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A new world ‘first’

Kota Kinabalu: Sabah now boasts a new global first that should appeal to extreme sports and other enthusiasts – Summit Pluton on Mt Kinabalu is the highest paragliding launching base at 13,000 feet above mean sea level.

“The new eco-tourism product will facilitate tourists who cannot stay longer in Sabah and could not make the usual climb,” said Sabah Parks Chairman Tengku Datuk Ser Dr Zainal Adlin Tengku Mahamood, at the 1Voluntourism: Mount Kinabalu programme.

“They can use the helicopter service and land at the Summit Pluton. Then glide down to the Kundasang tamu ground which will take about an hour, depending on the wind condition.”

He added, Kundasang and Ranau are suitable for air sports such as microlite and hot air balloon, thanks to its environment and wind condition.

“Throughout last year, some 14,000 tourists took part in paragliding activities in Ranau and we expect the figure to increase this year,” he said.

Six participants glided from the mountain in the 1Voluntarism: Mount Kinabalu programme organised by the State Tourism and Culture Ministry and Motac Sabah with the cooperation of Sabah Parks.

Motac Sabah Director Ag Ahmad Zaki Abu Bakar hoped the introduction of tourism products with niche market can promote Sabah as an eco-tourism destination, in line with the Ministry’s effort to promote ‘lung washing’ tourism.

He also urged visitors to the State to use the #SayangMalaysia hashtag on each photos posted on their social media, to support the campaign to make Sabah a well-known tourism destination in the world.

 

Source: Daily Express

Kiulu tourist arrivals up sharply

KOTA KINABALU: Promoting the uniqueness of Kiulu with the objective to make it a prime ecotourism destination has been bearing fruit so far, according to Sabah Tourism Board chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai.

Tourist arrivals to Kiulu came up to 27,000 last year and their numbers surged to nearly 40,000 between January and September this year alone, he told reporters in a press conference for the third Kiulu Adventure Challenge (KAC), yesterday.

“What we want to highlight and promote through the KAC is the uniqueness that Kiulu has to offer.

“The run itself is unique, because it does not only combine cycling and running, but rafting as well.

“We also made sure to include family involvement, with the introduction of a 5km Family Fun Run this year, in addition to the existing Kiulu Mini Carnival,” he added.

Joniston said the KAC was organised as one of the many efforts to promote rural tourism and empower the local community by creating tourism and business opportunities in Sabah.

“Kiulu locals are heavily involved in organising the KAC because we want them to really be able to feel the benefits of expanding ecotourism opportunities in their hometown.

“We don’t want Sabah to be known only for our Mount Kinabalu. We want Sabah to also be associated with richness in traditions and culture from its interior parts,” he added.

Earlier, KAC race director Auther J Kimon said flag-off would be at 6.30am on December 3, at Rumah Tradisi Kiulu.

The route includes 13 kilometres of running and 30 kilometres of cycling along the hilly earth trails passing through villages and hanging bridges, alongside white-water rafting along the scenic Kiulu River.

“The first five kilometres of the run will be on asphalt road while the second part will be on gravel. It’s all undulating surfaces so that’s why we call it a challenge.

“There are even some parts of the route where participants will have to carry their bicycles, hence the term ‘mini challenge,’” said Auther, adding that the highest peak of the route reaches up to 140 metres.

He also said each checkpoint is complete with markers and crew, and that the route was chosen due to its low risk and convenience for emergency evacuation, which provides accessibility to injured participants.

The Kiulu Mini Carnival will also be held on the same day in Kiulu town, featuring stalls operated by locals selling authentic local food and handicrafts.

Other activities include traditional games, catch-a-duck competition, stone painting, coconut bowling and tug-of-war.

Approximately 430 adventure enthusiasts have registered for the challenge so far, while interested parties can still register till November 25.

Those interested can submit registration at the Kiulu Tourism Association office in Tamparuli Point, Chanteek Borneo in Tamparuli, KLK Ponohuon Lodge in Kiulu, Riverbug office in Wisma Sabah here or through WhatsApp at 017-7698862 (Suzie).

 

Source: Borneo Post

Rejuvenating Kiulu nature trekking

KIULU: THE Kiulu district has come up with what is believed to be the first dedicated trekking trails spanning 45km from Tamparuli, here, to the hilly Pekan Nabalu.

It offers the “Riverside Lung Washing Trekking Trails”, which live up to its reputation as a destination for adventure enthusiasts.

The term “lung washing” has a scientific explanation associated with the act of taking a break in nature.

Such an experience, away from city life distractions, is said to boost the immune system and help rejuvenate the body.

Kiulu assemblyman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai, who is the Sabah Tourism Board (STB) chairman, launched the trails at Kampung Lubok, here, recently.

He said the trails passed through several villages.

Trekkers were recommended to spend three to four days there. They could start their journey from either Pekan Nabalu or the Tamparuli town, which is about an hour’s drive from Kota Ki-
nabalu. Guides will be assigned to help them and they can spend their nights in community-managed base camps or village homestays.

The routes were categorised from “easy” to “challenging” and trekkers could follow well-marked trails over undulating, small uphill sections.

“Trekkers would be able to explore the Borneo lowland forest, learn basic jungle survival skills from the natives, identify wild indigenous medicinal plants as well as edible plants, and they can experience the culture and hospitality of the local people and see unique species of flora and fauna in the Kiulu forest.

