Friday, August 09, 2013


On the request of my wife and children, I celebrated my Eid-ul-Fitr with them in my hometown this year, in Kuala Besut - recently suddenly becoming a popular spot because of its By-Election. I was told by relatives that during the Election, development promises and charities were pouring generously unto the previously ignored Kuala Besut, while the poor and the needy were given enormous attention with extension of  monetary and material asistance. Ask what you need, and the need is fulfilled.

One of the worrying promises made by the winner, amongst other promises, was to turn Kuala Besut into an international tourist attraction. I could clearly imagine what will happen to the people of Kuala Besut, culturally, socially and economically, as what has been happening to the people of almost all other tourist attractions all over the globe, the nearest to Kuala Besut is Perhentian Island. Read the research report done by Dr Ramli of Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA), and one would surprise to know the destructive impact of tourism unto the people of the Island, and in fact to the people of Kuala Besut themselves as the gateway to the Island, not only culturally and socially, but moreover religiously.

If the winner is serious in developing Kuala Besut through the international tourism, it is not too late to plan a different kind of prosperous tourist attraction in Kuala Besut minus its destructive impact, by strengthening people's religious belief and local cultures. Let the international tourists absorb into and assimilate with the local religion and cultures, rather than the other way round, as has been happening in the Perhentian Island. ISDEV is prepared to help, InshaAllah.

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