ISKANDAR PUTERI (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - It was an emotional farewell for Iman Najwa Hazimi during her visit to Sanrio Hello Kitty Town theme park here before it shuts down for good.
Ms Iman, 26, was among the first few employees of the indoor theme park when it opened back in 2012.
"It was my first job ever and I was about 19 years old when I packed my bags and left my home town in Klang (Selangor) for the job opportunity at the theme park."
"I worked here for about two years and made a lot of lifelong friends on the job, " she said at the theme park on Monday (Dec 30).
The theme park is located at the Puteri Harbour site in Iskandar Puteri, formerly known as Nusajaya, which itself is close to the Johor side of the Tuas Second Link.
The site is close to the Legoland outdoor theme park.
The building also houses a number of other attractions, including a Thomas Town indoor park that is slated to close after Tuesday as well.
Ms Iman was visiting the Hello Kitty outlet for the last time with a group of friends, who were also former staff.
Accountant Nur Wahida Hashim, 27, who is also a fan of Hello Kitty, said the theme park's closing in Johor was a great loss to the tourism industry here.
"Many visitors, especially die-hard Hello Kitty fans, used to travel long distances to experience the theme park."
"It is sad that we have to see it close down so soon, especially as Visit Johor and Visit Malaysia Year 2020 is just about to begin, " said Ms Wahida, who visited the place on its last few days of operation with her colleagues.
Nurse V. Dineskumari, 28, said she was shocked when she heard the news of the closure as the park had only been around for a short period.
"This is the first time I am visiting the theme park and I brought my daughter along so that she can enjoy the place before it closes."
"Although I am not a huge fan of Hello Kitty, I still feel sad to see this place shut down, " she said.