Kopi'vosian, Greetings from Sabah!
Sabah made good progress in tourism business, the first-10 months of 2013. There were increased air accessibility and flight-frequencies into Sabah with more airlines connecting from regional capitals into Kota Kinabalu, including record arrivals of charter flights from the region. In October, Malaysia Airlines re-Launched its Kota Kinabalu-Tokyo 3x-weekly direct flights and added a second-direct flight direct to Perth. Today, AirAsia launches its direct domestic flights from Kota Kinabalu to Malaysia’s North-Eastern Peninsula capital, Kota Bahru 3x-weekly, with full capacity in the next few months.
Several global corporate brands from Europe and the Asia Pacific region including medical meetings and conferences, Banks and Financial institutions, a Bishops Conference and many more held their meetings and corporate incentives Events in Kota Kinabalu. These corporate incentives’ travel to Sandakan and the east coast to visit the Turtle Islands, the world renowned Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Sanctuary and upriver to Sukau the popular wildlife habitat, the favourite filming destinations of BBC naturalists Sir David Attenborough, the National Geography, Discovery Channel and more.
Sabah is the Land Below the Wind, situated below the typhoon belt that affects the Philippines in the north. Diving is year-round in Sabah and continue to be popular with March, April, May and June being the most popular spring-summer dive season. The Malaysian Government has strengthened and further enhanced the armed security forces on these islands.
Subsequent to the February Sulu intrusions to Sabah at the remote coastal village of Tanduo, the Government established the ESSCOM (Eastern Sabah Security Command) along the entire east coast of Sabah from Kudat in the north to Sandakan, Lahad Datu, Semporna and Tawau in the southeast. This ESSCOM is similar to the USA Homeland Security on the USA-Mexico border and the Australian Government's own ADF against infiltrations/illegal arrivals and smuggling. The Malaysian "Ops Daulat" military offensive had successfully mopped up the intruder-terrorists. The remote Tanduo village is now a Malaysian security base.
Pursuant to the unfortunate death of the Taiwanese male tourist and abduction of his wife at the popular Pom Pom Island Resort, the case is still under investigation by the Police. The Authorities has advised that all measures are taken to ensure she will be returned safely. The Sabah Tourism Board conveys our condolences to the families of the couple.
We wish to inform that all other island activities and dive resorts in Sabah are carrying out business as usual. We wish to assure that Sabah is safe to visit, including the resort islands off Semporna.