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Minister: Malaysia's glamping, camping sites to get grace period to legalise and meet govt's conditions

Publish date: Thu, 30 Nov 2023, 12:56 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 — Operators of camping and glamping sites in Malaysia will be given between one to two years to legalise their operations, with the authorities to take enforcement action — including fines — if still fail to meet the development conditions, Local Government Development Minister Nga Kor Ming has said.

In an exclusive interview with local Chinese-language daily Sin Chew Daily published today, Nga said the moratorium period for existing operators of glamping sites who do not meet development conditions is until the end of 2025, while existing campsite operators' moratorium period is until the end of 2026.

Nga said enforcement action could be taken on operators who fail to submit applications during the moratorium period.

Nga reportedly said during the one to two-year moratorium period, if campsite operators had consulted the Department of Mineral & Geoscience Malaysia — in accordance with his ministry's proposed new guideline for campsite operators nationwide — and the technical report showed that the location is a high-risk area, they should carry out business based on their conscience and shift and that he would not legalise these operators.

Citing standard operating procedures, Nga said the authorities would carry out an assessment on campsites half a year before the end of the permit period and will give operators half a year's time to improve the campsite if they do not meet the standards set.

Nga said the government's priority is on safety and that operators would have to legalise their campsites according to the proposed guideline.

He also said the government would request campsites to be shut down if technical reports show they are in dangerous areas, and it would be reasonable and legal to make such a request.

According to Sin Chew Daily, Nga will bring his ministry's proposed guideline to the Cabinet tomorrow for approval and is expected to subsequently hold a press conference regarding the guideline.

The guideline will help close the loophole of lack of regulations for campsites nationwide and will require campsite operators to renew their licences from the local authorities every year with the aim of providing assurance to the public, Sin Chew Daily reported.

If Cabinet approves this guideline, Nga said his ministry plans to implement a one-stop process for the application of campsite licences during the 2024 to 2026 period in order to shorten the application process for high-risk campsite licences from the existing 32 days to 14 days.

Unlike low-risk areas, Nga said those applying to operate campsites in high-risk areas such as those near waterfalls, rivers, slopes and the sea would need consultation with the relevant government technical bodies. <<< hyperlink: >>>

There were a total of 92 victims at a campsite in the Batang Kali landslide in Selangor on December 16, 2022, with 61 survivors found in a nine-day search operation while the other 31 died.

The Natural Disaster Management Agency on October 18 released its report on the Batang Kali landslide, saying that it was principally caused by natural failure potentially influenced by rainfall and geological factors.

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