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MAPS: Privatisation, free entry and a forensic audit

MAPS Perak theme park SpaceXplorers thrill ride

Movie Animation Park Studios (MAPS) has been in the news recently as the troubled theme park in Malaysia seeks a turn around.

State DAP chairman Nga Kor Ming continues to call for the privatisation of Movie Animation Park Studios (MAPS) to avoid incurring further losses from the theme park.

Nga has once again said that the state government of Perak, Malaysia should sell the loss-making MAPS, Asia’s first animation theme park.

This follows news that the attraction has adopted a free model in a bid to turn things around.

Nga previously confirmed that MAPS had suffered RM474 million in losses “even before its official opening”.

He has now told Malay Mail: “I am also of the view that the best option is for the state government to lease the land to the private sector so it can reap in steady revenue with no risk involved while the property may appreciate in years to come.”

However, Nga added that the state government should be given two years to “prove themselves”.

“If they are confident they are able to turn it around, then they should be given chance to prove themselves within two years, failing which an option to let it go shall be given due consideration,” he stated.

Free admission

Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu announced free admission to MAPS from March 1, with visitors only charged for the rides they use.

“We will open MAPS for free for all Malaysian and also for foreign tourists. We believe this new business strategist will attract more visitors to MAPS,” he said.

“Before this, we have one ticket for all the rides and attractions, but now we have specific coupons for each ride and attraction and people can choose what they want to experience and only spend money on that particular ride or attraction.”

Visitors can use a ride or attraction from RM3 by purchasing MAPS coupons, which are priced between RM3 and RM15.

MAPS Passports are also available at RM80, allowing guests to use all rides and attractions, but only once, while the MAPS Infinite Pass (RM145) gives guests unlimited use of rides and attractions.

MAPS CEO Shafeii Abdul Ghaffor also said that the attraction’s operating hours will be changed.

“Effective March 1, MAPS will be operating from 4pm to 12am every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, while Friday, Saturday and Sunday, it will be open from 10am to 12am. We will close on Wednesday,” he said.

PwC appointed to carry out forensic audit

The Perak Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has also announced the appointment of PwC to conduct a forensic audit on MAPS.

The Malay Mail reports that PAC chairman Leong Cheok Keng said a report is expected within two months and that the people are questioning the irregularities in MAPS.

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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