News & Updates

China kids shooting reality show in Sabah

KOTA KINABALU: China’s reality show entitled ‘Youth of China 3 – Nanyang Classroom’ has arrived in Sabah to shoot four episodes featuring the local tourism and culture here.

A group of eight children from China visited Sabah Tshung Tsin Secondary School (STTSS) yesterday, where they joined the students in writing Chinese calligraphy as well as cycling with Mayor Datuk Yeo Boon Hai.

The children just returned from their trip to Keningau and Tenom on August 12.

A total of 32 selected children from different provinces in China are coming to Sabah to shoot the reality show, co-produced by China Central Television (CCTV) and Dino Brandwork.

The Chinese youths will be shooting a total of eight episodes – four in West Malaysia and four in Sabah in the month of August. Each episode features a different group of eight children.

Sabah Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Satta) president Datuk Seri Winston Liaw said four episodes would be filmed in Sabah for more than 10 days.

Liaw said CCTV orginally wanted to spend three days to film in Kota Kinabalu, but he had recommended the film crew to visit Keningau, Tenom and Sandakan as well.

“Many of our travel agencies in Sandakan have requested Satta to promote the area more.

“Hopefully more Chinese tourists will start going to Sandakan in 2018 after the reality show is broadcasted in December this year in China, as well as other rural towns as the Sabah Tourism Board (STB) has undertaken efforts to promote rural tourism.”

He said the filming not only promoted our rural tourism, but also provided a platform for cultural exchange between the local and Chinese participants.

Liaw said Yeo was included in the filming of the reality show to promote cycling as a leisure activity for tourists given that the Kota Kinabalu City Hall (DBKK) has 120 bicycles for tourists to utilize free of charge.

Source: The Borneo Post

Stargazers blessed to catch meteor shower

KUDAT: The Rungus in Matung­gong, near Kudat, are perhaps the only people in the country to have had an unhindered view of the Perseid meteor shower.

As the rest of the country, including a large part of Sabah, was blanketed by thick cloud cover and rain on Saturday night and early Sunday morning, the small town, located halfway between Kota Belud and Kudat town, enjoyed the best view of the celestial display.

Stargazers came out as early as 10pm on Saturday as Christianto Mogolid, the co-founder of Big Picture Photography – an online digital photography education and workshops site – said Rungus elders view the meteor shower as a blessing.

“In Rungus tradition, we believe those who see falling stars are blessed with good fortune and would also have their wishes granted,” he said.

He said the meteor shower peaked at 1.30am and lasted until dawn.

“There were trails of shooting stars every now and then. I lost count of the number,” he said.

Mogolid said they managed to photograph many “fireballs” entering the atmosphere.

Starfinder Astronomical Society adviser Pang Kip Pin, 58, also got a glimpse of meteors with friends, in Kepong.

“I saw two meteors after the clouds dispersed,” he said.

Zabidi Majid, 30, and his wife Nursolehah Shahruddin, 29, were left disappointed after driving all the way from Kuala Lumpur to Port Dickson only to find it raining.

“When we arrived in PD, there were already a few groups of people at the beach. We decided not to wait too long and drove back home at around 1am,” said the biotech­nologist.

Source: The Star

Trans Borneo expedition to bring Sabah, S’wak, Indonesia closer

KOTA KINABALU: The Trans Borneo 2017 expedition will not only introduce Sabah to the world, but also bring the people of Sabah, Sarawak and Indonesia closer.

Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun hoped that the activity would integrate the people of different states and countries and could possibly be expanded to commercial relationship in future.

He said the participants would be covering a wider area this year travelling through Sabah, Kalimantan, Sarawak and Brunei in 15 days.

“The participants will be travelling on a new route which is even more challenging compared to the previous years,” said Masidi.

He said the participants would also be taking a special route from Tawau to Indonesia without boarding the ferry, made possible by the Malaysian and Indonesian governments.

“We hope that the route they travel on will not only suit their taste for adventure, but also enable people-to-people interaction from all the states and countries involved,” Masidi said after flagging off the participants in front of Sabah Tourism Board (STB) here yesterday.

The event involved 16 4×4 vehicles and about 60 participants from Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Australia, China, Thailand and Japan.

Hailed as the ‘mother’ of all 4×4 events in Borneo, the expedition organized by North Borneo Explorer Sdn Bhd is held from August 13 to 27. The road adventure will start from Sabah, crossing into Kalimantan Utara and Kalimantan Timur, and back to Sarawak through the last frontiers in Borneo, from Malinau to Ba’kelalan, before ending at Bandar Seri Begawan in Brunei.

The event will cover approximately 2,000 kilometres of on-road and off-road experience, ending in Brunei Darussalam where a dinner will be hosted by the Brunei 4×4 association.

Masidi said the foreign media who were covering the event would also give tourism mileage to Sabah as the organizer for the event.

“All these are part of our effort to introduce Sabah to the world.

“More than that, it is our initiative to bring the people in Sabah, Sarawak and Indonesia closer.

“We hope the event will integrate the people in all the areas involved, and possibly expand the relationship to commercial (ties) in the future,” he said.