“Kiulu offers you an experience of a lifetime by taking you through one of the loveliest and untouched parts of Sabah,” said Joniston.

Kiulu Tourism Association (KTA) president Dr Edmon Guntis added that trekkers could also expect to cross numerous suspension bridges, rivers and tri-butaries.

“You can have local expert guides who can share their knowledge of the jungle, and at the same time, show you how to use the natural resources from the forest to your advantage
in order to survive,” said Dr Edmon.

The Tourism and Culture Ministry (Motac) Sabah office director Awang Ahmad Zaki Abu Bakar said the move to introduce the trekking trails was timely as the Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz had described Kiulu as a model for rural tourism development in Ma-laysia.

A few years ago, Nazri visited Kiulu’s tourist attractions and had a first-hand experience of white-water rafting along the Kiulu river, as well as trying out Sabah’s longest zip line at Kampung Rangalau Lama.

Ahmad Zaki said locals would also benefit from this by giving the services required by trek-kers.

“Besides offering services as guides, villagers along the trekking trails could also offer homestay services or open up stalls offering authenic local delicacies and handicrafts, among others,” he said.

 

Source: New Straits Times

3,000 expected to join first Sabah e-sports tournament

Kota Kinabalu: Youths can go a long way in the electronic sports or e-Sports industry which has grown by leaps and bounds over the years.

Chief Political Secretary to the Chief Minister, Datuk Nizam Abu Bakar Titingan, believes it can also change their minds if put to good use.

“The State Government has and will continue to support and prioritise youth development programmes which can particularly enhance the talents of our youths,” he said at the Borneo e-Arena media conference, here, Thursday.

“Some may say that e-sports is not good for our children’s mind, especially those still schooling, but if we look at it from another angle, e-sports is one of the closest and easiest medium for youths to get involved in,” he said.

“They have a variety of options to engage their talents in, whether through computer games, game consoles or though mobile games.

“I believe e-sports can actually change the minds of youths if used as a right platform.

It can be used not only to pass time but even get acquainted with new friends, share ideas and strategies.

They can even generate lucrative income through various existing channels,” he said.

He said gamers should not be left out and instead should be educated on how to develop their minds and be given more exposure to the outside world.

“The event organiser, through the Borneo E-Arena, not only offers that exposure to our youths, but also motivates them to venture into cyberspace,” he said.

The Borneo e-Arena, organised by PNM Ideas Sdn Bhd and supported by the State Government, Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission and Sabah Tourism, is the biggest and first e-sport tournament to be held in Sabah. The tournament will feature most played games in the world such as Mobile Legend, Dota 2, Fifa 17, Overwatch and more, with the finals scheduled to be held at Centre Point Shopping Complex from Sept 16 to Sept 17.

A total of 3,000 gamers from across the country as well as from other Southeast Asian countries are expected to take part in the tournament which will begin its online elimination matches on July 27.

The tournament offers a RM100,000 prize pool, to be won with a RM20,0000 first prize for the Mobile Legend champion, which is also open to Southeast Asian gamers.

Dota 2, Fifa 17 and Overwatch which are only open to Malaysian gamers offer RM7,000, RM7,000 and RM3,000 respectively as top prize. Pocket games will also be opened for visitors with RM500 going to the top scorer.

Those who wish to know more and to register can visit them at www.borneoearena.com. – Sherell Ann Jeffrey

Source: Daily Express

IPEC To Support Growth Of Paragliding in Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur, 06 March 2017 – Paragliding is a popular sport in many parts of the world and it continues to boom like most other adventure sports, or extreme sports as some prefer to call it. In recent years, the sport has seen an upsurge of interest in Malaysia, with more people keen on learning about the sport, and training to take to the skies. It’s recent growth in popularity laid the foundations for the establishment of MSAF Paragliding Bureau in 2015.

In collaboration with MSAF Paragliding Bureau, IPEC Bureau will play a crucial role to support the progress of paragliding in Malaysia by working towards skills and competency recognition for the sport. While MSAF Paragliding Bureau will govern the sport according to internationally recognised standards and regulations, IPEC will explore the possibility of setting up conformity assessments for a paragliding certification scheme based on the ISO/IEC17024.

Personnel earmarked by IPEC Bureau under this scheme includes trainers, instructors and, sports and recreational safety personnel – essential areas that require substantial advancement and standardisation to elevate paragliding into a mainstream sport in the country. As part of IPEC Bureau’s commitment to paragliding in Malaysia, it will be supporting the upcoming Ranau Paragliding Accuracy & XC 2017 (RANPAXC 2017).

RANPAXC 2017, to be held between 10 – 12 March, will be the first ever multi-disciplined international paragliding competition organised in Malaysia where approximately 100 local and international pilots will be showcasing their skills at the Ranau Paragliding Park in Ranau, Sabah. The guest of honour at RANPAXC 2017 will be the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment, Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun.

Hundreds of enthusiastic fans and visitors are expected to throng the event over the two days. So, come join us and witness the incredible sight of pilots in their colourful wingsuits soaring in the skies of Ranau. RANPAXC 2017 will also be a significant stepping stone towards identifying and training highly talented Malaysian paragliders to represent the country at the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia.

For more information on RANPAXC 2017, please visit http://www.msafparagliding.gov.my/ranpaxc2017

Source : IPEC CERTIFICATION BUREAU