News & Updates

Tourist arrivals double due to peace in Sabah

KOTA KINABALU: Tourist arrivals in Sabah have doubled due to the peace in the state.

Deputy Sabah police commissioner SAC Datuk Tan Kok Liang attributed the rise in tourist arrivals to the peace factor and said the crime rate in Sabah had dropped by 10 per cent this year.

“The crime rate in Sabah is also quite low,” he said during the Hari Raya cakes presentation by Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan at the Kepayan police headquarters near here yesterday.

He expressed his gratitude to the community for their cooperation and said without the cooperation from all parties, the aim to maintain peace in the state would not be possible.

The peaceful environment has also lured investors to come to Sabah, he said.

Meanwhile, Pairin expressed his gratitude to the police and said their contribution was greatly appreciated.

Pairin, who was representing Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS), distributed 500 packets of cakes during the event.

He also commented on the infrastructure development that had taken place in Sabah between 49 years ago and now.

He said changes in infrastructures could be seen between then and now.

He cited his own village as an example, saying that 49 years ago, there were no roads going into his village and the people had to walk on foot through the hilly terrains. There were also no water and electricity supplies.

“But now, you can see the changes – there are water, electricity supplies. It shows that the government cares about the welfare of the people. It also knows that it is important to bring about infrastructure development as that will improve economic development,” he said.

In the context of tourism, he cited that 49 years ago, the sector was non-existent.

“Yet now, it is a different story … tourism has strengthened the economic activities (in Sabah),” he said.

Source : Borneo Post

Malaysia-China trade may exceed USD100 billion – chamber

KOTA KINABALU: The Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce expects bilateral trade between Malaysia and China to exceed USD100 billion this year.

Its Sabah branch president, Datuk Lau Kok Sing, said the bilateral trade between both nations was recorded at around USD35.6 billion as of May this year.

“Last year the bilateral trade between Malaysia and China stood at USD91 billion and we expect it to exceed USD100 billion this year,” he said in an interview here yesterday.

The Sabah branch of the chamber, led by Lau, recently organized a trip to Hong Kong, Xi’an and Shanghai in China to learn more about the tourism and development in China.

The chamber invited Head of State Tun Haji Juhar Haji Mahiruddin and wife Toh Puan Norlidah R.M. Jasni as well as Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Peter Pang En Yin to join the trip.

Also among those in the China trip were Lau’s wife, Datin Lim Su Chin, the chamber’s honorary advisor, Datuk James Hwong, vice president Frankie Liew, internal auditor Datuk Alan Ang Banth Suoon, deputy secretary-general Dexter Lau Wei Dick and member Koh Kian Ling.

“The Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce was established not long ago, and so it was our honour and a form of recognition and encouragement that the TYT could come with us on this trip,” Lau said.

He said the chamber would organize more trips to bring Sabahan entrepreneurs to China, adding that there are opportunities in the tourism and hotel industries.

On the other hand, Lau also hoped to bring more Chinese investors to the State to explore opportunities in agriculture, oil and gas and the rubber industries in the near future.

He added that Chinese who have come to Sabah had commended its beautiful scenary, and on this trip, he said the local officers had pledged to bring more people to visit Sabah.

Among the places the group visited include Terracotta Warrior and Horses, Qing Shi Huang Maosoleum, The Great Mosque, Yu Garden, and The Bund in China.

“The Great Mosque has over 1,000 years of history. Our TYT had the chance to speak to a worker at the mosque as well as study ancient scripture carved on a slab of stone.

“Malaysia’s former Prime Ministers Tun Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad and Tun Abdullah bin Haji Ahmad Badawi had also visited this place before,” Lau quipped.

Source : Borneo Post

MyCenTHE to provide quality hospitality personnel

KOTA KINABALU: The launch of Malaysia Centre for Tourism and Hospitality Education (MyCenTHE) Sabah cluster will play a role in raising the current four to seven per cent of hospitality personnel with diploma or higher qualifications in the State.

President of MyCenTHE, Associate Professor Dr Wong Kong Yew, said the MyCenTHE aimed to achieve three key performance indicators (KPI), which included raising the current 16 per cent of workforce with diploma qualifications to 50 per cent by year 2020; to increase the number of diploma holders from 30,000 to 50,000 annually by 2020; and to raise income level from the current average RM1,200 to RM4,000 a month based on the government’s vision to become a high income nation by 2020.

MyCenTHE is a national initiative under the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) which was launched and led by UCSI University with the aim of providing Malaysia’s expanding tourism and hospitality industries with quality human capital.

MyCenTHE Sabah cluster was launched by Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) vice-chancellor Professor Dr Mohd Harun Abdullah, representing the Minister of Higher Education, Dato’ Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin, here yesterday.

INTI College Sabah, cluster leader of MyCenTHE in Sabah, has enlisted five-star Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort and Hyatt Regency Kinabalu as partners to provide 10 months of work-based learning for students in the diploma programme.

“MyCenTHE aims to produce good quality workforce for the hospitality and tourism industry, which is in line with Sabah Tourism Board’s (STB) effort in promoting the tourism industry in Sabah.”