Masidi added that the Pan Borneo Highway would also integrate the people in this part of the world as travelling would be much easier.

“The Trans Borneo is obviously going to be an initiative to make people realize that travelling between Kalimantan, Indonesia, or rather the Borneo states of Sabah and Sarawak will become easy.

“Hopefully along the way travellers can tell our neighbours more about our State. It will only be good for the tourism industry in the future.”

Also present were Mayor Datuk Yeo Boon Hai, Kota Kinabalu Member of Parliament Jimmy Wong, STB general manager Gordon Yapp and Sabah Land Rover Club president Datuk Henry Hing.

Source: The Borneo Post

Cindy is Miss Sabah Tourism

KOTA KINABALU: Freelance model Cindy Foo was crowned this year’s Miss Sabah Tourism during the state-level grand finals at Hakka Hall here on Friday night.

The 27-year-old cut her teeth starring in promotional videos to boost tourism in the Chinese market while also participating in various pageants, namely Sabah Model of the Year, Miss Earth Sabah and later Miss Earth Malaysia.

In her past endeavours, Cindy clinched the titles of Sabah Model of the Year in 2012 and Miss Sabah Air the following year.

Of all the pageants she had participated in, Cindy admitted Miss Sabah Tourism was the most well-rounded one as it helped develop participants as a whole and did not focus solely on appearances.

“Through Miss Sabah Tourism, I’ve had the opportunity to participate in various activities that bring a lot of meaning, like visiting an old folks’ home and spending time with the residents there.

“This pageant also provided public speaking lessons as well as catwalk lessons, which obviously came in very handy during the competition itself.

“We also did a lot of video shooting during this pageant, so we definitely gained a lot of exposure doing different things,” she said.

With her newly awarded title, Cindy said she would continue using her modelling platform to promote tourism, culture and friendship, in line with the pageant’s slogan.

While she has just been crowned Miss Sabah Tourism 2017, the beauty queen already has projects lined up to shoot movies in Penang later this year and in Sabah early next year, the latter of which will be introduced to the China market.

As this year’s winner, Cindy took home a cash prize of RM3,000 and a RM1,399 New York Fitness VIP membership card valid for one year.

She also received the subsidiary title of Miss New York Fitness, adopted by New York Fitness, in which she bagged another year’s VIP membership pass.

Meanwhile, 21-year-old Claudieyamax Aloysius was crowned first runner-up and Eleanor Ng, 24, as second runner-up.

Each winner received cash prizes and a New York Fitness VIP membership worth RM1,399, valid for a year.

All three finalists will represent Sabah in Miss Malaysia Tourism at a later date.

Miss Sabah Tourism 2017 was organised by Poise Productions and presented by SG Group, with former Miss Malaysia Tourism 2009, Weena Marcus, as pageant State Director.

Gold sponsors of the event included Avangio Hotel, Imago Shopping Mall, New York Fitness and Sheila Liaw Make Up Academy, with silver sponsors Emvee Productions, Wilti-Jos, Pick n Pay, The Crab House Seafood Restaurant, Classic Holidays, Breeze magazine, Batik Bayu, Borneo Proboscis Destinations Sdn. Bhd. and the Sabah Tourism Board.

Also present at the grand final were Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun, president and owner of Miss Malaysia Tourism Tan Sri Datuk Danny Ooi and deputy CEO of SG Group Steven Low.

Source: The Borneo Post

Hundreds of insect species found in Hampuan Forest Reserve

KOTA KINABALU: Hundreds of species of insects endemic to Borneo have been recorded in the newly gazetted Hampuan Forest Reserve close to Kinabalu Park.

An estimated 115 species, including butterflies, moths and beetles, are found in this forest reserve, which is believed to also have the highest density of nocturnal insects in the area, said Forest Entomologist for the Sabah Forestry Department Dr Arthur Y.C. Chung.

There are at least 42 butterfly, 15 moth and three beetle species found in Bukit Hampuan during their survey in the area to prepare for the gazetting sometime in 2011, he added.

It is likely that there are special types of butterflies, including Rajah Brooke’s Birdwing (Troides brookiana), Common Birdwing (Troides helena) and Tree Nymph (Idea stolli), in the forest reserve area.

Dr Chung said insects could travel from Kinabalu Park to Hampuan Forest Reserve due to its proximity and suitable living conditions.

Apart from insects, Dr Chung said an abundance of orchid species could be found at the forest reserve as well.

Dr Chung also recommended that Bukit Hampuan Forest Reserve be connected to the nearby Kinabalu Park, by gazetting the connecting state land area into a forest reserve.

“Forest fires, illegal hunting for wild animals and orchids, and agricultural activities are among the threats to Bukit Hampuan Forest Reserve, which directly affect its insect diversity,” he added.

Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department Datuk Elron Angin had in the recent state assembly said that Sabah was expanding the Bukit Hampuan Forest Reserve near Mount Kinabalu to ensure the survival of a butterfly species that can only be found there.

He added that the 1,243ha Bukit Hampuan forest reserve was being enlarged by another 26.3ha for this purpose.

Source: The Star