WITH due respect, the Mentri Besar of Terengganu’s decision to turn Pulau Redang into a high-end holiday destination where only wealthy individuals will be able to afford holidays really disheartens me.
At an ostentatious minimum rate of US$500 (RM1,599) a night, I’m sure a majority of Malaysians won’t be able to visit the island in future.
By doing so, the Mentri Besar is forcing local and foreign tourists to go to other destinations.
Some might be oblivious to the fact that the waters around the island contain two historic shipwrecks — that of the HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse.
The sinking of these ships were an important historical event that brought about the start of World War II, thus beginning the chapter of the Japanese occupancy in Malaya.
By gazetting the area as an elite destination for the rich and famous, most Malaysians will be kept away from a part of their nation’s historical legacy.
It was stated that those with budget constraints can visit other islands instead of Pulau Redang which has been listed as the 10th most beautiful island in the world.
Does this mean that Malaysians from the lower and middle-income families only deserve second best?
It is indeed a sad day when we see elitism being practised openly in Malaysia!
CHESTER CHIN,Kuala Selangor