LABUAN, Nov 21 — Pulau Papan and Pulau Rusukan Besar can be developed to become popular tourist attractions in the country, said Deputy Federal Territories Minister, Datuk Seri Jalaluddin Alias.

He said that both islands possess their own uniqueness that should be upgraded with facilities that can draw tourists.

“During my working visits to both islands today, I have seen the potential in them to attract tourists.

“However, the facilities on the islands should be upgraded in order to be attractive to tourists, whether they are day-trippers or those who want to stay a few nights (on the island),” he told reporters in Pulau Rusukan Besar, today.

Jalaluddin said the 20-acre (8.09 hectares) Pulau Papan and six-acre (2.43 hectares) Pulau Rusukan Besar will be given due attention during the FT Ministries’ economic development committee discussions.

He said that Pulau Rusukan Besar, currently managed by a private tourism operator, should be assisted by the Labuan Corporation and the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (Motac), so that it can penetrate the domestic and foreign tourism markets.

“This should also be the case with Pulau Papan, which is already equipped with accommodation facilities (chalets) that can still be improved and upgraded.

“We will discuss how Pulau Papan can be managed by a private operator with the cooperation of Motac and Labuan Corporation,” he said.

He also said that Labuan has the potential of becoming a tourist destination with its own uniqueness, but the provision of tourism facilities was important.

He added that Labuan already had a status as an international business and financial centre, and only the tourism sector needed to be developed further. — Bernama