Kiulu to develop its mulberry industry

KOTA KINABALU: Kiulu is going to develop its mulberry industry, said Sabah Tourism Board (STB) chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai.

The Kiulu assemblyman said he hoped to turn Kiulu into a food hub for the production of local fruits as well as in the production of mulberry.

He added that the climate and soil condition in Kiulu were suited for mulberry farming.

Presently, mulberry is being planted at Kampung Tudan, an isolated village which is 50 kilometres away from Kiulu.

The project was initiated by students participating in the National Enactus competition that was held in Kuala Lumpur recently. The students won the competition and would be going for the world cup competition which will be held in London next month.

According to a senior director of the University Malaysia Sabah (UMS) Research and Entrepreneurial centre, Dr Bonaventure Boniface during a press conference held at the STB office near here yesterday, the students started the project five months ago and got the involvement of 56 people from the village cooperative.

The villagers have planted 1,500 trees and have produced mulberry tea, skin whitening lotion utilising mulberry extracts and bottled sparkling water.

“We hope STB can help us in marketing the products produced by the villagers,” said Dr Bonaventure.

The proposal to market the products was received positively by STB and Joniston said STB had a marketing body, Sri Pelancongan, which could help promote the product at its network of shops.

“We plan to open more shops in the future,” he said.

He also told members of the cooperative from the village that plans have been made to improve the road from Tudan to Kiulu.

He added that once the road was completed, it would be easier for the  the villagers to market their produce.

The majority of the folk living in the village work as farmers but until recently, they have not been exposed to the true potential of the mulberry plants that are found in their village.

The business of the villagers has also remained stagnant due to the lack of sales channels and communal cooperation among the villagers.

The project, dubbed  the Morus project, has increased the monthly income of the villagers from RM517 per month to RM700.

The project has also brought about better communal cooperation between the villagers through the establishment of the village cooperative and they also have been exposed to business and cultivation management through workshops conducted by Enactus UMS.

In general, the aim of the project is to help the community to improve their living standard and economy.

Source: The Borneo Post

Promoting rural tourism in Sabah

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah is optimistic that rural tourism will gain popularity and benefit locals in the long run.

Sabah Tourism Board chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai said the recent Rural Tourism roadshow held at a shopping mall was a success.

“The two-day inaugural roadshow attracted 10,000 visitors and the number of people visting the four promoted places-Tambunan, Kiulu, Ranau, Kadamaian-is also increasing.

“Most districts in the state have also activated their committees to develop rural tourism at their places,” he said during a press conference on Universiti Malaysia Sabah’s (UMS) Mulberry project with the people of Kampung Tudan.

Joniston added rural tourism products would not only benefit the industry but also help to generate income among villagers.

On the mulberry project at Kampung Tudan, which is about 50 kilometers from here, he said the villagers should consider setting up homestays.

“Now that the village has become UMS’ pilot project on mulberry cultivation with its leaves processed into tea, lotion and other items, it can be developed in eco and agrotourism,” he said, adding the village is also producing stingless bee honey.

Joniston, who is also Kiulu state assemblyman, added the road infrastructure to the village would soon be upgraded.

The mulberry products, branded as Tudan Mulberry, will be marketed and sold via the board’s subsidiary company Sri Pelancongan Sabah Sdn Bhd.

Source: New Straits Times

Orang asli take to the streets to mark day for indigenous people

KENINGAU: Indigenous people from around Malaysia gathered on the streets here for a walk to mark International Day for the World’s Indigenous Peoples.

Almost all of Malaysia’s indigenous ethnic groups were represented among the 350-strong crowd, who chanted slogans and sang anthems as they marched.

The procession started from the Oath Stone at the Keningau District Office and ended at the Keningau Diocese about 3km away.

The Oath Stone is a monument built to commemorate the terms under which Sabah, together with Sarawak, joined Malaya to form Malaysia.

“We decided to march as a symbolic show of our community’s struggle,” said Beverly Joeman, secretariat director of Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia (JOAS), the organisers of the event.

“And to start the march from the Oath Stone makes it all the more meaningful.”

One of the terms inscribed on the Oath Stone guarantees that the traditional customs of Sabahans will be protected and respected. And, in turn, Sabahans will pledge their loyalty to the Government.

There was a festive mood throughout the march as police and Rela members helped direct traffic.

At the end of the march, a celebration was held at Keningau Diocese’s Solidarity Hall.

It featured cultural performances, traditional sports, traditional food, as well as the unveiling of three traditional knowledge-keepers representing the three regions of Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia.

The knowledge-keepers are elders in their own villages and will now be tasked with preserving the customs and traditional knowledge of their respective regions.

The focus of this year’s celebration is the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), a landmark document acknowledging the unique challenges indigenous peoples face while outlining how governments should treat indigenous communities.

International Day for the World’s Indigenous Peoples is observed on Aug 9 every year.

The Star’s R.AGE team was there to document the celebration in collaboration with the young members of the JOAS media team.

It will be releasing short videos on the R.AGE Facebook page ( over the coming weeks.

Source: The Star

Arnab Village in Ranau earns RM300,000 in a year

KOTA KINABALU: The Arnab Village in Kampung Purakagis, Ranau located about 104km  from here, has generated  RM300,000 in revenue through ticket sales after a year of operation.

