‘What licence are you talking about’: Malaysian campsite operators in the dark over licensing


Malaysiakini reported Father’s Organic Farm campsite spokesperson Frankie Tan as saying that various government entities, including the Agriculture Department, told them that there was no such licence the campsite operator could apply for.

“I once asked the officer if we need to apply for a campsite licence. The officer said there is no such thing as a permit because the campsite is not a permanent structure like a hotel, so there is no licence to apply for.

“It is not that we don’t want to apply but there is no way for us to apply for one,” he was quoted as saying by Malaysiakini. 

Mr Tan said he only started to provide camping services in 2017 following requests made by visitors.

When contacted by CNA, Mr Tan did not want to comment further on the issue.

Selangor’s executive council member on tourism and the environment Hee Loy Sian was quoted by the Star as saying that the state had no specific guidelines to regulate campsites and they would work with the Tourism Ministry to draw them up.

A campsite owner in Batang Kali who did not want to be named also said that she did not have a licence for her operation which she closed in late November because of the monsoon season.

“I can tell you that most of the campsite operators here in Batang Kali don’t have any campsite licence. We are not aware of any such licence. Most of us have agricultural licences,” she said, adding that the landslide was unfortunate and had nothing to do with campsites.

There are several campsites in Hulu Selangor, which is known for its eco-tourism related activities. 

Batang Kali is a popular hilly area, located close to Genting Highlands.

In a statement on Tuesday (Dec 20), the Hulu Selangor District Council said that there was no specific licence for campsites but that it was the responsibility of any business operators to file an application with the local council and ensure their business is in line with the approved plans. 

In the case of camping activities, the council said that a private recreational centre licence could be considered, although it would be subject to the conditions of the planning permission approval.

“Since leisure activities including ‘camping activities’ are increasingly gaining a place among the community and have the potential to attract tourists, specific and clear policies need to be established to ensure that these activities can be carried out legally and in accordance with the standard operating procedures (SOP),” the council said.