News & Updates

Sabah police to increase road and sea patrols during CNY season

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah police will be increasing road and sea patrols during this festive season in view of the coming Chinese New Year celebrations.

Sabah CID chief Datuk Salehhudin Abd Rahman said road patrols would be conducted in hotspots at every district in the state, while sea patrols would be carried out on small and private boats.

He said these patrols involving almost 300 policemen were to ensure the safety of the community as they anticipate more traffic during this festive season.

Salehhudin said this on Thursday when launching the 12th Ops Selamat here which will run from Feb 9 to 23 this year.

Ops Selamat will also involve other security agencies such as firemen, and civil defence officials among others.

“We want to ensure that this festive season would be a safe and happy one for everyone,” he said, adding that road users must observe proper driving etiquettes while on the road and adhere to traffic regulations at all times.

Salehhudin said most accidents are caused by motorists who are inconsiderate, selfish and refuse to follow traffic rules.

Meanwhile, he also reminded home owners who will be leaving during the festive season to inform the authorities and neighbours to ensure the safety of their homes.

Salehhudin also reminded the public to keep their houses padlocked, and important documents stored properly to reduce risks of break-ins or thefts.

He said the number of break-ins during the Chinese New Year period in 2017 was at 81 cases compared to 63 in 2016, for the same period.

“This is an increase of 18 cases,” he said.

Source: The Star Online

Sabah needs more hotels to cater to tourist influx

Kota Kinabalu: The Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry has expressed concern over the insufficient number of hotel rooms to accommodate the growing number of tourists to the State in the future.

Its Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun (pic) said as the State was enjoying encouraging numbers in tourism receipts, the State Government feared its promotional efforts would be an exercise in futility.

“There are limitations to promote Sabah as we do not want the tourists to pitch up tents simply because we do not have enough rooms (for them).

“If there are not enough hotels, in the future, we will definitely have a big problem.

Eventually, growth will become a plateau if the State tourism’s growth does not equal the availability of hotel rooms,” he told reporters after opening a Taiwan-based café, Camaco Gelato Concept Café, here, Sunday.

Masidi said his Ministry, through its agencies such as the Sabah Tourism Board, was striving to ensure that there were enough hotels to meet future demands.

He said the State recorded RM7.25 billion in tourism receipt in 2016 and expected last year’s (2017) numbers to hit the RM7.7 billion mark.

On the cafe, Masidi said Camaco’s decision in setting up an outlet here was a manifestation of the company’s confidence in the business climate of the State Capital and its growing sophistication.

With 14 foreign airlines flying to Kota Kinabalu and 178 flights per week, of them 84 from China alone, he said it clearly showed the growing number of flights was a manifestation of tourist confidence in city’s ability to grow.

Source: Daily Express

Xiamen Airlines makes inaugural Beijing-KK flight

KOTA KINABALU: Chinese tourist arrivals in Sabah will be boosted as Xiamen Airlines has opened the state to the northern China market with its inaugural direct flight from Beijing to Kota Kinabalu.
The airline made Kota Kinabalu its first international destination from Beijing and expects more tourists from the city and northern China to travel to Sabah, in addition to those from the southern and central parts of the country.
“We expect the new route to contribute to the growing demand of Chinese and expatriate holiday-makers to Sabah,” said Ou Dong Ying, the airlines’ vice president for its Beijing operations.
Xiamen Airlines has been operating direct flights from Fuzhou in central China to Kota Kinabalu since Jan 2017, with an average 80% load on their Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
State Tourism, Culture and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun arrived together with Malaysian ambassador to China Datuk Zainuddin Yahya on the inaugural flight from Beijing.
“Tourists from north China can now fly in directly without having to transit,” he said on arrival at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport.
The Sabah Tourism Board also gave a traditional welcome to tourists who got off the plane.
“There will be a strong exchange of visitors that will foster good people-to-people relations between Sabah and China,” he said, adding that about 40 chartered flights from China are expected over the next three months.
Sabah had 3.65 million Chinese visitors last year, a record increase of 430,000 visitors or more than 14% compared to 2016. The value of tourism receipts was estimated as RM7.7bil.
Masidi said with such a high number of tourist arrivals, the state cabinet had asked several companies to build more hotels to cater to the growing needs of tourists.
Source: The Star

Kota Marudu sculptor expresses “hope” through art

Art is inherently beautiful. And art made by local artist contains invaluable intimations and perceptions of occasions, circumstances, and societies, writes Vesta Vanessa Jsol.

Visitors who visit the on-going ‘The 300 Exhibition – Chapter II’ at Sabah Art Gallery will definitely be amazed by hundreds of wonderful artwork, especially those ten tiny boat sculptures made from iron.

