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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Langkawi at losing end of family dispute

LANGKAWI, Malaysia - A beach resort here is seeking help from the Tourism Ministry and former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in dealing with a vigilante-like group who have sealed off land in a beachside spot.

The group is involved in a family dispute over the land on which the resort stands.

Despite the resort management having a court order prohibiting the disputing parties from entering the resort or disrupting its operations, it would appear that family members have taken the law into their hands.

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Beach Garden Resort general manager Wolfgang Sauer claimed that several foreign guests staying at the resort in Pantai Chenang were intimidated and threatened with physical violence by the group.

He said he had contacted several embassies to notify them of the situation.

"I had to alert them as we can no longer guarantee the safety of our foreign guests.

"The vigilantes have grown more brazen by trespassing on our property and threatening our staff and guests.

"I just don't know what else to do. We have lodged four police reports."

He claimed the police and other authorities here had washed their hands of the matter, saying it was a private issue.

Sauer said Langkawi's reputation as a tourist destination had been hurt by alerts guests had posted on the intimidation and inconvenience in various travel blogs and websites, including tripadvisor.blogspot.

"After sealing off our entry and exit points, cutting off our water supply and threatening foreign tourists and our workers, they are now targeting all those who are helping us.

"They have issued death threats to our workers and the management of a neighbouring resort who are helping us out."

He said three Tourism Ministry officials visited the resort yesterday to see things for themselves so that they could brief Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen.

"I hope the ministry is able to intervene and help resolve this standoff as we are fully booked for Christmas and up to April.

"The other hotels and resorts are also fully booked so we cannot place them anywhere else. If the situation is not resolved, then Langkawi's reputation is going to take a big hit and it may be an age before tourists have the faith to come here."

-- New Straits Times

AL :

Its quite sad to see this things happening. The authorities must get involved in this issue to prevent damaged reputation.

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