Sunday, September 20, 2015

Labuan can be like a garden island

LABUAN: Big events like Borneo Arts Festival (BAF) can be organised successfully in Labuan with a big allocation, said Labuan Member of Parliament, Datuk Rozman Isli.

Speaking during the opening ceremony of BAF 2015 yesterday at Dataran Labuan, he said that if the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur could have a big allocation to organize an event, why not Labuan enjoyed the same portion of allocation.

“An allocation around RM1 million to RM2 million is sufficient to turn a normal event into a big one as our future investment for the people to come here to participate in the event.

“In Labuan Corporation Act, Labuan will be developed as a tourism centre, an international island and a garden island with international standard. Labuan is dubbed as a Pearl of Borneo and is a stretgic place for events like BAF.

“A tiny island like Labuan can be developed like a garden to make it an attractive island to compete with other islands such as Bali and others. We have already become a federal territory for 31 years, but the previous blueprint to develop the tourism industry here in this island is yet to bloom despite many efforts done by the government,” he said.

Rozman said further that Labuan might not have its icon as a real attraction for tourists, like Sabah for its Mount Kinabalu, Sipadan Island (undersea park) and others.

“If we talk in terms of culture (to be an icon), in other places, they have greater cultural show. Therefore, we need proper strategy and concerted effort that can make Labuan reach its peak.

“We need strong formula, drastic action and of course a big budget. Actually, Labuan itself is an icon in terms of shipwreck, historical values and others. We must prepare this island for the visitors to have many options to come to Labuan.