Neatly arranged around the exhibition hall on the first floor, the dark-silvered coloured sculptures seem like they are telling something – an untold story.

Curious to know what is behind those ‘boats,’ this New Sabah Times reporter decided to find and interview its sculptor, Rayner Goluhing.

“Hope,” the 29-year-old artist answered when asked about the theme of his creation.

Rayner who hails from Kota Marudu, said that those boats represent hope in people’s daily life.

“Every single day, each one of us might face different difficulties in our life. As an artist, I see that we (people) are swimming in the vast ocean, tired against the waves, longing for shelter and that boat will be our last hope to survive.

“I purposely create it in ten units with different sizes and shapes, symbolizing people’s hopes huge or small, strong or fragile.”

He took about a month to finish the ‘boats’ series. “It’s not that hard to produce, but it does take time to finish.” Currently, he is working with Sabah Handicraft Centre (Keningau).

His love of iron sculpture started since his childhood but only took it seriously in 2009 after he received an offer to further his studies in Bachelor of Creative Arts at a local university.

“These few years of my life were surrounded by pieces of iron, sprockets, barbed wire and fences that I turned into art. Some of the artworks were used as decorations in office lobbies, some hung here at the art exhibition hall and some ended up as house decorations.

“Sculpting is fun, especially with pieces which have been tossed out and deemed no longer of value. I found beauty in discarded pieces of metal.

“I thanked God for giving me a wife who loves art too,” he quipped.

Rayner and his two colleagues, Roslan Yusof, 42, and Alfred Paladius, 30, represented Sabah Handicraft Centre (Keningau) to exhibit their creations.

Roslan showcased batik painting themed ‘Sabah Nature’, while Alfred presented a series of drawings entitled ‘Valley.’

However, their artworks are just parts of the exhibition. There are more attractions that can be found by visiting the hall in person.

In the exhibition opening ceremony held recently, Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister, Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun said that locals need to support home-grown artists in order to ensure the continuity of the local art scene.

He said that the lack of support for local artists may hinder their motivation to create fine masterpieces.

“If we do not support our local talents, they will feel demotivated and our local art scene may face the risk of dying out. Give them encouragement so they can do better in the future and continue making art.”

Masidi added that locals should not only attend art exhibitions, but purchase the works of local artists as they are valuable in the long run.

“Many works produced by our local artists are of high quality. It is never a loss to invest in high quality artworks because its value only increases with time.”

He also reminded artists not to be easily demotivated by the lack of support, as it is all part of their journey in the field.

“We have a lot of talented artists, but we always underestimate their talents. We are more willing to spend thousands on foreign artworks when the quality of those artists may not be on par with our local talents.

“I urge local artists to always keep your heads high whenever people doubted you for they are road bumps that you have to face in reaching your full potential.”

Following the success of its first installation in 2015, The 300 Exhibition – Chapter II features 300 artworks of 30 local artists from around Sabah.

Themed ‘Bawah Bayu,’ featured artworks will be exhibited for three months at the gallery.

Sabah Art Gallery curator Jennifer Linggi said the theme was intended to promote Sabahan culture and heritage, which would inadvertently boost tourism in the state.

She also expressed hope that the exhibition will encourage more local artists to take part in Sabah’s art programmes to increase credibility in management and implementation.

“This programme also mirrors the determination of local artists in organising academic art-related events,” she added.

Artworks featured at The 300 Exhibition – Chapter II are for sale at RM300 a piece.


Source: New Sabah Times

Sabah Tourism expects higher receipts from growing MICE market

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Tourism board has established the Convention Bureau Unit to tap business opportunities from the state’s growing Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) market.

In a statement on Saturday, Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said that the unit was created in anticipation of the completion of the world-class Sabah International Convention Centre (SICC) next year.

“The convention centre will allow the board to focus on the MICE market, which would earn Sabah more tourism receipts.

“The importance and strength of this new segment of the tourism industry must be built up from now,” he added.

Masidi also announced Gordon Yapp’s appointment as chief executive officer of the Sabah Convention Bureau.

Yapp is a long-serving officer of the board and is retiring as General Manager this month.

He will assist the owner of SICC and work towards securing more business for Sabah.

Meanwhile, Suzaini Sabdin Ghani has been promoted to become general manager, from her current post as the board’s deputy general manager in marketing.

Suzaini has more than 20 years of experience as a senior employee of an international hotel chain, and has spearheaded the transformation of the board’s marketing strategies to become more focused, results-oriented, and with lower marketing expenses.

“For the last two years, we have been working hard to transform the board, striving for excellence by embracing the (private sector’s strong) work ethics and culture.

“Information and Communications Technology is now a vital component of the board’s new marketing strategy. Marketing costs are lower, but the results are much better,” Masidi added.

Source: New Straits Times