Use what’s left to survive


PETALING JAYA: While the Covid-19 pandemic shows no signs of slowing down, many theme parks and tourism industry players have resorted to their own reserves as well as cost-cutting measures to maintain their operations.

Malaysian Association of Amusement Parks and Family Attractions (Matfa), Tan Sri Richard Koh, said their members are already using the reserves they currently have to support themselves.

“We all use what we have. We look at our reserves and allocate what we have to pay for workers’ wages, rent and bank loans. If all of this is exhausted, then it’s the end and we will have no choice but to go out of business, ”he said in an interview.

Koh noted that the industry was among the hardest hit, adding that it was also “the last to be allowed to resume operations.”

He said the smaller Matfa members had lost between RM1mil and RM2mil since the lockdown began, while the bigger players continued to lose millions of ringgits per month.

To cut costs, Koh said they had no choice but to fire the workers while those who remained were to take a pay cut or unpaid leave.

“There are so many issues to be addressed and the help we get from the government is not available,” he said, adding that even state governments still charge entertainment and licensing fees.

Koh said the fee could reach RM20,000 to RM30,000 per outlet, adding that their requests for exemption were rejected.

Malaysian Hotel Association (MAH) general manager Yap Lip Seng said their cost-cutting measures have remained the same.

In a recent survey by MAH, it was estimated that the hospitality industry lost over RM 5 billion in revenue in the first half of this year.

The report also pointed out that hotels have started to rationalize their workforces by requiring employees to take unpaid leave, direct pay cuts and layoffs.

Malaysian Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums President Dr Kevin Lazarus said the situation was difficult as there had been no income but their members were still doing their best to handle the situation.

He said private entities had been forced to cut staff while government zoos were still able to sustain themselves as they had their own government operating budget and in-kind contributions from businesses, as well as some government agencies.

“Taiping Zoo and Night Safari have an operating budget for staff and other expenses.

“The workers are rotated so that we can reduce overtime while doing all the necessary tasks,” he said.

At Deerland Park in Lanchang, Pahang, owner Abdullah Ahmad Mahmood said he had used his savings to take care of the more than 100 deer since May.

“We were able to open for a short time earlier this year with a small number of visitors before massive flooding occurred and again affected our operations.

“Shortly after that it was back to full lockdown until now,” he said, adding that RM 10,000 was needed each month to maintain the park.

Abdullah said he hoped that with more people vaccinated, the tourism industry would be allowed to resume operations to welcome local visitors, especially those from other states, while respecting the standard operating procedure set by authorities. .

“If the current situation continues without any income or assistance, I may not be able to support my business,” he said.

In a recent article, Bukit Gambang Resort City in Kuantan said its hotel and theme park operations, including Safari Park, would be closed until further notice.

“Thank you for your support and our sincere regrets for the inconvenience caused. Always stay safe and we look forward to welcoming everyone again soon, ”he said.

In Ipoh, The Lost World of Tambun also posted on Facebook: “It might be stormy now, but have faith! It doesn’t last forever.

“We must continue to fight and keep hope as a nation. Our country, our family and our friends need us to be resilient in these difficult times.

“We want you to #StaySafe #StayHome and #StayStrong. We’ll see better days ahead and play together very soon!

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