Kuching: The proposed erection of metal railings at popular tourism haunts and crime hotspots in Sarawak to minimise crime could serve as a double-edged sword.
While the proposal was noble, Sarawak Tourism Federation (STF) president Audrey Wan Ullok said other alternatives should be explored before its implementation. The STF represents key tourism players in the private sectors. Setting up metal railings on walkways and the Kuching Waterfront, one of the state's popular tourism spots would have a negative impact on such places, she said.
"Having a lot of railings on walkways will make these places look unfriendly, congested and unwelcoming to tourists, thus impacting negatively on the tourism industry. The police and local councils should explore other alternatives, more policemen need to be on the beat, and their presence more visible, to give tourists a sense of security," Ullok told Bernama here yesterday.
She said one of the ways to tackle the issue was to determine the root cause of the problem of petty crimes and snatch thefts.
"Mostly, it involves community problems like drinking, unruly behaviour and idling away the time, these people need to be rounded up and taken away from tourist spots," she added. Thursday, the police proposed beefing up security aspects at popular tourism spots and crime-prone areas in Kuching City this year.
Kuching police chief Assistant Commissioner Mun Kok Keong said one of the strategies agreed upon was the erection of metal rails at public places which were haunts of local and foreign tourists, to minimise the risk of snatch thieves. Mun said the waterfront was one of the crime hotspots.