No urgent need for duty-free zone in PD, says Anwar – Nation

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No urgent need for duty-free zone in PD, says Anwar - Nation

PORT DICKSON: There is no pressing need to set up a duty-free area in Port Dickson to promote it as an international tourism destination, said Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (pic).

The Pakatan Harapan candidate for the Oct 13 Port Dickson by-election said this was because there were other aspects that could be looked into to develop tourism here.

“Port Dickson has enormous tourism potential and I don’t think we need a duty free area here for this.

“If we can clean the beaches, have a proper structure plan in place and upgrade the infrastructure facilities, tourists will flock to PD,” he said when met after having breakfast at the home of R. Nallamah in Bandar Springhill on Monday (Oct 8).

He was responding to a statement by the Port Dickson Residents’ Association that having a duty-free area here with outlets selling international brands would help attract more tourists including from abroad.

Association president Major (Rtd) A.S. Raj said at present tourists had nothing much to do when they came here for a holiday.

On another request by the association to revive the KTM passenger train service that was stopped in the late 1970s, Anwar said this was not possible now due to the high cost involved.

“Since the economy is not that good now, that too will have to be deferred as it involves a huge government investment. The private sector has proposed some investments and for now we can look at those because it will be a catalyst for the local economy,” he said.

KTM stopped the passenger train service in the late 1970s due to low passenger volume and then stopped the freight link in 2009 following a derailment.

Anwar said what Port Dickson needed was more tourism-related investments as well as from other related industries such as education.

“We can also look into making PD a hub for the army,” he said.

Raj had said a cruise ship industry should also be introduced to truly transform Port Dickson.

He added that it was equally important to widen the stretch from here to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport and KLIA2 to cut travel time and allow more passengers on transit to come to Port Dickson.

Raj also expressed hope that the new MP would be able to resolve the issue of abandoned buildings, some of which were high-rise structures.

The Oct 13 polls will see a seven-cornered fight between Pakatan, PAS, and five other independent candidates.

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