The Kelantan government is looking to turn Rantau Panjang into a new distinct as part of efforts to improve the area and to increase its tourism appeal.
"The state government is trying to make Rantau Panjang a new district. If we can’t, then at least a sub-district like Lojing would be okay," said Deputy Menteri Besar Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah.
"Now, Rantau Panjang is under the Pasir Mas district. But it (Rantau Panjang) can be separated, as that town (Pasir Mas) is already developed and is a tourist point," he added.
Mohd Amar said the previous request for the area, which is by the Thai border, to be made a district of its own was rejected.
"We will reapply," he said when answering an additional question by Abd Rahman Yunus (PAS-Pasir Tumboh) during the state assembly session in Kota Bharu today.
Elaborating, Mohd Amar (PAS-Panchor) also called on traders in Rantau Panjang to diversify the products being sold so as to attract more tourists.
He explained that they could start to introduce branded ware, instead of merely relying on sales of goods obtained from Thailand or Cambodia.
“At the moment, those who wish to go to Rantau Panjang only want to purchase cheap goods,” he said.
The border town of Rantau Panjang is separated from Sungai Kolok in Narathiwat Thailand by the Golok river.
It is popular as a duty-free shopping zone for locals looking to score cheap buys, including clothes and food items. It even attracts tourists from neighbouring Thailand.