GEORGE TOWN: WATER sports operators and beach boys in Batu Ferringhi are harassing hotel guests.
Suleiman Tunku Abdul Rahman, the communications director of Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa and Golden Sands Resort, said he was alarmed to learn from guests that the beach boys and water sports operators were behaving as though the public beach belonged to them.
"Hotel guests who wish to picnic, swim or stroll near the shore have been chased away by the beach boys as if they were intruders, so that their parasailing units can land and take off at their convenience, instead of using the designated zones.
"This disrupts the flow of activity and causes unwanted tension among our guests and the water sports operators."
He said guests' complaints included the large number of hooligans at the beach, too many operators offering jet ski and parasailing rides.
Suleiman said the water sports operators' aggressive approach was particularly annoying to guests who just wanted to take a walk and enjoy the scenery in peace.
He said they tried to persuade and pressure all guests within sight to go on parasailing and jet ski rides.
"Those who wish to have a suntan are also subjected to similar treatment. This has made venturing out to the beach an uncomfortable experience."
Suleiman also expressed dismay over the fact that this objectionable behaviour was being tolerated by Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP) enforcement officers on the beach.
He said guests had also complained about the lack of cleanliness on the beach.
Suleiman urged MPPP to direct its enforcement personnel to adopt a more vigorous approach.
"Please help us by have better control of the beach boys and water sports activities, and ensure that the cleaners maintain an acceptable level of cleanliness on the beach," he said, adding that he had written to MPPP president Patahiyah Ismail to complain about the problems.