Controversy over future of Movie Animation Park Studios (MAPS), Perak, Malaysia

Movie Animation Park Studios (MAPS) will not be closed, says Perak state government, despite external auditor’s report showing huge losses for Perak Corp.

MAPS, Asia’s first animation theme park, opened last June.  The RM520 million ($120m) theme park stretches over 21 hectares in Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia. It features more than 40 attractions in six themed zones. Animated themes include The Smurfs, Boboiboy and animated Dreamworks characters.

However the Malay Mail reports that Democratic Action Party (DAP) MP Nga Kor Ming is now urging the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MAC) to investigate Perak Corp. Perak subsidiary ATP is the developer, operator and owner of MAPS.  Nga states that an external auditor’s report shows the group incurred a net loss of RM340.6 million in 2017, with the group’s liabilities exceeding its current assets by RM158.5 million.

“The lost suffered by Perak Corp is among the biggest in the group’s history,” says Nga. “And what’s more worrying is their debt, which is bigger than their assets. At any time, the group could be bankrupt or face issues of insolvency.”

Nga said that the previous Barisan Nasional (National Front political coalition) government had been warned not to proceed with the MAPS project. “The responsibility of a state government is to take care of the people’s welfare and develop the state and not to open a theme park,” he said. “If they wanted to open a theme park, they should have invited Genting Berhad or Disney Land. This is how it should be done.”

He called for the resignation of the group’s board and chairman.

Ahmad Faizal Azumu, the Menteri Besar (first minister) of Perak said he was committed in finding a way to resolve any problems and to keep MAPS open. “I will continue to do what I can to make MAPS a great theme park,” he said at a Hari Raya gathering, marking the end of Ramadan, at MAPS.

He announced that the state government is in talks with various parties including some who may well invest in the theme park. “I cannot reveal anything because we are still in discussion with various parties (including investors),” he said.

Earlier this year Perak Corp had negotiated a deal with theme park operator Only World Group to co-manage and co-operate the Malaysian theme park.

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