News & Updates

Bike and Tours for Cycling Enthusiasts!

In line with the initiatives taken by Tourism Malaysia to promote cycling events, Swiss tour company Bike and Tours is doing their part in promoting cycling tours and holidays in Sabah Borneo.

The company, headed by owner, Simon Werren together with his local business partner, Itisha Ismail was formed this year in Sarnen, Switzerland. It was later registered in Malaysia. Its first tour, named ‘Borneo Eco Ride’ is aimed at bringing in European tourists mainly from Switzerland to the picturesque “Land below the Wind”.

Simon, who first visited Sabah in 2010, was instantly captivated by the rich natural beauty that the state has to offer. This includes the rainforests at Danum Valley, which was recently visited by the royal couple, Prince William and Kate Middleton; the up-close encounters with wildlife along the Kinabatangan River, the marine creatures inhabiting the Islands of Mabul and Mataking, and the World Heritage Site of Mount Kinabalu.

The first visit to Sabah was indeed enough to inspire him to start something adventurous and eco-friendly here. After his personal one-and-half-year cycling expedition from Switzerland to Cape Agulhas in South Africa, Swiss-born Simon returned to Sabah. This time around, he meticulously studied the routes in Sabah, and fueled with this extensive cycling tour experience, came the conception of Bike and Tours.

Simon said, “Sabah has so much to offer and the potential for cycling tourism in this region could be further tapped into. Sabah is blessed with everything – mountains, pristine beaches, rivers, rainforests, tea plantation, hot spring – you name it. This place is an eco heaven and offers the perfect environment for cycling adventures!”

Bike and Tours is currently working on shorter tours that are aimed to entice the local market to the eco adventures in Borneo! The 3 Day / 2 Night Romantic Eco Getaway and Adventure Eco Getaway packages were recently launched in October 2012.

Sabah’s Rukun Tetangga programme has 14,000 members

 KOTA KINABALU: Sabah has 558 Rukun Tetangga areas, making it the fourth state having the most RTs in the country.

With over 14,000 active members, Sabah people have shown their commitment in ensuring the integrity and unity of the state are safeguarded.

In view of this, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said the state government recognised the contribution and role of RT and called for more solid cooperation.
“The coordination between RT and the people as well as community leaders must be further strengthened as this will give positive impact to the people in terms of creating integrity.
“I also urge all government agencies, private sectors and non-govermental organisation to work together in generating creative ideas that could strengthen the national agenda in line  with the 1Malaysia concept.”
Musa was speaking to over 2,000 RT committee members who attended the Love The Community state-level programme organised by the Sabah Department of National Unity and Integration (JPNIN) at the State Legislative Assembly banquet hall, yesterday.
Present were state assembly speaker Datuk Seri Salleh Said, JPNIN general director Datuk Azman Amin Hassan and Sabah JPNIN director Nurul Akmalina Shamsuddin.
Musa stressed that move towards a culture of unity in the community should not be a short term agenda but to be practiced with full awareness and sincerity daily.
“This includes the social institutions, education system, mass media and the society as a whole.
“I wish to remind the people to continue protect our spirit of unity and do not be influenced by the action of certain individuals that could jeopardise the harmony of the country,” he concluded.
During the programme, RT committee members were briefed on the new Neighbourhood Watch Act 2012.

Source : New Straits Times

In tune with Sabahans

KOTA KINABALU: When Joanna Funk returned home to Sabah after decades of working in Britain as a journalist, she was delighted to discover a thriving music scene.

That was four years ago. She saw there was no shortage of local talent, citing the examples of groups such as Momain Blues, KIDZ and Hinava.

Funk, 49, then started a blog (sabahsongs.wordpress.com ) devoted to Sabah’s music scene.

One thing led to another and she even tracked down teenage talent Raimon Sukudat at his kampung in the northern Kudat district.

Her blog focusses on musicians and events such as the KK Jazz Festival.

An offshoot of Funk’s online endeavour was a 240-page hardcover book titled Sabah Songs which was launched by state Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun  here yesterday.

Funk said she believed that musical talent prevailed among many Sabahans but they needed to be nurtured.

“Among the things we need more are venues where performances could be held,” said Funk, who is married to a fellow Sabahan. They have a 17-year-old son.

Masidi said the state was spending about RM6mil to improve the acoustics at the Sabah Cultural Centre which was being converted as a centre for the performing arts by the middle of next year.

