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Pitas event listed as Sabah’s newtourist draw

PITAS: After three decades being touted as the district’s most awaited annual festival, the Pitas non-stop, seven-day Chinese New Year celebration has been listed as Sabah’s latest tourist attraction.

Organising chairman Datuk Seri Dr Ruddy Awah said he received news of the recognition in a letter from the Sabah Tourism Board.

“Over the last few years, the organisers have been asking the Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry to include the festival in the state tourism calendar.

“This event brings together the cultures of all ethnic groups in the state.

“This celebration probably does not exist anywhere else in the country,’’ he said at the closing of the event here on Saturday by Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak.

Ruddy said many tourists attended the festival which had been endorsed by the Malaysia Book of Records as the longest non-stop Chinese New Year festival.

He said the festival had a positive impact on Pitas’ economy and would also help forge closer relations between locals and those from outside the district.

Besides cultural performances, the festival also lined up a variety of activities such as sports, concerts, poetry recital and stalls selling local produce. — Bernama

Source: The Star

Third GuZheng Art Fest in S’kan

Sandakan: The Third Malaysia GuZheng Art Festival 2017 which was held here at Four Points By Sheraton Sandakan on Feb 2 and 3 achieved its objective of promoting the GuZheng art while attracting tourists domestically and internationally.
Elopura Assemblyman Datuk Au Kam Wah said, it also gave the people a new experience and helped promote Sandakan, a nature city, especially to those who came to the event.

He added, in Sandakan, only one school teaches GuZheng music namely SJK(C) Lok Yuk and with the successful organisation of the festival, it is hoped that those who attended will learn more about the GuZheng art itself.

Au added that usually, the festival is held in West Malaysia and this time, Sandakan was chosen as the location for the festival’s third edition and he congratulated the organisers for their effort in bringing the festival, here.

He said besides Malaysian GuZheng musicians, the festival was also attended by players from China, Singapore and other countries. These foreign musicians also visited a few Sandakan, Sukau and Kinabatagan tourism spots, thus boosting the tourism sector as well.

The festival was organised by the Malaysian Traditional Musical Instrument Association (MTMIA), in collaboration with the Sabah Tourism Board (STB), Sandakan Tourism Association (STAN), Lok Yuk Chinese Primary School Sandakan and GuZheng Ensemble and Keejen Music School.

The GuZheng used in the festival were sponsored by China Zhong Yin Musical Company, whereas the Mu Ling Audio Company sponsored the microphone.

The main objective of the festival is to enhance academic knowledge exchanges in the form of seminar, concert and competitions of GuZheng art and music.

Source: Daily Express

UMS holds seminar on Cultural Resource Mapping in Tourism

Kota Kinabalu: Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) organised a seminar on Cultural Resource Mapping in Tourism at the varsity’s Business, Economics and Accountancy Faculty.

The seminar, organised by the Tourism Management Programme and Bimp-Eaga Unit, was officiated by Tourism and Culture Ministry (Sabah Office) Director Ag Ahmad Zaki Abu Bakar.

Ahmad Zaki commended UMS for regularly organising academic discourses on tourism.

“The tourism industry is consistently in search of developing new products to encourage more tourists to explore Sabah which leads to local development.

“This will also relieve some pressure from mass tourism areas such as Kota Kinabalu and its surroundings, hence ensuring sustainability in the State’s tourism sector,” he said.

The speakers invited for the seminar were Dr Awangku Hassanal Bahar Pengiran Bagul from UMS, Dr Spencer Hedley Mogindol (UiTM) and Dr Oliver Valentine Eboy (UMS).

They explored the concept and methods of cultural resource mapping, particularly the Cultural Route Evaluation Model (CREM), which will be implemented by a research group funded by UMS in Kota Belud and Kudat this year.

Source: Daily Express

Main road signs in Sabah to be in English, Chinese

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah proposed to have dual-language (Chinese and English) road signs in the city for the convenience of tourists.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman (pic) said road signs with both the languages in major roads in the city would boost tourism and foster better ties between people of various races in the country.

“Sabah continues to receive tourists from China and having dual road signs would really boost tourism,” he said when launching the 2017 Chinese New Year carnival at Padang Merdeka here Monday.

Musa said people should continue respecting each other for the sake of unity, progress and development.

“Respect each other. You respect my religion, I respect your religion. You respect my culture, I respect yours. That is our way,” he said.

Some 200 stalls selling all sorts of Chinese modern and traditional food, beverages, souvenirs and other Chinese New Year goodies have been set up at the carnival.

Those wanting to sample the types of food prepared by, among others, the Hakka, Cantonese, Hainanesse and Foo Chow should take the opportunity to visit the carnival.

Earlier during the launching ceremony, traditional Chinese drums and gongs were played.

Source: The Star

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