KUALA TERENGGANU (The Star): The level of cleanliness in the city here is still far from satisfactory and a lot more needs to be done to make it a tourism hub, said Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said.
“It stinks!” he said when commenting on the level of cleanliness in the city.
Ahmad said the local residents’ lackadaisical attitude when it comes to keeping their surroundings clean made the situation worse.
“A high level of hygiene is crucial, especially if the city is to become a tourism hub and generate income for the state,” Ahmad said after welcoming 42 passengers on FireFly’s inaugural direct flight from Singapore at the Sultan Mahmud Airport here yesterday.
Ahmad added that the apathy over hygiene was apparent among hawkers and to some extent restaurant operators.
He also chided food operators for charging exorbitant prices.
“Efforts by the state government to turn the city into a major tourist attraction will be negated if food prices remain high,” he said.
Earlier, Firefly Sdn Bhd managing director Eddie Leong told reporters that the budget airline had received overwhelming support for its Singapore-Kuala Terengganu route with more than 60% bookings.
“This is a very good sign despite the sluggish world economy and the influenza A (H1N1) scare.
“We are also confident that the demand will continue to go up,” said Leong.
There are currently three flights a week to and from Singapore.
Leong added that Firefly was also looking at promoting intriguing destinations in Terengganu, including Tasik Kenyir, besides the popular islands in the state.