News & Updates

15,000 Sabah jobs linked to coffee

Kota Kinabalu: The local coffee industry is contributing a big chunk to the economic pie with some 15,000 locals being employed throughout its value chain generating over RM250 million of the State’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Deputy Chief Minister-cum-Industrial Development Minister Datuk Raymond Tan said agriculture, manufacturing and general service comprised almost 67 per cent of Sabah’s GDP in 2016, with quantifiable value of RM49 billion.

He said the local coffee industry also played an important role in servicing the ever growing tourism sector; not counting the exports of products once they return to their respective home countries.

“It goes without saying that a successful coffee culture will serve as lead for Sabah’s other agricultural products such as tea and cocoa to go higher too.

“My Ministry has tirelessly focused on Sabah’s industrial development by looking into the complete value chain, from raw materials to manufacturing and service at the other end.

“We believe Sabah should utilise its natural advantage of abundant resources and value-add to transform into products and services.

“Sabah imports almost 1,000 tonnes of raw coffee beans yearly, as needed by over 15 factories big and small, to churn out products for consumers and over 3,000 food and beverage outlets to serve customers.

“This is expected to grow further with locals demanding better products and better service quality, as well as higher expectations from tourists visiting the State,” he said at the opening of the second KK Coffee Festival at Suria Sabah Shopping Mall, here, Friday.

According to him, his Ministry welcomes proposals for collaboration or assistance, if needed, in expanding the value chain in the areas of manufacturing, logistical support and any services to improve efficiency and productivity.

Tan also congratulated Borneo Cafe Alliance, a subdivision of Federation of Sabah Industries, in organising the successful event which, according to him, reflected the entire coffee value chain.

“Your event certainly assists in bringing more sophistication to the industry by not just providing a platform to showcase latest products and promote higher service quality but also by having competition of this sort to bring up the skill levels of local coffee players.

“This exposition event together with the Latte Art competition, I’m sure, have elevated the coffee standard here in Sabah to the benefit of not just locals but international tourists.

“Therefore, I encourage Borneo Cafe Alliance to organise more events to better serve Sabah’s food and beverage industry,” said Tan.

Meanwhile, Borneo Cafe Alliance Chairman Frankie Liew said there were 21 exhibitors occupying 30 booths, covering raw materials and equipment suppliers and cafes.

“This event presents a good spectrum of products and services to guests as well as visitors in terms of exposure, increasing awareness and elevating the standard of coffee in the State and beyond.

“We believe that the coffee industry contributes tremendously to the State’s economy as well as completes the value chain from plantation to production to services,” he said.

Also present at the event was Federation of Sabah Industries (FSI) Honorary Life President Datuk Seri Wong Khen Thau. – Cynthia D Baga


Source: Daily Express

Safeguarding the Corridor of Life

GREETED by the sweet sound of nature, Imbak Canyon Conservation Area (ICCA) transports you to a different world. Surrounded with lush greenery, you might wonder how this virgin rainforest remained unscathed throughout the years.With every step you take into this tropical treasure, it unveils secrets that will lure you deeper into its grounds.

Dubbed as the ‘Living Pharmacy’ in the heart of Sabah, ICCA is located in the central interior of Sabah just immediately to the north of Maliau Basin Conservation Area. The canyon is a 27,599 ha complex of rainforest habitats within a 25 km long valley, hemmed in on three sides by sandstone ridges.

At their highest point, the ridges exceed 1,000m with the highest reaching 1,128m.

ICCA is one of the largest contiguous pristine lowland dipterocarp forest left in Sabah.

According to Yayasan Sabah Director Datuk Sapawi bin Haji Ahmad, ICCA is named a botanical gene bank.

“ICCA has rich plant biodiversity with over 600 species recorded to date. ICCA is also home to mammal species with both lowland and montane species present in a limited geographic area.

“Among them, Orang utan, Proboscis monkey, Banteng and Borneo Pygmy elephant,” said Sapawi.

He also said Imbak Canyon was formerly part of the forest concession assigned to Yayasan Sabah Group.

“In 2003, Yayasan Sabah Group voluntarily designated ICCA as a conservation area for purposes of research, education, training and nature recreation.

