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Kudat getting 2,000 visitors every month

Kudat: State Special Tasks Minister Datuk Seri Teo Chee Kang strongly believes that Kudat’s tourism will take off in the next few years in view of the great tourism potential of the district.

Teo, who is also Tanjong Kapor Assemblyman, said the development of resorts and hotels, as well as island tourism, would flourish and attract more investors to Kudat in the future.

“In view of the demand, the Government should facilitate such developments and have a comprehensive planning in place.

“I hope entrepreneurs in Kudat will seize the opportunities in the tourism sector as well.”

He said Kudat’s economy was driven by the fishing, aquaculture and agriculture industries.

He stressed that Kudat was actively promoting its tourism industry in the last few years.

“At present, more than 2,000 tourists visit Kudat every month, mostly foreigners from China and western countries,” he said after officiating at the opening of Kudat Fish Farm Restaurant operated by Kim Men Seafood Supplier and Aquaculture, here, Friday.

The restaurant is located at Kampung Tambakan, 10 minutes by boat from Marina Jetty Kudat.

The restaurant can accommodate up to 60 customers. Tourists can also snorkel and swim at the fish farm.

Kim Men Seafood Supplier and Aquaculture has established partnership with Times Holidays Travel and Tours Sdn Bhd and Wasai Travel and Tour Sdn Bhd to promote the fish farm as a tourist attraction.

Teo said Kudat has created unique tourism products such as fish farms.

He said aquaculture was very popular in the district owing to its high quality seawater.

He said the fish farm operators leveraged on their aquaculture business and transformed it into a tourism product. “Fish farms may not be attractive to the people of Kudat or Sabahans but foreign tourists love them.

Some Chinese tourists even told me that they would return to visit the fish farm again.”

Earlier, Teo said Kudat was blessed with beautiful natural scenery and crystal clear seawater.

He said there were 50 islands in Tun Mustapha Marine Park and he had visited several of the islands, including Balambangan Island, Banggi Island and Maliangin Island, all offering unique natural views and geographical terrain.

For instance, he said tourists could find limestone in the shape of a frog, mouse and even bitter gourd at the limestone caves on Balambangan Island.

“Our main challenge now is to improve basic infrastructure. We only have a simple jetty going to the cave while the facilities in the cave are also in need of an upgrade.

“In spite of that, we still attract a lot of tourists.”

Teo added that the beautiful beaches and islands in Kudat also offer scuba diving and snorkelling activities.

He said Kudat also features rich cultures such as the Rungus and Bajau ethnic groups.

He said Rungus has unique costumes and handicrafts that are popular among foreign tourists.

“Rungus has a gong factory and Rungus handicraft village, while the bee farm in Sikuati produces high quality honey.

“We encourage tour operators to offer packages to northern Sabah, which I believe can attract more tourists to Kudat,” he said.

Also present were Assistant Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Pang Yuk Ming, Kudat District Officer Sapdin Ibrahim, Kudat councillor Johnny Wong, Political Secretary to the Minister of Special Tasks, Peter Chong, Liaison Secretary to the Minister of Special Tasks, Albert Kok, Malaysia Chinese Tourism Association (MCTA) Sabah Chapter Chairman cum Times Holidays Travel and Tours Sdn Bhd Managing Director Lawrence Wong, MCTA Sabah Chapter Vice Chairman Shim Vun Ming, Wasai Travel and Tour Sdn Bhd director Jonathan Wong, Kim Men Seafood Supplier and Aquaculture owner Choong Kin Men and Kota Kinabalu Journalists Association (KKJA) Chairman Yong Ted Phen.

Source: Daily Express

Build museum that showcases cultural integration – Masidi

KOTA KINABALU: Build a new museum that reflects the harmonious cultural integration among the people in Sabah, suggested Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun.

Masidi said the suggestion to turn the burned-down old building next to Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank (HSBC) in the city is not possible as the site is tied up with some legal issues.

“I am sure the Chinese community can find a place to put up the museum. I am sure the state government will be very considerate and, probably, in giving the land at a nominal cost,” he told the press at the launch of CAMACA at Jalan Dewan here yesterday.

“But generally, I would prefer that we have a new museum complex, bigger area with a lot of sections.

“We are noted for tolerance, we are noted for unity. I think we should reflect that in our museum. You can have your Kadazan section, the Chinese section, Murut section but, I think, personally, as a single unit of museum because that is Sabah,” he added.

Masidi reckoned that talks of having a dedicated museum could spark other demands and requests that would not end.

“So, let’s get our priority straight. Whatever we do in Sabah, I think it should reflect the harmonious nature in the integration of people in Sabah and that should include the museum,” he explained.

The Federation of Chinese Associations Sabah (FCAS) president, Tan Sri TC Goh, had expressed the association’s readiness to set up the proposed Chinese Heritage Museum for Sabah should the state government give the green light.

Goh said this in welcoming the recent call made by Kapayan assemblyman Dr Edwin Bosi, urging the government to turn the burned-down old building next to Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank (HSBC) into a Chinese Heritage Museum.

Special Tasks Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Teo Chee Kang also welcomed the proposal and said the state government would be willing to facilitate the implementation of the meaningful project, which had actually been put into action during the tenure of former FCAS president, the late Datuk Seri Panglima Sari Nuar.

On another development, Masidi anticipates that the state would probably receive the tourism tax disbursements from the federal government under a different name on the basis of giving back to the state.

“It should be more than what we expect but it is up to us to tell them that we need this money to do promotions, for example, and they will give it to us, which may, ultimately, be more than what we ask for,” he hoped.

When it comes to the tourism, Masidi said growth will largely depend on the availability of hotels in Sabah.

