ANJUNG WARISAN AND SERAMBI PEKAN TO FURTHER BOOST HERITAGE TOURISM IN PEKAN, CREATE MORE BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE RAKYATLocal Entrepreneurs to Promote Traditional Crafts and Cuisine at Brand New F&B and SME Complexes; 520,000 Visitors Target for Pekan by 2020

PEKAN, 23 May 2015 – Prime Minister YAB Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak today made a working visit to the brand new Serambi Pekan Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME) complex in the historic royal town of Pekan, where he mingled with local entrepreneurs based at the complex as well as members of the public.
The Prime Minister was accompanied by the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) Chief Executive Officer, YBhg. Datuk Seri Jebasingam Issace John, together with other local officials. During the event, the Prime Minister also flagged off a boat rowing competition which was held in conjunction with the official launch of Serambi Pekan at the nearby riverfront.
In addition to Serambi Pekan, ECERDC also recently unveiled the Anjung Warisan Food and Beverage (F&B) Complex at the Pahang royal town. Built at a total cost of        RM12 million, both Anjung Warisan and Serambi Pekan are key components of the Pekan Heritage Tourism Development project, undertaken by ECERDC to further promote tourism activities in the district.
Anjung Warisan and Serambi Pekan will serve as a platform for local entrepreneurs to showcase their products to visitors, and at the same time, help preserve the Pahang culture and heritage. This project will ultimately benefit Pekan residents through the creation of new jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities.
In addition to Anjung Warisan and Serambi Pekan complexes, Pekan Heritage Tourism Development also consists of the upgrading of Pekan Waterfront and the conservation and preservation of Tasik Chini which was completed in 2011, the refurbishment of Sultan Abu Bakar Museum which was completed in 2012, as well as the renovation of Sultan Abdullah Mosque which is currently being transformed into an Islamic Museum, due for completion later this year.
Strategically located near the Pekan Waterfront, Anjung Warisan is a two-storey F&B complex where visitors can get a taste of Pahang cuisine. With a total area measuring 12,098 square feet, the ground floor of Anjung Warisan is occupied by four (4) food kiosks selling local dishes and drinks, while the top floor will be occupied by a branch of “Restoran Nasi Kukus My Mama”, a local restaurant chain that is already well-known in Pahang.
Serambi Pekanis a 1½-storey SME complex built to promote and market Pahang-made products and handicrafts and is touted as the equivalent of Kedah’s Pekan Rabu and Terengganu’s Pasar Payang. The building contains a dining area and viewing deck overlooking the Pahang River, as well as dedicated space for local crafts, food and miscellaneous items and an exhibition area.
Measuring 21,398 square feet in total, Serambi Pekan currently accommodates six (6) shop lots and 16 push carts on the ground floor. The ground floor is being occupied by 22 vendors selling local souvenirs ranging from Tenun Pahang Diraja to Orang Asli handicrafts and Pahang food specialties, such as Puding Raja, as well as miscellaneous merchandise.
The top floor of Serambi Pekan will be occupied by PappaRich, an already established restaurant chain in Malaysia, as well as four (4) other shop lots.
Located close to the town’s main attractions, namely, the Sultan Abu Bakar Museum and Sultan Abdullah Mosque, target markets for Serambi Pekan also include motorists travelling between Kuantan and Johor, university and college students from local centres of higher learning such as International College of Automotive (ICAM), Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP), Institut Kemahiran MARA (IKM) and Kolej Komuniti Pekan, as well as locals living in the Peramu industrial area.
“While strengthening the positioning of Pekan as a heritage tourism destination, Anjung Warisan and Serambi Pekan will further create greater opportunities for local entrepreneurs to become vendors of local crafts, and in doing so, preserve these cultural traditions,” said ECERDC Chief Executive Officer, YBhg. Datuk Seri Jebasingam Issace John.
This is in line with the capital-based economy and people-based economy approach undertaken by ECERDC in the implementation of all East Coast Economic Region (ECER) projects, that will ultimately benefit the rakyat, he added.
Datuk Seri Issace said there has been a sharp increase in visitor arrivals in Pekan since the official launch of the renovated and refurbished Sultan Abu Bakar Museum in October 2012. “Between October 2012 and February 2015, the number of visitors to Pekan surged to 250,000, compared with merely 16,000 visitors in 2009. ECERDC is targeting for 520,000 visitors to Pekan by the year 2020, with the creation of over 900 new job opportunities by then,” he noted.
To further boost tourism in Pekan, various events such as the annual Karnival Rakyat are also being held in collaboration with the State Government and the local authorities.
The historic royal town of Pekan, which lies within ECER and forms part of the Kuantan Conurbation, was founded partly due to its strategic location along the Pahang River.
Pekan has benefited from its historical role as a port of trade which allows for branding opportunities based around its function as a Royal town, close proximity to the Pahang river and nearby beaches, as well as the presence of historical buildings along the riverbank and a growing urban-based economy.
The proposed positioning for Pekan is built around identifiable brand symbols such as the Museum, its Royal town status, historical buildings and the Pahang river to promote Pekan as a “royal experience”.