“Six years later, in 2009, ICCA was upgraded to Class 1 (Protection) Forest Reserve by the Sabah State Legislative Assembly,” Sapawi said.

“The day-to-day management of ICCA is carried out by Yayasan Sabah Group on behalf of an inter-agency Imbak Canyon Management Committee which also includes Sabah Forestry Department, Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment and several other agencies.

“ICCA is conserved both for its function as a gene – bank as well as in helping to protect the quality of our river system.”

The grounds for the protection of this unique area include biodiversity, particularly botanical diversity; geological including the scenic amenity associated with the site; and the neighbouring indigenous communities and the unique range of forest knowledge they possess – which as yet remains to be fully documented.

“The key conservation values for ICCA among others are its high biodiversity and endemism; in situ conservation of threatened species; undiscovered species; undisturbed functioning ecosystems; corridor of life and climate change refuge; monitoring climate change; natural monument and scenic amenity; basic resource needs for neighbouring indigenous communities; cultural and heritage values; and bio-prospecting reserve,” he said.

ICCA provides protection for a series of ecosystems ranging from lowland rainforest to lower montane forest – all are found within a relatively small geographical range – and provide a home to high biodiversity with early evidence of high endemism.

Many species found within the ecosystems afforded protection by ICCA are endangered and vulnerable.

Many species have also yet to be discovered and described as less than 50pc of ICCA’s 27,599ha has been explored to date.

“In addressing the ecosystems in ICCA, they are undisturbed and important in terms of maintaining and securing evolutionary processes – this has particular relevance given the ongoing climate change.”

ICCA is also a corridor of life and climate change refuge where it provides functional protection for part of the upper Kinabatangan catchment and compliments the conservation initiatives in the lower Kinabatangan i.e. to maintain a “corridor of life” along the river length through to the Sulu Sea. As such, protection is provided from coastal and lowland rainforests through to the montane forests in ICCA – and indeed MBCA,” said Sapawi.

During the most recent glacial episodes, central Borneo, including Sabah, provided sanctuary (refuge) for many species of flora and fauna. ICCA maintains the potential to provide a key site for refuge from impacts during contemporary and future climate change.

Species may move inland and upwards along an altitudinal gradient. ICCA also provides an important ‘stepping stone’ between lowland and montane forests, when viewed in terms of the larger conservation landscape.

The isolated and pristine nature of the site also makes it ideal for monitoring climate along a gradient of altitudes.

“As part of a landscape – combined with the ecosystems provided protection – ICCA is a feature of national and international importance and outstanding conservation value and on its own, qualifies to be considered a natural monument,” Sapawi added.

ICCA also provides scenic amenity within the broader conservation and national landscape.

Waterfalls within ICCA also provide local scenic amenity.

In addition, the protected area maintains the potential to satisfy the basic natural resource needs of the neighbouring communities – if the connection and intervening forest cover is maintained.

Similarly, ICCA provides protection for a range of cultural and heritage values, including ethno-botanical, for the neighbouring communities. Besides this, the protection provided by ICCA and its management areas secures the forest for bio-prospecting now and in the future – thus setting the scene for biodiversity conservation through bio-prospecting potentially with local community partners.


Source: Daily Express

‘Huminodun’ complements Sabah’s creative industry aspiration — Musa

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman commended producers of the Kadazan-language film ‘Huminodun’ which premiered at a local cinema yesterday for their effort which complemented the Sabah government’s aspiration to develop the creative industry in the state.

“The state government has identified the creative industry as an important area of development and seeing the work of so many Sabahans brought to life through this film complements our aspiration.

“The effect of the creative industry on development is something that policymakers around the world have been waking up to with countries such as South Korea and New Zealand, making it the cornerstone of their economic growth,” he said in his speech text delivered by Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan.

Musa was also glad to note that the filmmaker, Siung Films Sdn Bhd, comprised of 99 per cent of Sabah talents and had worked closely with various organisations in the state to ensure a true depiction of Sabah’s heritage displayed in the film.

