Rabu, 4 Disember 2013

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The Star Online: Nation

Revamped ticketing method to cut down waiting time at MATTA fair


KUALA LUMPUR: MATTA will introduce a revamped online ticketing system to cut down the queue for visitors to its coming 2014 fair.

MATTA president Hamzah Rahmat said the improved visitor registration system would make it possible for them to purchase tickets online while still allowing them to retain the option of getting tickets offline.

"We will also include all visitors, not just those who made a purchase, in the running to win attractive prizes," he said.

The new online ticketing system would include a short questionnaire to help organisers collect quality data on visitors so that they can streamline the booths and packages available at future fairs.

"One of the big benefits of online ticketing is to shorten queuing time for visitors collecting their tickets at the fair," said Hamzah at the launch of the new features at Renoma Cafe Gallery here yesterday.

The tickets, he said, would start selling about a month before the fair and be made available on MATTA's website at www.matta.org.my.

"We're looking into ways to encourage people to buy tickets online – perhaps by discounting ticket prices," said Hamzah.

He expected the fair to be attended by about 100,000 visitors, up from 86,867 at the recent MATTA fair in September.

Hamzah said South Korea and Japan were expected to continue being the most popular countries to visit, especially since Japan had removed the need for visitors to obtain a visa.

The 2014 MATTA fair will be held at the Putra World Trade Centre here on March 14 to 16 next year.

Dr M urged to stay on with Petronas


KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak hopes Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad will re-consider his decision to step down as Petronas adviser.

Najib said the Government felt that the former prime minister was still able to contribute to Petronas' development and success.

"In respecting Tun's decision, which was made on his doctor's advice, I hope Tun can reconsider.

"The Government welcomes Tun to continue to serve as Petronas adviser," he told reporters after an almost hour-long meeting with Hamas leader Khalid Meshaal at the Putra World Trade Centre here yesterday.

Najib said he had received the resignation letter from Dr Mahathir, in which Dr Mahathir also thanked Najib for visiting him at the National Heart Institute when he was admitted there for chest pains.

"Upon the doctor's advice, he has to reduce his daily routine. As such, he had informed me of his intention to step down as Petronas adviser," he added.

Mahathir confirmed on Monday that he had resigned as Petronas adviser, effective Dec 1, due to age and health factors.

He was appointed to the post after his retirement as prime minister in 2003.

Developer must pay to rebuild candi, says NGO man


PETALING JAYA: The company which destroyed the ancient candi in Bujang Valley must pay for the cost of rebuilding it, said NGO Bujang Valley Study Circle chairman Datuk V. Nadarajan.

"The state government must ask the developer to pay for reconstruction because the company knowingly destroyed a candi. They can't deny it. They broke the stones and threw them away.

"The developer must be penalised so that others won't destroy our national heritage throughout the country in future," the lawyer-writer said yesterday.

Nadarajan, 58, who is the author of Lembah Bujang: The Wonder that was Ancient Kedah, also offered his expertise in the rebuilding efforts.

"I can help go through the plans and rebuild it. The developers should also contact Prof Dr Mokhtar Saidin from the USM Centre for Global Archaeological Research and Prof Nik Hassan Suhaimi, formerly of UKM.

"It won't cost much to rebuild as the candi doesn't have an upper area. We can collect the stones, find new ones and reconstruct it."

Nadarajan, the man who exposed the demolition when he lodged a police report on the matter, also criticised the Sg Petani municipal council for approving the housing project despite knowing the existence of the candi.

"They built the road to it. They know tourists go there. At the very least, they could have incorporated the candi into the development plan, built around it and maintained it. But they didn't bother."

He also alleged that more candi and structures had been destroyed but admitted that he "had no proof".

Nadarajan, who is working on his second book – Lembah Bujang- Bujang Valley: Part 2, said he became interested in historical sites after visiting the candi Bukit Batu Pahat (site number 8), with his history teacher when he was 16.

His second book will trace the historical artifacts found in the valley.

Related stories:
Candi destruction shocks former Kedah MB
Lembah Bujang to be gazetted
Readers question delay in gazetting heritage site
Save our vale of ancient history
Preserving Malaysia's rich national heritage
Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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