KUCHING (Sept 17): The perception of Kelantan being a hub of Islamic extremism must be dispelled as in reality, the state is open to all religions and cultures, said Tourism Malaysia Sarawak director Nurul Ain Mohammed Yunus.
“Kelantan’s openness towards both Muslim and non-Muslim communities makes it a suitable destination to visit,” she told thesundaypost.
She said it was because of this that Tourism Malaysia Sarawak had organised the ‘Berambeh ke Lembah Klang and Pantai Timur’ familiarisation trip, which ran from Sept 9 to 14.
The programme involved some 30 members of the media from Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia, as well as several government officials.
“Our trip also focused on visiting places of worship, including mosques and temples, where you can find possibly one of the largest Buddha statues in Southeast Asia.
“This shows that Kelantan is a tolerant state, accepting of all religions,” said Nurul Ain.
She also highlighted the spirit of harmony among the different communities in Kelantan.
“During our visit to Wat Phothivihan, we met a Chinese senior citizen who spoke fluent Kelantanese Malay. This illustrates how the Malays, the Chinese, and other ethnic groups can coexist harmoniously.”
On the six-day ‘Rail Tourism’ programme, Nurul Ain said the objective was to provide the participants a unique train-travelling experience, from Gemas (Negeri Sembilan) to Dabong (Kelantan).
“The ‘Train to Dabong’ is a relatively new product, which gained popularity during the Covid-19 era.
“We want to expose Sarawak residents, especially through the media, to the experience of train travel and explore potential tourist attractions along the way,” she said.
Nurul Ain also described rail tourism as ‘a particularly attractive way for those preferring a more relaxed pace of travel’.
“While it might be slower, it offers the advantage of avoiding traffic jams and crowded rest areas.
“Each state has its own culinary uniqueness, and our goal is also to introduce participants to these diverse gastronomic experiences,” she said.
On the available direct flight between Kota Bharu and Kuching, Nurul Ain hailed AirAsia’s effort in connecting these two cities as ‘commendable’.
“It provides an opportunity for the people of both states to visit each other without the hassle of transiting.
“I encourage the people of Sarawak and Kelantan to take advantage of this flight service to explore something beyond their comfort zones,” she added.
Source : The Borneo Post