Ensure public safety on beaches, says Gerakan
Press Statement by Teh Leong Meng
Penang Gerakan Local Government Bureau Chief
June 8, 2011
Penang Gerakan has urged the state government to carry out strict enforcement in controlling sports activities along the Batu Ferringhi tourist belt.
The party’s head of Local Government Bureau, Teh Leong Meng, said protection of public safety, particularly beach users, should not be compromised.
“We may have laws and by-laws which will not work when there is no strict enforcement and proper control,” Teh said in a statement.
Commenting on Tuesday’s accident on Batu Ferringhi beach, Teh said the tourism industry in Penang would also be seriously affected if such incidents were allowed to be repeated.
He said the beaches on Batu Ferringhi were popular with people, especially during the current school holidays, and enforcement should have been stepped up.
On Tuesday, a five-year-old girl was building sandcastles on the beach when she was hit by a horse. Arina Kirana Azrin, who was warded at the Penang Hospital, was with her 12-year-old sister when a horse, ridden by a beach boy, came their way.
The two were too surprised to run away and one of the horse’s hooves hit Arina.
Teh recalled that in February this year, the authorities had temporarily banned horse riding and water sports activities in Batu Ferringhi following an accident involving a Chinese tourist.
Zhu Li, 47, broke both her legs when a water scooter rammed into her on the beach while she was taking a walk.
Following the incident, the Penang Municipal Council introduced some new guidelines aimed at making water sports at the beach safer.
Among the guidelines are that only those who are 16 years of age and above can take part in water sports and the water sport operators can only operate from 7am to 7pm.
Council president Patahiyah Ismail said the licensing process for beach operators started on Feb 12 and 31 and the operators had been identified.
Patahiyah said the licences’ requirements included a public liability insurance amounting to RM50, 000, proof that the operators had undergone a first aid course and copies of the operator’s company registration.