out that many European had wanted to visit the state, but that seems a bit improbable now due to unavailability of flights.
“It has always been a problem, the lack of air accessibility faced by the local tourism industry,” he said.
On environmental issues, Dawos, who is an environmentalist, said people should understand the initiatives of the government to develop oil palm plantation and logging.
This, he said, was even more urgent to repel negative remarks by some temperate countries pertaining to oil palm and logging activities in the state.
“Preserving the environment in the state has become a political issue for some temperate countries, so it is importantfor us to understand the initiative, programme and concerted effort of the government to preserve the environment,” the Mambong MP said.
In his speech earlier, Dawos urged the people not to fell trees indiscriminately, but instead help the government to preserve the environment like planting trees.
Trees help to absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen needed by humans to survive, he added.
Later, Dawos presented RM10,000 to the school Parent- Teacher Association.
Also present were NREB senior assistant controller Paul Ponar Sinjeng, Padawan Muncipal Council (PMC) secretary Michael Saweng and the school principal Dr Linton Jerak Britton.
(Source：Borneo Post Sarawak, 20 Oktober 2012, Saturday)
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