Stories, news, update from KePKAS

SICC expected to catalyse Sabah’s economic growth

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah International Convention Centre (SICC) under construction here will catalyse Sabah’s economic growth and play a key role in high-impact tourism.

The project, owned by state-owned Yayasan Sabah Group (YSG), is being built on a 15-acre reclaimed site adjacent to the soon-to-be relocated Kota Kinabalu Port.

The convention centre, the first of its kind in terms of scale in Sabah, is one of the strategic projects to enhance YSG’s impact on Sabah’s development, its director Datuk Sapawi Ahmad said yesterday.

He was speaking during a 3-in-1 event here witnessed by Chief Minister cum Yayasan Sabah Chairman Datuk Musa Haji Aman. The event saw the signing of a multi-party memorandum of understanding, a Loan Syndication Mandate and the presentation of dividends to YSG.

Under the MOU, YSG’s wholly-owned subsidiary Innoprise Corporation Sdn Bhd will collaborate with WH Vector Sdn Bhd and Koperasi Agrotek Malaysia Berhad in the development of the Papar Smart City project. Koperasi Agrotek will act as consultant and developer for this project.

The loan syndication will see state-owned Sabah Development Bank and AmInvestment Bank Berhad leading a syndicated loan to finance the completion of SICC which, when completed, will be the biggest in Borneo.

SICC is envisaged to be the main driver to attract MICE (meetings, incentives, conference and exhibition) visitors. The adjacent Kota Kinabalu Convention City (KKCC) built by renowned Mah Sing Group, will have three hotels and high-end shopping, office and residential components to complement SICC. KKCC has a gross development value of RM1.4 billion. It is connected to SICC via a covered sky bridge.

Aside from KKCC, SICC will also be complemented the proposed world class cruise terminal and marina. According to state government figures, these facilities are expected to generate RM735 million in revenue from domestic tourists, RM2.3 billion from international tourists and an additional RM3.15 billion from MICE.

In the presentation of dividends, nine YSG subsidiary companies paid a combined RM44.6 million in dividends to YSG. The companies are Tanjung Aru Hotel Sdn Bhd, Benta Wawasan Sdn Bhd, NRG Consortium (Sabah) Sdn Bhd, Sabah Softwoods Berhad, Norsechem (Sabah) Sdn Bhd, Borneo Nature Tour, Innoprise Jungle Lodge, Sabah Foundation Bioscape Sdn Bhd and YSG Landscape Services Sdn Bhd.

YSG, set up not long after Sabah attained independence in 1963 and backed by rich timber concessions, is aimed at uplifting the standard of living of Malaysians in Sabah. It has an extensive business portfolio from shipping tom plantation to tourism.

“When completed, the SICC is poised to be an engine for the economic growth of the state, particularly in relation to high-impact tourism said,” said Sapawi.

Meanwhile, in applauding the financial achievements of the YSG-owned companies, Sapawi stressed on the ability of these companies to pay dividends testify to their abiding with their respective Key Performance Index (KPI).

“KPI should be maintained and enhanced to a higher level in ensuring that the subsidiaries continue to be relevant not only to the YSG but also to the people,” said Sapawi. “Indeed, the dividend will help YSG to actively continue to carry out its social programmes in improving the people’s quality of life.”


Source : New Sabah Times

Uphold universal values: Masidi

Ranau: State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun urged the people here to adopt universal values inherent in all religions in order to ensure peace and harmony to persist.

“In the religion itself we have universal values that we all share. For instance, in Islam we must be a good head of the family. I think other religions, including Christianity also teaches that.

“This is what is called the universal values that we all share no matter what our religious affiliations.

If you are a Muslim, be a good Muslim, if we are a Christian, be a good Christian people and so on.

“Never follow the example of people in other places who kill others in the name of religion.

Be thankful because we are more civilised than them. Be a better people than those in other places who wait for the opportune moment to fight with others,” he said.

He said that hostile attitude is not the universal values that should be emulated as this is contrary to all the values in any religion in the world.

Masidi, who is also Assemblyman for Karanaan, said this when opening the Ranau Parliamentary Christmas Day Celebration 2016 held at the Ranau Umno office compound, Thursday.

Meanwhile, he also praised the spirit of unity among the people here area because although they are from different religions, they can live in harmony regardless of their differences.

“Here we do not see diversity in religious affiliations as a problem, instead, this became an aspect of our unity.

