Selamat Datang and Greetings from Sabah.
Sabah enters the second half of the year by welcoming the Moslem holy fasting month of Ramadan; and soon, pending on the sighting of the new moon (likely 28July) will be the celebration of Hari Raya Aidilfitri which signifies the end of Ramadan. It is a month of spiritual cleansing and getting together with family and loved ones. In August will be the Sandakan Day, the Borneo Bird Race and Borneo Bird Festival and National Day will be on 31st August followed by Malaysia Day on 16th September. July/August are also the fruits season - Do Come and join the fun!
June was a happening month in Sabah with the FCAS International Dragon Boat Race and the back-to-back festivals like the KK International Film Fest, KK Jazz Fest, Sabah International Folklore Festival and the Sunset Music Fest at the Tip of Borneo in Kudat. We had thousands of local and international people running the streets in May for the 7th Borneo International Marathon and many diving underwater for the prestigious PADI Course Director Training Course (PADI CDTC) conducted in Kota Kinabalu for the 16th year straight! Many of these groups travelled to the east coast to visit the Turtle Islands, the world renowned Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Sanctuary and river-safaris to Sukau for the must-see Bornean wildlife habitats. Media groups such as National Geographic and Discovery Channel continue to film Sabah, including the highly respected British naturalist Sir David Attenborough who filmed in Danum Valley recently.
In 2013, last year, more than 3.383 million visitors came to Sabah, of which about 1.1 million were international visitors and more than 2.3 million were domestic tourists. Although, Sabah experienced a few unfortunate incidents, we are confident 2014 will yield positive growth.
Last year in November, a tourist was abducted and her partner got killed at Pom Pom Island Resort; and in April this year a tourist was abducted at Singamata Reef Resort off Semporna. The Government have tightened security measures and presence at all the islands resorts. All resort-operators in the East coast were required to install and enhance their security-safety measures; and to work closely with the Authorities. The Home Ministry and Defense Ministry deployed and increased more personnel and maritime assets in Semporna. The recent incident, on Saturday night 12 July, in which armed intruders killed one policeman and abducted a policeman at Mabul Island are under serious investigations and all the islands and resorts are under greater security surveillance by ESSCOM Commander to protect and ensure safety and security of tourists, visitors and locals.
Sail Malaysia with 21 yachts from eight-countries, including Australia, UK, USA, New Zealand, Netherlands are currently sailing around Sabah, including the east coast. They arrived in Sandakan, today, and thereafter will continue to sail to dive resorts-destinations in Semporna …
KOTA KINABALU, Sabah’s capital city is bustling and busy with tourists, visitors here for their summer/winter vacations and also to Conferences. All the attractions including the World Heritage Site Kinabalu Park, the dive islands-resorts in the west and east coasts, nature and wildlife sanctuaries in Sandakan are open with tourists and visitors both from overseas and locals.
It is business as usual in Sabah!
Terima Kasih. Thank you.