Monday, 3 September 2012


By Hidup Johor

JOHOR BAHRU: The soon-to-be opened Legoland Malaysia is creating a lot of buzz as a tourist attraction and the anticipation of jobs and business opportunities it brings.

Sited on a 31 hectare site in Nusajaya, Legoland Malaysia is the first Legoland to open in Asia.

Opening ahead of Japan and Korea, Legoland Malaysia is the sixth in the world after Legoland Billund, Legoland Windsor, Legoland California, Legoland Deutschland and Legoland Florida.

Judging by the long queues at the public previews during the Hari Raya holiday weekends, Legoland Malaysia will be a hit among families and children.

Johoreans are very lucky as this Khazanah-led project costing RM720 million will change Johor into a destination tourists want to go to, instead of just being a cheap backyard to Singaporeans for car wash, groceries and massages.

Taxi operators for one are already excited about the opportunities Legoland brings. United Taxi Association of Johor Bahru (Gapet) treasurer Hadi Mohamed said the theme park, the first of its kind in Asia, would enhance their livelihoods.

"Many passengers, especially from Singapore, have been asking about it and we personally can't wait for the official opening of the theme park on Sept 22," he said.

Wahab Hashim, President, JB-Singapore Taxi Owners Association added that Legoland offers taxi drivers more business as taxi drivers have more travel routes than merely going to Johor Bahru city centre only.

Meanwhile tour company, Eastcoast Adventure Travel and Tour Sdn Bhd managing director Liza Alip said Legoland’s orientation towards family, will be a big pull among domestic and foreign visitors.

"Prior to this, we can only promote beautiful islands, such as Tioman and its seafood, but now we have a new tourist icon to promote for family holidays," she said.

Aidah Abd Rahman, the marketing and communications manager of Thistle Hotel, echoed this sentiment as the hotel industry is thrilled about the expected boost to business.

"The family-oriented theme park is expected to increase the bookings of rooms especially during school holidays," she said.

Legoland Malaysia has also opened up new job opportunities for Malaysian youths.

For model builder, Ahmad Radhi Abdul Rahman, 25 years, from Johor Bahru, working on Lego models was a chance of a lifetime which allowed him to remain in Johor.

“Initially, family and friends thought I was playing around with Lego, but as time went on, they came to understand what the job entailed. They support what I am doing and give me encouragement.”

Noor Amyee Suratman, 25 years, from Kota Tinggi, said the job allowed her to indulge in her creative interest. She is especially happy that in this new field, women can advance without limits to their achievements.

“There’s no need to think that a job like model building is strange or is just fun and games because you can go far in this field. “

Amyee, Radhi and colleague

Their skills will continue to be in demand with other existing Legoland parks and the new Legolands being built. Legoland expects to add another new park to its portfolio every two to three years.

In addition, Legoland is venturing into Legoland Hotels which will utilise the skills of these model builders.

So all good things come to those who wait. It was worth the five year wait for Legoland to be delivered. Welcome, welcome Legoland with open arms!

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