I REFER to the report "Group to set up special Asia Heritage Museum" (NST, June 24).
The setting up in Kuala Lumpur of a cultural museum to preserve the historical heritage of Malaysia and other Asian countries is an excellent idea.
History is always worth preserving and a museum is just the right place for all things past so that they can continue to be appreciated in the present.
I don't think money is the real problem. The group asked for RM50 million. There are 28 million people in Malaysia, and if everyone gives RM2, the amount will soon be collected.
The problem is more about maintenance. I hope if the project comes to fruition, visitors will be charged an appropriate entrance fee and it will be the same for all -- locals and foreigners, rich and poor, children and adults.
I don't know why foreigners are charged more at tourist attractions. This should not be the case, and especially so in countries that are not yet fully developed.
Foreigners usually appreciate all things ancient more than the locals. They are better behaved because they do not litter the place, let their children run around screaming, park their cars along the yellow line or make unwanted remarks.
Many tourists come from far away lands. They pay for a plane ticket and hotel stay. So, why do they have to pay more for visiting the attractions?
For instance, the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park is an enchanting place but foreigners have to pay nearly double the entrance fee than the locals.
I have seen locals misbehaving during the bird shows by uttering inappropriate language. Why should these people pay half the price to enter a place they do not like or appreciate?
On top of that, the enjoyment and the use everyone has of a public attraction is the same. So, the fee must be the same.
When fees are not properly charged, the operator will have trouble running the place. Then, they will run to the government or other sponsoring bodies and, in the meantime, the museum will fall into decay.
Citizens must be responsible for all national treasures, arts and culture, and not because they can be a source of big income.
Tourist attractions are a collaboration between the government and the people. Only when such attractions are appreciated by the locals can they be a historical success.
Marisa Demori, Kuala Lumpur