Among the organisations involved were State Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry, Sabah Tourism Board, Sabah Cultural Board, Kadazandusun Cultural Association (KDCA), KDCA Women’s Council and Kadazandusun Language Foundation. — Bernama


Source: Borneo Post

600 go head-to-head in Sabah’s 3rd Kiulu Adventure Challenge

KIULU: Over 600 people put their endurance to the test in the 3rd Kiulu Adventure Challenge 2017 here on Sunday.

The adventure race saw local and international participants cycle 30km past several villages; and run 13km along the Kiulu river, which is an international water rafting hotspot.

Sabah Tourism Board chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai said that this year’s participation is encouraging, having exceeded its goal of 500 participants.


“This is also the first time Pekan Kiulu became the start and end point for the challenge. (Situating the race there), where 50 stalls were set up during the challenge, will benefit local traders and entrepreneurs.

“Not only is this is a sporting event, it is also a platform to promote the handicraft and traditional food and drink of the local community,” he told reporters after flagging-off the event.

Meanwhile, on the subject of tourism, the Kiulu assemblyman said that the construction of adequate infrastructure should be given emphasis to help develop rural tourism.

This includes improving roads, and providing clean water and power supply to rural areas.

“Therefore, I hope that the villagers and local community leaders will continue to give their support to rural tourism, thus boosting the economy of Kiulu,” Joniston added


Source: New Straits Times

Kudat ideal for surfing

Kudat: State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said Kudat has sports tourism potential, particularly with its white sandy beaches and sea conditions which make it a great place to surf.

“Based on feedback, there are many surfing fans here and sports tourism is something that we can do in Kudat,” he said.

“If possible, we want each district to have a specialisation. I find surfing appropriate for Kudat, taking into account the sea and wave conditions here,” he said during the Music and Surf 2017 Festival at the Kalampunian Beach, here, recently.

The three-day event, which ended on Sunday, saw 60 surfers (41 men, four women and 15 groms – surfers below 16) who came from across the country, Indonesia and Finland.

Jointly organised by Sri Pelancongan Sabah and Sabah Surfing Association, with support from the Ministry and Kudat District Office, the event not only drew visitors to the Tip of Borneo but also boost economic activities for local vendors, some coming from as far as Papar.

The power trip that left the venue in total darkness for several minutes during the Sunset Music Concert, which started at about 4.30pm, did little to dampen the lively scene as music lovers danced under the rain to the beat of local band performances.

“This is the first time we combine music fest and surfing. There’s still room for improvement but the response is encouraging,” Masidi said.

“Perhaps in future, we should start the event earlier. I suggest 2pm, or maybe in the morning, because among challenges for visitors coming here is the distance as well as the road coming here which is not so easy and could cause people to be worried about going home too late,” he added.

He said there is also a need to rethink whether to continue having the two events at the same spot, or perhaps the surfing to be held at the beach while the music fest at its previous spot.

“The difference is that it will be free admission for people to attend, but it also depends on the weather.

“I see we have an encouraging crowd, but the weather not so. Thus, it is important that every year we have to evaluate suitability of theme and ways, I hope if there is a need for change and improvement in future, we will do so.

“This event is in our tourism calendar, but the unpredictable weather makes it a bit difficult to find the appropriate time,” he said.

Meanwhile, the surf competition, held officially for the first time this year, saw surfers from Indonesia bagging the top four spots in the Men’s Open category, with I Made Darmayasa winning first place, followed by Demian Ammar (second), Putu Arya Gunata (third) and Wayan Rian (fourth).

First place went to Tytti Beltran from Finland in the Women Open Category, with Malaysia’s Evita Ceresa, Emalina Aimi and Jessica Ukiu in second, third and fourth placing, respectively.

Malaysians won the top four spots for the Grom Category (below 16), with Ayep Jasni winning first place, followed by Chris Jericho Lisad, Marcheles Alonso Masip and Hakimi Rizal Azman in second, third and fourth placing respectively.

Best Women Title went to Evita Ceresa, while Ken Lisad won the Best Men Title and Chris Jericho Lisad Best Grom Title.

Also present were Sabah Tourism Board (STB) Chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai, STB General Manager Gordon Yapp and Sabah Parks Chairman Tengku Datuk Ser Dr Zainal Adlin Tengku Mahamood, among others. – Sherell Jeffrey


Source: Daily Express