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Warm Greetings from Sabah, Malaysian Borneo!

Sabah is made of diverse races comprising more than 30 ethnic communities with rich cultures, customs and traditions is famous for its many Celebrations, Festivals, Events and Holidays! The months of September/October are no exceptions! In September we had the Borneo Bird Festival in Sandakan and the Borneo Birds' Race which flag off at the base of Mount Kinabalu. Birding teams from six countries spent ten days in Borneo covering 1,000km to spot more than 400 species of birds in their mission to win the Bristlehead Cup. The 52nd Anniversary of the formation of MALAYSIA, when the Federation of Malaya States together with Sarawak, Sabah and Singapore formed Malaysia in 1963 was celebrated on 16th September. Eid al-Adha festive holiday was on the same month for Moslems to mark the end of Hajj. The Malaysia International Harley Owners Group (HOG) Rally including international HOG took to the roads in Sabah, starting from Kota Kinabalu crossing the Crocker mountain range to the beautiful coastal town of Semporna onward to Mabul, the very popular island resort.

The 28th Mount Kinabalu International Climbathon renowned as the Toughest Mountain Race in the World will flag off this weekend (18-19Oct) with 731 elite runners from 21 countries participating.

Kota Kinabalu, Sabah's capital city hosted several major international Meetings/Conferences and Congress back-to-back including 1,200 delegates from 23 countries for the 25th Federation of Asian Pharmaceutical Associations (FAPA) Congress. The 45th Annual East Asia Regional Council of Schools (EARCOS) returns to Sabah for their Leadership Conference bringing 800 delegates. Korean incentive groups of the Rene-Cell, the Global Finance and the 4th International Tourism Research Conference.

Last month, Portland City, Oregon USA and Kota Kinabalu signed the Sisters Cities MOU, sealing an important bilateral tie between Malaysia and the USA. In September/October also, Sabah welcome dignitaries from Australia, United Kingdom, Korea, Japan, Brunei, Russia, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait.

The Government of Malaysia established the ESSCOM (Eastern Sabah Security Command) dedicated to oversee the entire East Coast of Sabah. Due to the kidnapping incidents that occurred at the isolated resort islands of Pom Pom, the Singamata Reef and Mabul Island, off Semporna. Hence, since 19July ESSCOM enforced night curfew (07pm to 05am) from shore to three nautical miles until the international border including the seas surrounding the resort islands in the ESSZONE areas (Sandakan, Kinabatangan, Lahad Datu, Kunak, Tawau and Semporna).

  • All resorts in the East Coast are working closely with Esscom, enhanced security measures and installations including radar for the safety of locals, visitors and guests.
  • The Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Home Affairs deployed and increased security forces and maritime assets to the East Coast Sabah, including around the famed dive destinations off Semporna.
  • Domestic/local and international tourists continue to visit the pristine dive island-destinations, including the world-renowned Sipadan. International naturalists from UK, Europe, North Americas, Australia and Japan continue to visit and stay at our Parks, Nature and Wildlife Sanctuaries to view the orang utans, proboscis monkeys, pygmy elephants, turtles and more. They are happy and satisfied with the enhanced security measures.
  • The Towns and Districts of Sandakan, Kinabatangan, Lahad Datu, Kunak and Tawau (bearing the same names) do not have night curfew. Safety and security are similar as any towns and districts anywhere in Asia with offices, banks, shops and businesses open; and nightlife entertainment are as usual...

Visitor arrivals to Sabah, January to July this year increased about +2.8% over the same period last year. European arrivals increased +11.4%, with UK & Ireland by +6.7%. Arrivals from China and Hong Kong increased by +7.5%, South Korea +17.8% and Japanese arrivals increased by +24.6%, compared to the same time last year. North America increased +8.9%.

KOTA KINABALU, popularly referred to as 'KK' is Sabah's capital city situated on the West Coast Division of Sabah. It is a cosmopolitan city, a bustling financial and business center; busy with international visitors, tourists and conference delegates. English and Mandarin are widely spoken as second language. The Expat community reflect KK's international direct connectivity to major capitals in the region.

See you in Sabah!

As per: 
14 Oct 2014
General Manager
Issued time at: 
18:00 hours