 

Source: Borneo Post

CNY Carnival at Padang Merdeka Feb 10-12

Kota Kinabalu: The Chinese New Year Carnival 2018 will be held from Feb 10 to 12 at Padang Merdeka here.

It is jointly organised by City Hall and the Federation of Chinese Associations Sabah (FCAS), with the State Government as sponsor and contributions from many donors.

The carnival’s organising committee held a meeting chaired by Mayor Datuk Yeo Boon Hai recently.

Also present were FCAS President Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima (Dr) TC Goh and Assistant Minister to the Chief Minister, Datuk Edward Yong, who is in charge of City Hall.

According to Yong, the organising committee would be inviting the Chief Minister to launch the event on Feb 10.

He said among the highlights of the programme are the 24 seasons drum beating, lion dances, “Lau Sang”, cultural and singing performances, choir and others.

He said more schools will be involved this time to encourage more youngsters to participate in the carnival.

Fireworks are expected to be set off on the opening night.

There will also be a ceremony for senior citizens and children at Padang Merdeka on Feb 11, which is expected to be launched by the Chief Minister’s wife, Puan Sri Datin Seri Panglima Faridah Tussin.

A Cheongsam beauty pageant and dancing contest will be held on the second night also, he said.

The closing ceremony is expected to be graced by the Minister with Special Tasks, Datuk Seri Panglima Teo Chee Kang, which will also see the finale of the Cheongsam and dancing competitions and a fireworks display.

Visitors will also have the chance to shop for goods from the 200 stalls that will be set up throughout the carnival.

The stalls will be opened at 6pm selling goods in conjunction with the Chinese New Year celebration.

For the first time this year, the stalls at Padang Merdeka will be allowed to continue their business for another two days up to Feb 14 which will coincide with the yearly Chinese New Year night market.

Yong said this will give more business opportunities to small traders and hawkers and will be an added attraction for tourists visiting the city during the festive season.

Application for the stalls can be made starting Jan 9 2018 at City Hall’s Hawkers Management Counter, City Environmental Health Department at 7th floor, Centre Point Sabah.

Permit for the stalls are RM60 per lot. For more information on the stalls, call 088-244000 or 088-223437.

 

Source: Daily Express

Festive visiting strengthens unity, togetherness and brotherhood: Musa

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman (pix) said the practice of visiting especially during festive seasons could strengthen unity and promote the feeling of oneness among the people.

According to Musa, the practice of visiting among the people of various races and beliefs in Sabah such as Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Tadau Kaamatan and Christmas could deepen the feeling of brotherhood among the people.

“We will continue with this (mutual visiting) to boost unity among us and enhance our relations. With this we can develop our beloved state of Sabah together,” he told reporters when visiting the open house of United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) in Tamparuli, Tuaran today.

Present were acting Upko president Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Yahya Hussin, State Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor and Kiulu assemblyman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai who is also Sabah Tourism Board chairman. — Bernama

 

Source: The Sun Daily

Imbak canyon homestay thriving

KOTA KINABALU: Located deep within the heart of Sabah, some 300km from here, Imbak Canyon Conservation Area (Icca) is home to one of the state’s last remaining virgin rainforests.

At the very edge between civilisation and wild, untamed forest, acting as a gateway between the two is Kampung Imbak, where some 700 people of the Dusun Sungai and Murut communities have lived off the land for generations.

A new initiative by Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) has provided the villagers with an alternative way of making a living by opening their homes to visitors.

“Kg Imbak is a strategic location for homestay programme. Not only is it on the way to Imbak Canyon, it is close to the trekking trail to Gunung Tinkar Forest Reserve,” said Sunsing Palatai, a member of the Tongod tourism community.

“Gunung Tinkar itself is a huge attraction as its peak is right at the centre of Sabah. Quite a number of tourists hike there to feel the excitement of being right at the heart of the state.”

Sunsing, who also operates a homestay at neighbouring Kampung Entilibon, has been teaching Kg Imbak’s villagers about managing a rural homestay.

These efforts come as part
of Petronas’ community development programme named Planting Tomorrow, a project with the Yayasan Sabah group that started in 2010 to assist the locals in setting up their own homestay operations.

Aside from providing funds and building materials for the homestays, the oil and gas giant also installed a gravity-fed water supply system to deliver clean water to all homes in Imbak.

There are now 22 registered operators for the homestays, which are known as “Homestay Po’pomponan” or “a place of gathering”.

Haina Sapah, 33, one of the operators in Kg Imbak, said setting up the homestay was challenging for her initially.

“I had to come up with funds, besides the provisions by Petronas, to equip my house with the required facilities.

“But I enjoy doing homestay. It helps supplement our main income from the oil palm plots.

“As long as Imbak Canyon is here, I think our homestay will thrive,” said Haina, who has three children.

According to Homestay Po’pomponan chairman Apal Sagit Uloi, 32, the homestay programme was still a work in progress.

“A lot of work still needs to be done to improve the homestay’s offerings and the overall upkeep of the village to enhance the visitors’ experience.

“We hope to see our village develop and more visitors at our homestay. We hope to showcase our cultural heritage one day, like the red durian which is one of our delicacies here,” said Apal.

The Icca was gazetted as a Class 1 (Protection) Forest Reserve in 2009 with much of its growth attributed to the partnership between Petronas and Yayasan Sabah.

Petronas has to date contributed RM83 million towards the
Icca’s growth and conservation.

It is fast emerging as a major destination for not only tourists, but also scientists who carry out research activities following the completion of the Imbak Canyon Studies Centre (ICSC) last year.

 

Source: New Straits Times