“We will be installing the necessary audio and lighting equipment so that events such as or orchestral performances and plays could be staged there,” Masidi added.

He said the state’s music scene was a thriving one due to Saba-hans’ acceptance of the diverse races and religions.

Source : The Star

Former Sabah hitman Ollerenshaw makes top ten list

Kota Kinabalu: Scott Ollerenshaw said he was extremely humbled and honoured to be named by a Malaysian online news portal recently as one of the top ten superstar signings that had made an impact on the scene since the game turned professional over the years.

The 45-year-old former Australian international first came to Sabah in 1994 and it was towards the end of the signing deadline when Kelly Tham spotted and recruited him.

He made an immediate impact upon his arrival at the local scene, forging a telepathic partnership with Matlan Marjan and the two terrorised opposing defenders with their goal prowess.

Scott also boasted a record average of more than one goal a game for four straight seasons while playing for Sabah.

He netted an astonishing 180 goals from 110 matches that saw him winning the Golden Boot twice before his retirement at 31 due to a serious hip injury.

He is married to ex-national karate exponent Michelle Koh and runs his own sports tourism business in Kota Kinabalu which specialises in organising junior and adult football as well as lawn bowl tours of Sabah and regularly appears on Astro’s FourFourTwo as a football pundit.

Another Sabah foreign import, the late David Rocastle also made the list.

The former England midfielder who was a household name as an Arsenal player joined Sabah in 1999.

He had also played for Leeds, Manchester City as well as Chelsea but nagging injuries restricted him to appear in only 13 games for Sabah, during which he still managed to score eight goals.

The other eight players on the list are Juan Manuel Arostegui (Argentina), Laszlo Repasi (Hungary), Merzagua Abderrazak (Morocco), Emile M’bouh M’bouh (Cameroon), Stephen Keshi (Nigeria), Karel Stromsik (Czechoslovakia), Tony Cottee (England) and Singaporean Fandi Ahmad.

Source : Daily Express

China tourists prefer Sabah, flights up

Kota Kinabalu: State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said starting from this month there will be increased flights between China and Kota Kinabalu to cater to the increasing number of tourists from China.

“As of July this year the number of Chinese tourists who came to Sabah is already equal to the entire number of tourists who came to Sabah last year.

So tourist-wise in terms of the Chinese market we are doing well.

“International tourists this year have also been better than last year so we can expect more European tourists as well.

“The flights from China have also improved. Two months ago I went to China and Hong Kong to negotiate with the airlines to increase their services to Sabah.

“I am happy to inform that starting from the end of this month there will be an AirAsia direct flight between Guangzhou and Kota Kinabalu everyday. Starting from this month also there will be three direct flights a week by Malaysia Airlines between KK and Shanghai .

“Starting this month there will also be 25 direct flights a week between KK and Hong Kong by three carriers i.e. MAS, AirAsia and Dragonair.

“I want to also say that we estimate that by the end of this year the highest number of tourists to Sabah are tourists from China.”

Masidi said as of November, there were 126 chartered flights from China to KK and this shows the Chinese are choosing Sabah as their favourite destination.

“I hope we can take note of this to leverage what we have in Sabah to cater to the visiting Chinese tourists to Sabah.

“This can only mean there is a commercial benefit to us in Sabah, especially food providers, and I can assure you that Lido is one of the few food outlets that will benefit from the arrival of these visitors from China,” he said at the official launching of the State’s fourth Hawker Food Festival 2012 at Lido Square, Monday.

Masidi congratulated the Lido Hawkers Association and the hawkers for their food and service quality which, he said, has been improving each year.

“We should be proud because we have the ability and skill to serve food of the highest standard in Lido Square. Lido is famous and the top choice of tourists from China. And each time they come to KK the first thing they ask is where is Lido?”, he said.

Later Masidi and other VIPs proceeded to tour and sample the food of the hawker stalls in the area.

Also present was Mayor Datuk Abidin Madingkir, Perlido Association Chairman James Chan Chau Vun and Malaysian Hawkers Association National President Lee Teong Chwee, Street Food 2012 Festival Organising Chairman Chong Kim Fah, Perlido adviser Datuk TC Goh, Sabah Gerakan Chief Datuk Gordon Leong, Hakka Association Sabah President Datuk Jimmy Tham and City Hall Director General Datuk Yeo Boon Hai.

Source : Daily Express