The new tourism product  in Ranau  which is operated by Jubair Juhinin, a graduate of Aquaculture Science from the University  Malaysia Sabah (UMS), has become one of the tourist  destinations  in the district, besides the Mount of Kinabalu, Sabah  Tea Garden, Poring Hot Spring and  the Tagal Sungai Moroli in Kampung Luanti.

Jubair, 27, told Bernama  he had never expected his hobby of keeping rabbits would turn  into a business in the rural tourism industry in Sabah  which promised a bright future.

Although the business started with less than RM5,000, with minimum facilities and environmental landscapes, he was optimistic the tourism product which was developed on a 0.2-hectare land would bring good returns.

Now, upgrading works are underway gradually at the Arnab Village for visitor convenience.

“The upgrading works  include  public facilities such as toilets, garden expansion, rabbit stables and building a souvenir  shop. While for the third phase of development, we will focus on building restaurants and accessory shops.

“Besides that, we will build shop lots around villages to be rented by traders to sell craft products, food or related products to help them in generating income,” he said here yesterday.

Jubair  was met by Bernama  at the Sabah Rural Tourism Roadshow programme organised by the Sabah Tourism Board.

The three-day event started last Friday aimed at showcasing Sabah’s rural based tourism products to tourism industry players and the public at large, besides leveraging the expertise and know-how of industry players in packaging and promoting rural tourism experience to the domestic and international markets.

Furthermore, the young entrepreneur said there were 400 rabbits of eight species namely, New Zealand White; Standard Rex; Mini Satin; Lion Head; Netherland Dwarf; Lop Ear; Anggora; and Local Breed, that were released to roam around in a fenced area to enable visitors to take photos and videos of the animal.

Jubair said he aimed to keep about 1,000 rabbits at the garden early next year.

“For the second year, we aim to attract more visitors with revenue of RM500,000 through ticket sales,” he added.

Therefore, he said the Sabah Rural Tourism Roadshow  programme had opened an opportunity for him and his team to expand networking.

Admission ticket to the Arnab Village for locals is RM3 (children) and RM5 (adult); while for international visitors RM5 (children) and RM10 (adult)

The Arnab Village, the first such tourism product in Sabah is open daily from 9am to 5pm.

Source: The Borneo Post

Rural Folks More Aware of Tourism Initiatives

Kota Kinabalu: There is stronger belief among rural folks that community-driven tourism initiatives can uplift their livelihood, create economic and job opportunities, particularly for their youths.

One of the success stories comes from Kadamaian where communities have generated a total earning of RM300,000 in the first six months this year from various tourism products and services offered to domestic and foreign visitors.

Their success is a huge statement of the State Government’s efforts in promoting rural tourism in Sabah more aggressively since four years ago.

“Since Datuk Seri Musa Aman became Chief Minister, tourism has been one of the State’s core developments.

“We have always been promoting rural tourism but not as aggressively as in the last four years.

We in STB (Sabah Tourism Board) set up a rural tourism unit and one of our outcomes is seeing greater awareness among rural communities that tourism can be a source of revenue for them,” said board chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai when announcing the State’s first Rural Tourism Roadshow during a press conference, Tuesday.

To be held at Imago Shopping Mall from Aug 5-6, the event he said will unveil to the public what rural tourism in Sabah has to offer particularly Tambunan, Ranau, Kiulu and Kadamaian.

“As awareness is growing, more villages and individuals ventured into tourism. Now after four years, it’s time for them to show their products and services to the general public,” he said.

Kadamaian will woo visitors with products such as adventure-filled river activities, hiking trails, caves and waterfalls to name a few.

According to Kadamaian Tourism Association (KATA) chairman Walter Duis Kandayon, visitors have a choice of at least 30 villages to explore and experience, each one with their own tourism products and services.

He said although their initiatives started two years ago, they generated the six-figure revenue in the first six-month this year, a success the community never expected.

“Having seen the results, now everyone’s excited about tourism,” he said.

The profit has enabled the association to develop new tourism products and create economic and employment opportunity for some of their youths.

“Ever since tourists have come to our villages, we’ve seen a growing number of stalls by the roadside.

And some of our youths have been earning extra income as guides, life guards and office staff,” said Walter.

He hoped the upcoming event will get more people to know about rural tourism products in Kadamaian.

So far their only means of promotion is through the social media.

He also hoped to see more impact from tourism revenue to the livelihood of the community comprising mostly subsistence farmers in five years’ time.

Apart from Kadamaian, Kiulu is also looking forward to having bigger arrival of visitors to experience the many natural attractions available in the district.

Kiulu Tourism Association Lasmin Lopog said the area is already well known for its water rafting activity in the Kiulu River, picnic spots, homestays and the latest activity, the Kiulu Riverside Tracking.

Tourists he said will also be able to experience the natural environment and live in farm stays and rough terrains on quad bikes provided.

He estimated that there has been an increase of visitors coming to explore tourism products in Kiulu including foreigners from 3,000 in 2016 to 5,000 this year.

“The revenue generated from this will certainly benefit the community,” he said.

The Chief Minister had recently said it was timely that the world knows what the rural areas of Sabah can offer to visitors in terms of tourism products.

“It is indeed very important to tell Sabah’s rural story to the world including its natural attractions, rich cultural heritage and an array of tourism products. Developing rural tourism will also assist our rural folks in uplifting their livelihood,” he had said.

During the event there will be quizzes and games such as “butod” (sago worm) eating challenge, treasure hunt, traditional performances and children’s activities. – Leonard Alaza and Jeremy Zabala

Source: Daily Express