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Sabah’s oldest bookstore now a heritage centre for unique local food, handicraft

KOTA KINABALU: When the state’s oldest bookstore, Tung Nan Bookstore, closed down last year, it was thought to be the end of such an iconic part of Sabah’s history. But the 66-year old establishment has undergone a dramatic transformation. It re-opened today as Tung Nan Heritage – a centre for unique local food and handicraft. “For me and others my age, as a child growing up, Tung Nan was the place to get our books during the 60s. It holds a special place in many Sabahans’ hearts,” said State Tourism, Cultural, and Environmental Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun, who officiated the store’s launching. “It is admirable to see its owners opt to continue the store’s legacy, rebranding itself as a store for local products, instead of taking the easy way out by simply leasing to other businesses.

When the state’s oldest bookstore, Tung Nan Bookstore, closed down last year, it was thought to be the end of such an iconic part of Sabah’s history. Pic by NSTP/MALAI ROSMAH TUAH

Masidi said that Gaya Street, where the store was located, was a bustling hotspot for tourists, especially China nationals. “There has been a huge increase in tourists from China recently. I believe that there are 86 scheduled flights from China alone to Kota Kinabalu. “In fact, Kota Kinabalu International Airport is now the busiest airport after Kuala Lumpur International Airport. “Much of it is due to our tourism success stories and the selling power of our local products. So I hope many other Sabahans can capitalise on this opportunity,” he said. Tung Nan Bookstore was established in 1952 by George Wong Tung Chee, whose wife also founded Kota Kinabalu’s first kindergarten, Chung Hwa kindergarten. Their grandchildren Patrick and Katherine Wong are the current owners of the rejuvenated establishment, which now offers a myriad of local products including wild honey, coffee, and durian.

Source: New Straits Times

Consul believes Sabah may have 1mln China tourists soon

KOTA KINABALU: As the state is experiencing an influx of Chinese tourists, the number of Sabahans going to China has also increased tremendously.

Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Kota Kinabalu, Liang Caide, said more and more people from Sabah-Labuan went to China for business, family visits and sightseeing.

“Last year, the Consulate General issued over 25,000 visas,” Liang said at the Consul-General’s Chinese New Year reception at Hakka Hall on Friday.

He revealed that more and more Chinese companies have shown  interest in Sabah by setting up offices and participating in major local projects here.

“In the New Year, both China-Malaysia cooperation and  China-Sabah cooperation will see new opportunities and will progress to new levels.

“China’s ‘Two Centenary Goal’ is highly compatible with Malaysia’s 2050 National Transformation plan. The Belt and Road Initiative promoted by China can be fully coordinated with the Sabah Development Corridor plan.

“Owing to the complementary advantages of the two sides, the prospect of cooperation is broad,” Liang further asserted.

Liang also believes that Sabah may very well achieve its goal of having one million visitors coming  to the state in the near future.

He said this was possible due to the rapid cooperation and exchanges between China and Sabah-Labuan in various fields, which had ultimately led to the close relationship among the people of the two places.

“Last year, some 430,000 Chinese tourists visited Sabah and the number of direct flights between Kota Kinabalu and the cities in China had increased to nearly one hundred per week.

“This has greatly boosted the development of tourism and other related industries in Sabah,” Liang said at his Consul-General’s Chinese New Year reception at Hakka Hall on Friday.

“I believe, in the very near future, the goal of reaching one million Chinese tourists coming to Sabah, as set by the Chief Minister (Tan Sri Musa Haji Aman) will soon be realized,” he added.

China-Malaysia relation, which is at the best time in history, has entered a fast lane of maturity, stability and all-round development, Liang said.

The Consulate General will also continue to devote itself to promoting the China-Malaysia relation and the China-Sabah win-win cooperation to benefit the people of both places.

He added that he was pleased to hear that the China-Malaysia friendship had gained new achievements at the beginning of 2018.

“Giant pandas from China Liang Liang and Xing Xing gave birth to the second cub in Malaysia, which a good sign and a good start for relations between the two countries this year,” he said.

Chinese had made great contributions to the economic development and social harmony of Sabah, as well as the friendship between China and Malaysia, Liang said.

Among those present at the event were Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Haji Aman and other state leaders.

Source: Borneo Post Online

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

Sabah police to increase road and sea patrols during CNY season

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah police will be increasing road and sea patrols during this festive season in view of the coming Chinese New Year celebrations.

Sabah CID chief Datuk Salehhudin Abd Rahman said road patrols would be conducted in hotspots at every district in the state, while sea patrols would be carried out on small and private boats.

He said these patrols involving almost 300 policemen were to ensure the safety of the community as they anticipate more traffic during this festive season.

Salehhudin said this on Thursday when launching the 12th Ops Selamat here which will run from Feb 9 to 23 this year.

Ops Selamat will also involve other security agencies such as firemen, and civil defence officials among others.

“We want to ensure that this festive season would be a safe and happy one for everyone,” he said, adding that road users must observe proper driving etiquettes while on the road and adhere to traffic regulations at all times.

Salehhudin said most accidents are caused by motorists who are inconsiderate, selfish and refuse to follow traffic rules.

Meanwhile, he also reminded home owners who will be leaving during the festive season to inform the authorities and neighbours to ensure the safety of their homes.

Salehhudin also reminded the public to keep their houses padlocked, and important documents stored properly to reduce risks of break-ins or thefts.

He said the number of break-ins during the Chinese New Year period in 2017 was at 81 cases compared to 63 in 2016, for the same period.

“This is an increase of 18 cases,” he said.

Source: The Star Online

Sabah needs more hotels to cater to tourist influx

Kota Kinabalu: The Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry has expressed concern over the insufficient number of hotel rooms to accommodate the growing number of tourists to the State in the future.

Its Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun (pic) said as the State was enjoying encouraging numbers in tourism receipts, the State Government feared its promotional efforts would be an exercise in futility.

“There are limitations to promote Sabah as we do not want the tourists to pitch up tents simply because we do not have enough rooms (for them).

“If there are not enough hotels, in the future, we will definitely have a big problem.

Eventually, growth will become a plateau if the State tourism’s growth does not equal the availability of hotel rooms,” he told reporters after opening a Taiwan-based café, Camaco Gelato Concept Café, here, Sunday.

Masidi said his Ministry, through its agencies such as the Sabah Tourism Board, was striving to ensure that there were enough hotels to meet future demands.

He said the State recorded RM7.25 billion in tourism receipt in 2016 and expected last year’s (2017) numbers to hit the RM7.7 billion mark.

On the cafe, Masidi said Camaco’s decision in setting up an outlet here was a manifestation of the company’s confidence in the business climate of the State Capital and its growing sophistication.

With 14 foreign airlines flying to Kota Kinabalu and 178 flights per week, of them 84 from China alone, he said it clearly showed the growing number of flights was a manifestation of tourist confidence in city’s ability to grow.

Source: Daily Express