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Sabah can expect more tourists from NZ

Kota Kinabalu: The arrival of New Zeland tourists to Sabah that now stands at 10,000 yearly is expected to increase once a proposed arrangement on Indigenous Cooperation between the New Zealand High Commission and Sabah takes shape.

State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Christina Liew said her Ministry and others would be working on the matter.

“Hopefully, the memorandum will materialise this year. The bilateral relations between New Zealand and Sabah will be rekindled and move a step further, especially in tourism.

“I am optimistic it will boost tourist arrivals from New Zealand,” said Liew, who is also a Deputy Chief Minister, after a courtesy call by NZ Acting High Commissioner Richard Mann, Wednesday.

She invited Mann, who was on his maiden visit to Sabah, to visit Sandakan in the near future.

Mann said New Zealand has a special relationship with Sabah and Sarawak based on educational needs and also indigenous peoples who have strong connections with the Maoris of New Zealand.

“The Minister of Maori Affairs was here last year, so we are focusing a lot on developing indigenous people’s links between New Zealand and Sabah and Sarawak.

“That (courtesy call) was a wonderful meeting with the Minister, and I think we found a lot in common and a lot of interest in working together and going forward,” he said.

According to Mann, the objective of the Memorandum is to provide a framework for cooperation between New Zealand and Sabah on indigenous issues and between indigenous peoples in the areas of language and culture, trade and business, education, tourism, indigenous policy and legislative developments, environment and justice, on the basis of mutual benefit.

Liew directed her Permanent Secretary Datu Rosmadi Datu Sulai to liaise with the Ministry of Education and Innovation, Ministry of Trade and Industry and Ministry of Law and Native Affairs in working towards the realisation of the Memorandum.

Also present were the Ministry’s Assistant Secretary (Cultural), Tinus Manggam, Director of Sabah Wildlife Department, Augustine Tuuga, Director of Environment Protection Department, Hj Mohd Yusrie Abdullah and Sabah Tourism Board Cassie Forsythe.

Source: Daily Express Newspaper Online | Sep 13, 2018