Ensure safety of tourists, Penang told

Tourist Ali Al-Shamrani being sent to the Penang Hospital for treatment after an accident at Batu Ferringhi on Saturday.

KUALA LUMPUR - Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said she was worried for the country's tourism industry following another report of a tourist who was injured while on holiday in Penang. She said both the federal and state governments needed to take good care of tourists.

"We must guarantee safety to maintain our image as a safe, stable and attractive tourist destination," she said at the 58th MCA annual general meeting here yesterday.

"I have reminded the Penang chief minister that tourist safety is an absolute priority.

"Despite this reminder, accidents still happen there."

Ng was referring to an incident where a tourist from the Middle East, Ali Al-Shamrani, 31, suffered injuries to his leg, hip and waist after a collision involving a water scooter at Batu Ferringhi on Saturday afternoon.

This was two days after the Penang Municipal Council implemented demarcation zones for various beach activities at the popular tourist site.

Ng said there must be nominated agencies or companies which could oversee tourism activities to ensure injury risks were kept to a minimum.

"Such incidents have occurred too many times.

"I urge the Penang government to step up their efforts to maintain tourist safety."

This year, several accidents involving tourists who were para-sailing, horse-riding and on water-scooters, had occurred along the popular beach.