Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Some agents breaching Act, says Matta

25 in Johor accused of dodgy practices

JOHOR BARU: Some tour agents, licensed to only deal with inbound tourists, have been found selling tickets for international flights.

Alleging this, the Johor chapter of the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) said this was a breach of the Tourism Act 1992.

Chapter chairman Kathryn Lee said inbound tour operators can only sell domestic air tickets while outbound operators are entitled to only sell international air tickets.

She alleged that at least 25 travel agencies in the state had been found to be involved in unscrupulous practices, especially in not adhering to conditions in their operating iicences.

Under the Act, she said, three kinds of licences are issued: for inbound or outbound operators and for ticketing agencies that are eligible to sell tickets of any airline.

"Unfortunately, we have detected that about 15% of our members are not abiding by these rules," she said, adding that Johor Matta was currently gathering more details.

Lee advised the public to contact the association for information regarding any travel agent registered as its member.

Johor Matta is organising a three-day travel fair here from Friday.

Lee said there would be 126 booths, with participation from both local and foreign travel agencies.

Visitors will be entitled to a lucky dip at the entrance, which offers more than 1,000 prizes, including a three-day two-night trip to Macau for two.

Those who buy holiday packages with a minimum deposit of RM500 will be entitled to two lucky draws offering seven prizes.

The grand prize for the lucky draw is a RM5,000 cash voucher and a three-day two-night trip to Macau for two.


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

IGP: Seven gang leaders in JB identified

JOHOR BARU: Police have identified seven gang leaders who have been terrorising the state with the help of influential people.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan said police were in the process of gathering intelligence to either take action against these leaders under the preventive laws or to charge them in court.

“Many crime heads are from the state. Not only are locals involved but Singaporeans also control certain areas,” he said, admitting that there was a lot of illegal activity in the state which needed to be cleaned up.

Musa explained that the police would have to weed out gangsterism, clamp down on VCD pirates, loan sharks and those involved in prostitution.

“We must take action against the leaders and not just target VCD sellers,” he said.

Musa was in Johor on a one-day working visit to discuss the crime situation with his men and also to brief Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman on police plans to curb the problem.

Asked whether officers carrying out their duties might fear reprisal or transfers because of these influential people, Musa replied: “My men need not worry about getting transferred if they are doing a good job. Just do not victimise anyone.”

Musa, who was satisfied with the efforts taken by the local police to tackle crime in the state, said there was no need for a special task force from Bukit Aman to be sent to Johor as had been done in Sarawak.

“They (Johor police) have their own task force. The situation in Sarawak is different as they (the gangsters) were too much,” he said.

“The situation in Johor is under control but can be improved.”

On gangsterism, Musa said nobody wanted to come forward to give evidence and, as such, the police would have to use preventive laws against the suspects.

“If the gangster comes out from detention within three months, what are we to do?” he asked.

Musa also took local councils to task for approving entertainment licences everywhere, which made policing difficult.

“Even in villages there are entertainment outlets,” he said, adding that fights usually broke out at pubs and clubs.