9 October 2014
Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) hopes the government will allocate more funds to boost the tourism industry as well as to upgrade smaller airports in rural areas.
Its managing director Datuk Badlisham Ghazali said it is crucial to upgrade airports and ensure they are properly maintained so as to entice more tourists to the country.
“Tourism is a big earner for the country. I hope the allocation will be for specific markets so as to entice higher passenger arrivals,” he said after allocating permits to operate retail outlets at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (klia2) to six qualified Bumiputera companies.
MAHB said it hoped the government would also provide more funds to government agencies such as the Immigration Department and Customs Department.
The airport operator aims to open 175 retail outlets at klia2 by year-end from 128 currently.
MAHB senior general manager of commercial services, Faizah Khairuddin, said the commercial and retail outlets at klia2 are 80 per cent occupied.
“The remaining commercial and retail space will be awarded on demand. If the demand increases, we will open more outlets here (klia2),” she said.
The new hybrid airport is expected to handle 25 million passengers this year.
Meanwhile, MAHB awarded the six retail outlets at the klia2 terminal under its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Programme to qualified Bumiputera companies.
The programme is a collaboration between the airport operator and the International Trade and Industry Ministry.
Badlisham said the initiative is in line with MAHB’s role as a government-linked company (GLC) and in response to the government’s call to GLCs to participate in the Bumiputera Economic Empowerment Plan.
“The goal is to provide Bumiputera entrepreneurs with the platform to nurture and showcase their businesses in the international arena,” he said.
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