Wong said Malaysia’s tourism receipt would grow threefold by 2020, and quality workforce was needed to attract high yield tourists.

The next MyCenTHE cluster will be launched in Johor.

“By year end we will have MyCenTHE clusters in Sabah and Sarawak, Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Johor.

“By 2015, we will have 15 clusters in Malaysia,” he said, adding that the workplace learning programme would be affordable to students.

Meanwhile, INTI College Sabah principal Dr Alan Lim said MyCenTHE would not only increase the number of highly qualified graduates, but it would also improve the income of the workforce as they moved forward.

“In Sabah, graduates with diploma or higher qualifications constitute around four to seven per cent.

“With MyCenTHE playing a role in this, we hope to increase the percentage,” he said, adding that INTI College also planned to expand the number of hotel partnerships.

Lim also said that INTI College Sabah had completed the upgrading of its facilities, including for tourism and hospitality training, as well as revised and updated its curriculum and are now offering a work-based Diploma in Hotel Management.

“Our intention is to introduce more MyCenTHE-based courses, which are jointly developed with institution members nationwide, such as the work-based Diploma in Tourism and Event Management, Diploma in Culinary Arts, and Diploma in Retail Management.

“Strong partnership between INTI and MyCenTHE will bring forth a dynamic and cohesive set of programmes that will enable graduates to be part of the highest quality training available, thus opening doors to abundant opportunities,” he said.

Source : Borneo Post

16 NGOs get Shell ‘green’ grants

KOTA KINABALU: FIVE non-governmental organisations (NGOs) received Shell Sustainable Development Grants here yesterday to undertake environmental and sustainable livelihood projects.

The recipients were Partners of Community Organisations (Pacos) Trust, Land Empowerment Animals People (Leap), Tatana Roots Community, Sabah Wetlands Conservation Society and Persatuan Warisan Bung Bratak from Sarawak.

State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun and Shell Malaysia country chair Iain Lo were present during the ceremony.

The five organisations were part of 16 NGOs chosen nationwide for the RM560,000 grants programme. Each NGO will receive between RM30,000 and RM50,000.

Masidi said: “The Shell Sustainable Development Grants has given out more than RM2.5 million over the years to assist and educate our communities and youth, while simultaneously ensuring the initiation of key environmental projects in Sabah and other parts of the country.

“This programme is yet another manifestation of its commitment to sustainable development.

“After four years, this programme has grown to reflect a true testament of how much excellent progress can be achieved when key stakeholders, NGOs, government departments and the community, work hand in hand.”

He encouraged communities and NGOs to overcome environmental and social issues and not depend on the government.

Lo said that in promoting and initiating more projects, Shell Malaysia would accelerate its progress towards sustainable development in the country.

He added that such funding would act as a catalyst for groups and individuals to achieve their targets on environmental conservation as well as sustainable livelihood.

“The programme seeks to empower Malaysian-based NGOs to initiate sustainability projects.

“By working together, we can leverage on the reach and insights of NGOs and other like-minded organisations to uncover hot spots in the nation that require attention.

“These partnerships also enable Shell to place funding where it warrants, and with the NGOS, deliver the results we need to make a difference in our communities, youth and environment.”

All projects selected at the event had been judged based on their practicality, direct benefits, financial needs and sustainability factors.

The Pacos Trust, Leap and Tatana Roots Community received grants under the sustainable livelihood category while Sabah Wetlands Conservation Society and Persatuan Warisan Bung Bratak came under the environmental conservation project category.

Source : New Straits Times

Nine Elvises to perform at charity concert

KOTA KINABALU: Nine Elvis Presley impersonators from throughout the country will perform together for the first time at a charity concert on August 25 in aid of Sabah Society for the Blind and Sabah Thalassemia Society.

The concert, organised by event company Risworld Creation and themed “Moment with Elvis”, will be held at the Magellan Sutera Harbour here.

Among the Elvis impersonators from Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular expected to strut their stuff in commemoration of the ‘King of Rock and Roll’ is Risworld Creation director Chris Gomes, who is known as Elvis of Sabah.

Gomes, who led a courtesy call on Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Masidi Manjun yesterday, said numerous activities will be held prior to the concert.

Masidi said his ministry has always supported such event, especially those aimed at raising funds to help the less fortunate.

Before the concert, the nine Elvises in the legendary rock and roll icon’s jumpsuits will take a coach tour of the city center, Tanjung Aru, Luyang and Penampang on August 24.

They will also make a public appearance at 1Borneo Hypermall before visiting the two charitable centres.

More information and tickets, priced at RM5,000 per table, RM2,500 per table and RM1,500 per table inclusive of dinner and show, can be obtained from Risworld Creation at 019-850 6426/088-428 659, Sabah Society for the Blind (088-218 130/088-218 718), Sabah Thalassemia Society (010-366 9588), Hollywood Music House (088-239 203) and Tina Saloon in Tamparuli (014-675 4010).

Source : Borneo Post