Stories, news, update from KePKAS

Kiulu, Tamparuli to be known as extreme sports tourism hub

TAMPARULI: Kiulu and Tamparuli will be known as an extreme sports tourism hub, said Sabah Tourism Board (STB) Chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai.

The Kiulu Assemblyman said organising the Ruhiang Kiulu Adventure Challenge 2017 (RUKIAC2017) is also part of that effort.

“Through RUKIAC2017 event, we can see an effort to make this area a location for adventure sports and extreme sports as a tourism product has led to fruition.

“The presence of local and foreign participants can also benefit the people especially traders around this area,” he said after flagging off the RUKIAC2017 run on Sunday.

Joniston said STB always helped the organisers to promote extreme sports events through their networks at home and abroad in an effort to have the participation of foreign participants.

Meanwhile, Casero Events Director Steve Johnny Mositun welcomed more support from the private sector to improve the organisation quality and quantity of participation of events.

“To make this event at an international level, we welcome the support of private companies and the government not only in terms of the provisions but also labour to assist the smooth running of the event.

“This year, we received support from various groups, including Tamparuli Sub-District Office, Department of Health, STB, Polis Di Raja Malaysia (PDRM), Ararat Sports & Souvenirs Sdn. Bhd. International Technology and Commercial Centre, Penampang, St John’s Ambulance and many more,” he explained.

The sixth edition of the event received nearly 700 entries, including from Australia, the Philippines, Singapore, France, Kenya and Indonesia.

Two events were contested, route 10 km and 23 km starting from the Tamparuli tamu, Bukit Ruhiang, Kamung Ruhiang, Ulu Bawang, Kg bawang, Kg Kewoi, Kg Lingga and Kg Togop.

Both events were divided into three categories namely Men’s Open (10km) won by Elvin Lazarus, Women’s Open- Marjilah Rebid, Men’s Veteran- Yusop Tungkob, Women Veteran- Chong Vun Lung.

For the 23km event, the Men’s Open was won by Wincentbert Latius; Women’s Open, Hyenie Roslin Danius; Men’s Veteran, Ruston Masri and Women Veteran, Kona Liau.

Source: Daily Express

3 places have homestay potential

Tambunan: A Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta), Sabah chapter visit to Tambunan, Keningau and Tenom found the homestay concept to be among potential tourism products for the three districts.

Its organising chairperson Alicia Gomes of Avasi Borneo Tours & Travel Sdn Bhd said foreign guests would be interested to include them in their holiday plans given the right marketing method.

“We want to promote more local products as this will help improve our State revenue.

I am optimistic that products such as homestay in Tambunan which are already in the market needs to be properly organised and coordinated,” said Christina Wahida Kong of the organising committee from Sensational Holiday’s Sdn Bhd.

Welcoming the group of 15 tour agents, Joanna Kitingan, the Coordinator for Tambunan Village Homestay, brought them for a site tour in one of the homestay operators in Kg Toboh, Tambunan. This year is Visit Tambunan Year.

Joanna said the products in homestay are usually day-to-day living activities of the villagers (operators) where many tourists took interest in experiencing and sampling the local way of life.

“We cook the traditional delicacies and get them to do our daily activities such as feeding the chicken, planting paddy and so on. It is fun to see foreign guests doing what the kampung people like us do here,” she said.

She also said there are many natural products being used to serve their guests. During the visit by Matta, Joanna served a sweet dessert made by one of her operators which is one of the sought-after desserts.

“This is akin to a kuih wajid. It is glutinous rice from our own paddy field, using our own grown coconut.

So everything we use is fresh and new.

She recalled her mum doing the same kuih and it could last three to four days and still good to eat, as she always used freshly plucked ingredients.

The group also visited Bondulu Children’s Home in Tambunan where they were welcomed by 64 children and sister in-charge, sister Germaine. Foodstuff, household items and cash were some of the donations made by the travel agents.

They were later entertained by children in singing performance. Besides the singing performance, a motivational talk was also held for the older children, which was conducted by Albert Aseh, one of the delegates.

They also made a visit to the Tambunan Viewing Point which was newly built in a shape akin to a carriage bag (wakid).

“This place is going to be another potential tourism spot. From here, you are able to view the whole town of Tambunan as well as the natural scenery around it. It is beautiful,” said Christina.

Mat Salleh Memorail Park in Kg Tibabar in Tambunan was also in their itinerary and made a short educational tour in the area before they went to the next district.

Source: Daily Express

Sabah-China rapport showing results

Kota Kinabalu: Both Malaysia and China have adopted similar priorities in sustaining peace, harmony and development, allowing both countries to collaborate on a range of fields.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman (pic) said in return, this has set a good example in the region of friendly cooperation that mutually benefits the people of both countries.

“In hearing about the work done by the Consulate General of China in Kota Kinabalu in the past year, it is clear to me that you have made remarkable and efficient effort in the fields of education, culture, tourism and trading,” he said, during the Chinese Lunar New Year Reception held by the Consulate General of China, here, Thursday.

His speech was read by Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan.

Musa said the Consulate General office had strengthened the relationship between Sabah and China and ensured the smooth running of collaborations that are in place, or that both sides are currently thinking of pursuing.

“For example, I refer to the Memorandum of Understanding signed between Hangzhou and Kota Kinabalu two months ago, which is one significant outcome that took efforts on the part of the Consulate General.

“I noticed that the exchange and cooperation between the two cities has started, such as the communication between Alibaba and Sabah Tourism Board.

“It is my hope that the good relationship between the two capital cities will serve as the basis and platform to boost cooperation and friendship between Zhejiang Province and Sabah,” he said.

