News & Updates

New Zealand to strengthen ties with Sabah

KOTA KINABALU: New Zealand is looking to strengthen ties with Sabah by implementing a cultural exchange program that will involve two Sabahans staying with a Maori family for six months to immerse in their culture.

Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment, Datuk Masidi Manjun agreed with the Minister of Maori Development Te Ururoa Flavell on the proposal and noted that there are many similarities between the indigenous people of Sabah and New Zealand.

“One of the main sources of income in the tourism sector in Sabah is the vista homestays,” said Masidi, a concept that earned the interest of Minister Flavell.

Likewise, visitors from New Zealand can have the chance to learn the Sabahan culture. Flavell hopes to invite New Zealand alumni in Sabah or those keen on Maori culture to the World Indigenous Tourism Conference which would be held in New Zealand next year.

“We have a DNA connection to this land, our ancestors as Polynesian people came from here,” he said.

“This year is the 60th New Zealand and Malaysia anniversary, which goes back earlier when New Zealand soldiers assisted the Malayan forces during the Malayan Emergency in 1949,” said New Zealand High Commissioner to Malaysia, Dr. John Subritzky.

He added since the 1950s there has been a large influx of Malaysians coming to study in New Zealand, and the long standing relationship between Sabah and New Zealand will continue to grow.

Also present at the event was former Deputy Chief Minister, Tan Sri Dr Herman Luping who obtained his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) from Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand.

Source: Sabah Times

1,048 trees planted in Tawau

TAWAU: The district planted 1,048 trees in conjunction with the 1 Heart 1 Tree Campaign to plant a million trees all over Sabah during the Tawau Municipal Council (TMC) level at the Muhibbah Public Park yesterday.

TMC president Alijus Sipil said the program headed by the Sabah Court will be carried out in stages in the district with the help and advice from the Forestry Department and Agriculture Department.

He said it is also hoped that the public, departments and schools will take part in this program to make Tawau greener.

Tawau Sessions Court judge Indra Ayub said the project was inspired by Chief Justice of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjun to give awareness on the importance of caring for the environment, green concept, loving the environment and responsibility to take care of the environment.

He said Sabah Court had a special court for environment where cases concerning environment would be given priority and give awareness to the public that offense on environment was an issue that must be handled without delay.

Indra said the project started in Danum in January this year and moved to all over Sabah, and yesterday the campaign was launched in Tawau which was organized by Tawau Court with the cooperation from TMC, Forestry and Agriculture Departments which will see the planting of trees carried out until the year end.

He said as of yesterday, a total of 836,379 trees have been planted all over the state and encouraged members of the public to plant even at their own yard which will be taken into account.

Source: Borneo Post

Harvest Festival Draws Tourists To Sabah

KINABATANGAN, May 18 (Bernama) — The Harvest Festival in Sabah is able to promote tourism and economic growth in the state as it is an attraction to foreign and local tourists, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman.

According to Musa visitors were interested to see the unique culture and celebration of the Kadazandusun and Murut societies during the festival held throughout this month in Sabah.

“This is one of the factors why the state government had been relentless in promoting the festival as the ethnic communities celebrate the harvests with ritual and merrymaking in the state,” he said when launching Tongod District Harvest Festival at Kampung Entilibon Tongod Community Hall, here today.

Also present were Kinabatangan Member of Parliament Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin and Kuamat state assemblyman Datuk Masiung Banah.

Musa added that Harvest Festival celebrations could also strengthen unity and promote a sense of belonging among the people especially in Sabah.

He said Sabah became well-known locally and internationally due to the solidarity between various ethnic communities which had long existed.

Meanwhile, at the launch of Telupid District Harvest Festival at Telupid Community Hall, Musa said unity among diverse ethnic groups in the state had made Sabah a role model in elevating unity and harmony under the 1Malaysia concept.

Source:  BERNAMA


English role for Gaya Campus?

Kota Kinabalu: Institute of Teachers Education (ITE) Gaya Campus should be turned into an English-medium teachers university in Sabah, said State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun.

“This is the first time I am making this suggestion as there are rumours or rather proposals to turn this campus into a technical vocational school,” he said, after signing of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Institute of Teachers Education (ITE) Gaya Campus Kota Kinabalu and Special Olympics Sabah (SOS) at the ITE Gaya Campus on Tuesday.

He said all the talk about turning it to a TVET school was not favoured by the state government.

“The state government did not take it well and opposed it. Each ITE in Sabah has history of its own.

Take ITE Gaya Campus, it was the first teachers’ training college that used English in Sabah.

“You know in those days, when we didn’t have universities in Sabah. This (Gaya College) was the next big thing because there was no other higher institution,” he recalled.

Gaya College, as it was known then, was established in 1962 and was officially opened by the Governor in July 1963.

Masidi insisted the iconic institution be allowed to continue to produce teachers for Sabah.

“You cannot just take away history and forget about it.

In my opinion, the world today has turned people to think less and more robotic in our approach.

“It is important to set up a teachers’ university and I suggest turning this historic campus into one and producing quality teachers in Sabah,” said.

He stressed that there is also high value in preserving historical heritage.

“Life is not all about money but (it is also important) also to create our own integrity and to be proud of our history.

Obviously, this is one of them,” he said.

He also said it would be a good form of investment for the state as having an English–medium teachers’ university would attract students from the Asia Pacific region and the rest of world.

“Now that other universities are encouraged to take foreign intakes, there is no reason we can’t do the same with our teachers’ university. It’s as an investment for the future,” he added.

Source: Daily Express

KPJ plans to make Sabah its healthcare tourism destination

KOTA KINABALU: KPJ Hospitals aims to turn Sabah into a healthcare tourism destination by providing world-class medical services to visitors from Southeast Asian nations.

East Malaysia KPJ Hospitals executive director Mah Lai Heng said the private hospital hoped to take the lead to develop medical tourism in the state.

“Moving in line with the national direction and the state of Sabah, we want to upgrade ourselves. Sabah is a touristic destination with beautiful mountain, sea and nature but why are we not there with health tourism.

“Sarawak is actually very much ahead of Sabah on this. We’ve gone around to talk to people…Earlier on, we were not ready because we didn’t have healthcare providers (in Sabah) that are ready.

“However, at this point of time the communities are ready and we have a lot of choices such as KPJ Sabah, KPJ Damai, Gleaneagle Hospital and Jesselton Hospital. We are all friendly competitors that are able to provide (health tourism services),” she said during luncheon media engagement at the KPJ Sabah Specialist Hospital here.

Mah also said KPJ Sabah was the only private hospital in the state to provide radiotheraphy services supported by renowned oncologists in, adding radiotheraphy is the key service in the state.

She also said KPJ Hospitals hopes to engage with neighbouring countries with Indonesia already on board and Phillipines will come in soon.

“We are also going to penetrate into China market, hopefully next week when we fly there with our management team to engage and get more input.

“When people start to come in for health tourism, it’s not only for us but whole of Sabah. So we hope to take the lead to get everyone onboard to make Sabah as a point of health tourism.”

Source: New Straits Times