By Anthony Dylan 

The weather has turned up the heat again after a spate of rainy mornings. I do miss those early rainy mornings as it somehow gives you a nice after-rain cooling feeling when you do your morning walk. 

The current Malaysian economy looks to be on a stronger footing each time. The costs have generally increased like everywhere else but still, the effects have been aided considerably by the Government on the domestic consumption side. There are some utilities increase for commercial consumption which may look rather high, but then, it seems that everyone is trying to make do and move forward to improve efficiencies and better performance. That gives Malaysia a nice barometer to continue with right positives. 

The tourism sector has really got off the starting blocks well and this sector has seen the most excitement. The airport in KLIA would now have rebranded terminals. Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 would now replace what we all knew as KLIA1 and KLIA 2 before. It would be nice to see improvements in the passenger transfer between the two terminals. Perhaps an ART or an autonomous rail transit between the two would be best. That way, you would not need to build expensive infrastructures as it uses the road and is long enough to fit about 300 people at a time. That is just my opinion. 

The current inter-satellite terminal aerotrain is being replaced with a new batch and recent technology. KLIA has 2 units and 1 is expected to be in service next year. In the meantime, buses would be used. That is satisfactory progress. We have also begun to see the airport getting busier with international flights. In Kota Kinabalu, the number of flights form China and South Korea have increased. The boom seen by Sabah is tremendous. 

In Sarawak, the tourism Ministry is also hard at work with the monthly events especially since the successful Rain Forest World Music Festival held in June recently. This year, the 60th Anniversary of Sarawak’s independence since 22 July 1963 drew massive participation from the Gawai Dayak celebrations, and to the parade and Konsert Rakyat at the central padang in Kuching. The free concert drew over 30,000 people on the night. There was also be a river float procession. 

The Kuching Festival has begun and with guests from South Korea and China providing entertainment. This is to remember the commemoration of Kuching as a city on 1 August 1988. In August, the ASEAN International Film Festival and Awards (AIFFA) will also be held in Kuching where South Korea’s Rain will be a guest. There will be the 16th International Borneo Kite Festival in September, the Borneo Jazz Festival in October and the famous Sarawak Regatta will also make its presence again in November. There is a Miri Tattoo Festival as well. 

Even the shopping centres have improved so much that you would think you are in Kuala Lumpur. You can get brands like Coach, Michael Kors, H&M, Uniqlo, Mango, Bath & Body Works, CottonOn, SportsDirect and JD Sports. The same can be said of Kota Kinabalu. It seems that tourism has indeed boosted the need for improved hospitality and new tourism products. The natural attractions of mountains, caves, beaches and islands remain the core offering, and these have since been given a lot of attention for improved visitor facilities. 

Nearer Subang Jaya, the soon to be City of Klang has also got interesting historical streets and a gamut of heritage cuisine. Klang, with a population of over 500,000 would soon be elevated to city status. This makes Klang the 4th city in Selangor. This would then stretch from Petaling Jaya to Subang Jaya, Shah Alam and then Klang via the heritage route of the Federal Highway. It would be good to see Shah Alam and Subang Jaya create their own tourism pull as Petaling Jaya is also known as a vibrant mature city with good public infrastructure. 

The new LRT 3 when opened would connect Klang towards Bandar Utama and would surely complement the current KTM service. The last mile is being aided with the Smart Selangor Bus and the PJ City Bus which could be improved further for optimum usage. It would then be amazingly cool to travel to Klang towards the last KTM Komuter station stop of Port Klang before getting on a short boat ride excursion to Pulau Ketam. You can also opt to alight at the Klang KTM Komuter stop. This will bring you to the heart of heritage Klang. Nearby is the famous century old Chong Kok Kopitiam and Seng Huat Bak Kut Teh or nearby Teck Teh Bak Kut Teh. It also has the famous Regent Pandan Layer Cake. There is also a good Indian banana leaf restaurant within the Yap Kee Kopitiam. It has been selling this dish since 1923. 

We are finally finding that whilst progress is not as fast as what we wanted, at least progress is steady with a sure footing. Small steps will in the need make significant changes. We anticipate a huge technology change when we start inviting tech investors to come and create hubs in Malaysia. It would surely make Malaysia a place for commerce and sustainable living to be at the forefront. It would be more than just EVs or electric vehicles. It would be about harnessing nature and to also cease support of business practices who pollute. Selangor is now without plastic in most places. We hope all the bazaars, wet markets and stalls follow the same. We need to be concerned about our environment. Hence, this is why good governance assists in our aspirations. The elections will be coming soon for the people of Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Penang, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu. Do remember that it is important for you to go out and vote so that there is surety of moving forward. It is your duty as voters to do your part for the future generation. Make sure they have a future they will be proud of.