On top of that, Musa said he is also pleased to note that the Consulate General has provided support to the Chinese community in Sabah, as well as other ethnic groups. Apart from extending assistance to Chinese schools and Chinese cultural events such as the Chinese New Year Cultural Village Exhibition and the Sabah International Dragon Boat Race, the Consulate General has undertaken charitable acts by helping children at Bukit Harapan, patients with thalassaemia and other vulnerable groups who are in need of help.

Musa said this is another testimony of the integral and strategic alliance partnership between Malaysia and China, as well as a warm illustration of familiarity of the people of both countries.

He added that it also demonstrated through China’s foreign policy reiterated by the Chinese President Xi Jinping, which features sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness.

“Looking ahead, Sabah will develop further in the future. On the basis of the respective development visions of Sabah and China, we can expect to see new cooperation in certain fields.

I look forward to see more fruitful outcomes through the facilitation of the Consulate General.

“The Sabah State Government will continue to provide support for newer undertakings, where possible.

“I trust that the relationship between China and Malaysia, and specifically between the different regions in China and Sabah, will continue to flourish in years to come. Let us leverage on our similarities to bring greater prosperity to both nations,” he said.

The event is an annual event organised by the Consulate General office and is attended by mainly local Chinese community and leaders.

Source: Daily Express

Reading culture should be enhanced for better living standard

KOTA KINABALU: The reading culture in Sabah should be enhanced to improve the standard of living of the people and enable them to compete in this ever challenging world, said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Yahya Hussin.

He said reading is a noble practice and should be made a culture.

“Reading is important for acquisition of knowledge, to obtain more information, knowledge and skills in various fields. Through reading, we learn a lot of things.

“A society that likes to read is a valuable asset to the government because the future depends on what we learn today,” he said at the handing over of books, worth RM1,000, to the Lok Kawi Camp library here today.

Yahya said he hoped with more books at the library, it would motivate the local community, especially the soldiers and their children, to read. — Bernama

Source: The Sun Daily

Things looking up for Sabah tourism

Kota Kinabalu: Sabah Tourism Board (STB) General Manager Gordon Yapp said Xiamen Airlines’ inaugural direct flight from Fuzhou to Kota Kinabalu last Monday which marked this city as its official gateway city to East Malaysia and the scheduled commencement of Malindo Air’s four weekly direct flights to Taipei shows Sabah is capable of luring more foreign tourists because of our many internationally tourist attractions.

The number of Taiwanese tourist arrivals recorded double digit growth last year and the trend is expected to continue this year with the commencement of Malindo Air’s four weekly direct flights,” he said.

He added that the China flights would be coming in between Jan 14 and Feb 11.

“They chartered the flights from Malindo Air and the tourists will come from six cities in the southern part of China, including Chengdu and Zhenzhou,” he added.

Qouting general manager of Xiamen Airlines Guo Yuan, Gordon said the three times weekly non-stop three-and-a-half-hour flight between the cities will not only create a convenient channel for Chinese nationals to enjoy a short holiday escape in a popular tourist destination, but also connect East Malaysia to its newest Amsterdam and New York airline destinations.

“So far, most of the booking is 80pc from Fuzhou on this route. More and more Chinese nationals are interested to visit Sabah,” the STB general manager stressed.

Last Monday, Xiamen Airlines’ Boeing 737-800 aircraft landed at KKIA around 5.45pm with an almost full load of 155 passengers, whilst the returning flight, scheduled to depart to Fuzhou at 6.35pm had a 60pc load factor.

“Southeast Asia is Xiamen Airlines’ all time strategic market. It is our great honour to have this opportunity to contribute to the economic development, cultural exchange as well as the mutual cooperation as an airline company. The new route is expected to continue the growing passenger visits from China to Malaysia,” Guo said during the ceremony.

The airline, based in the city of Xiamen of Fujian Province, China, operates other non-stop flights between Fujian and Kuala Lumpur.

Gordon said he was informed that Malindo Airline has a few chartered flights between Kota Kinabalu and Narita in Japan and is now seriously thinking of opening the route in the future.

He also said Malindo Airline is looking into making Kota Kinabalu as its secondary hub after Kuala Lumpur.

The premium airline which started operation about four years ago currently has 42 airplanes in its fleet and will be adding 10 more before the year is out for a grand total of 52 planes.

“STB will continue to work closely with Malindo Airlines and other airline companies in promoting this connectivity to travellers in other countries.,” Godon said.

Gordon also attributed the steady increase of tourists arrivals here as a result of the good management of the state under the leadership of Chief Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Hj Aman.

With the various completed and ongoing infrastructure development projects implemented by the State Government, he said STB finds it easy to promote Sabah.

Meanwhile, STB marketing committee member Kassim Sangi called on the business sector to take advantage of the present positive tourism scenario here by investing in the tourism industry.

“With the encouraging tourist arrivals, it is wothwhile for the private sector to support the government in the tourism industry by providing additional quality accomodations and other facilities,” he said.

Kassim said STB together with the State Tourism Culture and Envronment Ministry will coninue to work hard to promote Sabah as a whole internationally.

“We are promoting Sabah to the world although the East Coast area is now well known to many holidaymakers…we have many unique and interesting tourism products coming from the East Coast and West Coast,” he said.

He said additional quality resorts, restaurants, hotels, entertainment outlets and other facilities to be provided by the private sector will greatly help in the joint efforts by STB, Tourism Ministry and State Government in the promotion aspects.

“The tourism industry is still a sunrise industry and let us work closely for the benefit of everybody,” he said.

Source: Daily Express