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Multiple ticket price for foreigners is justifiable

penang hill funicular train

I read the letter from Scott who put up a lopsided argument by quoting only low purchasing power foreign labors and budget travelers unable to enjoy the beauty of Penang Hill due to quadruple ticket prices, and of course I disagree with him. How about affluent tourists from high GDP nations or even from low GDP nations like China and India?

Dual tier pricing is a common practice in any country. For instance, Kandy Botanical Garden and other world heritage sites in Sri Lanka are charging foreigners at least five to ten times more than locals. Also most of the tourist spots in China are using dual tier pricing for local and foreign tourists.

Foreign workers are paid to work in Malaysia, basically their contributions are compensated accordingly and they should grateful to Malaysia for offering them jobs. They have no privileged rights to ask for equal term like our local people in accessing our public facilities. Local people should enjoy lower prices for various public facilities because they are tax payers who support local authorities and government.

No country in the world is running welfare-like tourism to cater for low income foreigners. Please travel and spend your hard-earned money in your own country if you can’t afford to pay expensive tickets in the foreign land. Anyway, there are alternatives for shoe-string budget travelers who visit Malaysia. Rest to be assured, there are still thousand more beautiful hills and mountains in Malaysia are waiting budget tourists to explore at no costs.

Nasi lemak and Char Koay Teow stalls are not operating by our government, whether to impose surcharge or not is irrelevant to Penang Hill’s quadruple pricing issue. I let the private businessmen to decide on their own pricing.

Let put a stop on same pricing policy for both local and foreign tourists in our tourist attractions especially those projects paid by our public funds.

Quadruple ticket price for foreigners just too much

WHOSE spiteful and vindictive idea was it to charge foreigners nearly four times as much as Malaysians to ride the new train up Penang Hill?

Just stop and think. What about all the Bangladeshi, Indonesian and Nepali workers here doing jobs for low pay that Malaysians don’t want to do. This effectively cuts them off from a trip up Penang Hill on their day off. Is this Malaysian hospitality? A nice return for their contributions to the Malaysian economy!

How about the budget travellers who have worked and saved from Australia, Britain, the US, Japan etc. to travel around Asia and are staying in budget guest houses around Chulia Street? RM30 is more than the cost of a room in a budget hotel. This will provide a lot of negative word of mouth publicity for Penang.

And what about the elderly foreigners who have made Penang their home? Nice to think we are only welcome here for our wallets.
What’s next, a surcharge on nasi kandar and char koay teow?


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Paul says:

For a nation that is seeking to boost its tourism to 25 million, the wording of your article is very warm and welcoming! It is luckily in flaring contrast with how Malaysians treat their guests.
In most countries like in Europe and USA there is no double layer.
And you seem to forget that tourists DO pay taxes, or is the government tax for hotel rooms and restaurants no tax?

Moreover a lot of Malaysians live from budget tourists, inclusive Air Asia.

Anyway, it will show whether the RM 30 is sustainable or not. But if it is for the well-to-do only, then there better be something to do on top of the hill for well-to-do to amuse themselves. For the moment there is nothing….

On a side note, if you would kick out all foreign workers (who gratefully come to work in Malaysia) out of Penang, where would your Penang economy stand? So a bit more respect and an attitude of welcome would not be misplaced.

nkkhoo says:

Let make it clear, Penang hill train project is funded by our public money. One time service tax paid by tourists not even enough to pay for basic road infrastructure. We Malaysians are the one bear for all infrastructure costs.

Do you think Western nations like America welcome budget tourists from Asia? They probably will reject my visa if I mention I go to visit USA under a shoe-string budget.

Let face it, 25 million visitors mean nothing if 90% of them are budget travelers. This is very poor investment in any business project.

If people have no extra money to visit foreign land, my advice is let travel at own country to help his or her domestic economy first. For instance, there are many Malaysians never visit East Malaysia yet.

Malaysia economy is in deep shit because of depending too much on cheap foreign labors. I am not against foreign workers, but the presence of unlimited supply of foreign workers have caused social and economy problems to Malaysia.

Many local Indians cannot find decent jobs because of cheaper foreign labor substitute. They are pushed to dead end and turned to crime activities for survival.

Taiwan had stopped their manufacturers to import foreign workers as cheap labor in the sweat factories many years ago. This measure is to push companies to invest in factory automation and improve productivity, the result is very positive in Taiwan.

What real benefits to general Malaysians if >90% factory jobs are grasped by foreigners? And the businessmen continue to enjoy subsidized electricity bills from our public money.

My advice to LGE, please stop import any foreign labor to Penang if Penang wants to go up value-added ladder. Those companies wish to hire foreign labor should shift their factories to Bangladesh, Vietnam and Indonesia.

Send all foreign workers back is only way to break the sandwich trap.