We are proud to be able to see the difference among us as an excuse for us to work together and be united.

“Even within our Umno in Ranau, 30 percent of our members are those who are Christians and many are Christian leaders in their churches.

“As I always say, religion belongs to God and party belongs to human. We can not equate the party with religion.

Because political parties are our creation and when we die, the party is still there,” he explained.

He urged members of the party and member of other Barisan Nasional (BN) components to attend any Christmas celebration invitations from any party to uphold social harmony in this area.

Also present at the ceremony, Ranau MP Datuk Dr Ewon Ebin, District Officer, Hj Faimin Kamin, Karanaan Kapitan, Datuk Jimmy Tham, Wanita Umno Chief, Datuk Amisah Yasin, Head of Community Development Paginatan, Georgina George Leong and others.


Source : Daily Express

Gordon for guitar meet finals

Kota Kinabalu: A local musician, Gordon Horace Chin, has been selected to enter the finals of the 3rd Penang International Finger-style Guitar Competition to be held in Penang this Saturday.

Gordon, 26, will be competing against guitarists from several countries.

On Wednesday, Gordon, a reporter-turned-musician, paid a courtesy call on Kota Kinabalu Mayor Datuk Yeo Boon Hai.

Apart form briefing the Mayor on the contest, Gordon also explored the idea of organising a similar contest in Sabah, supported by the Kota Kinabalu City Hall (DBKK).

In his response, Yeo said he supported the idea in principle and would seek the co-operation of other relevant government agencies like the Sabah Tourism Board (STB) and the National Culture and Arts Department (JKKN).

The Mayor congratulated Gordon on his selection for the finals and wished him all the best.

Gordon thanked Yeo for his support and said win or lose, he could not wait for the contest to be held in Kota Kinabalu as it will help promote Sabah tourism.

Source: Daily Express

S. Korea’s Eastar Jet begins Busan-Kota Kinabalu service

KOTA KINABALU: South Korea’s low-cost airline Eastar Jet inaugurated its second service to this city yesterday with its new Busan-Kota Kinabalu route. Already plying the Incheon (Seoul)-Kota Kinabalu route since July 2010, the carrier kicked-off its Busan-KK service with the arrival of its ZE941 flight from Busan at 10.55pm here yesterday. Sabah Tourism Board (STB) general manager Gordon Yapp said the new sector means that there are now 35 direct international flights into Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA). “As Eastar Jet executive managing director Jeong Nak Min said, Busan is the second largest city in South Korea and we are looking forward to an increase of up to three or four per cent of South Koreans arrival with the new route,” he said in a press conference here. Up to Sept this year, 144,596 South Korean tourists arrived here via Seoul through four airlines flying to KKIA, which Yapp said constitutes an increase of 45.2 per cent compared to last year. “There is also potential to promote Kota Kinabalu, or Sabah, as a Mice (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Exhibitions) hub to South Koreans, as it is only a four-and-a-half-hour flight here. “We will also be targeting families and couples,” he added.

Source: New Straits Times

‘End in Sipadan’ diving excursion launched

KOTA KINABALU: The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment (MOTAC) on Friday launched the ‘End in Sipadan’ diving excursion campaign here, in a bid to woo local and foreign divers to explore the best diving sites in Sabah.

This coordinated campaign will take divers through an exploration of all the dive sites in the State, taking cue from a similar programme launched in Pahang dubbed ‘Start in Tioman,’ but with Sipadan, Semporna being the “anchor” diving destination here.

MOTAC Sabah Office Director, Ag Ahmad Zaki Abu Bakar, said divers were guaranteed to experience a “different world” under the sea of Sabah, aside from the nature trails and adventure activities available on land.

“So, pack your diving gear and explore the top marine biodiversity Sabah has to offer. See the beautiful local coral reefs, turtles and other marine creatures off Kudat, Lahad Datu and in Sipadan Island,” he said.

The ‘End in Sipadan’ initiative is in line with MOTAC’s National Blue Ocean Strategy (NBOS) and “Voluntourism” efforts to boost local tourism through the promotion of dive sites in Sabah under a single brand.

It involves existing and newly-introduced dive sites, but with Sipadan Island being the final dive stop for visitors.

The move is also an attempt to further strengthen Sipadan’s image as one of the world-class dive sites in the world and to live up to its status as one of the ‘Top 10 Dive Sites in the World.’

 Source: Borneo Post