Board: Semporna worthwhile for the tourists
Published on: Thursday, June 09, 2022
By: Ibrahim Tabir
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Anil (right) officiating the programme.
KUNAK: More needs to be done to attract tourists to visit the east coast of Sabah which is rich in beautiful islands and attractive seabed, natural rainforest treasures rich in beautiful flora and fauna.

Malaysian Tourism Board Deputy Chairman, Dato’ Sri Anil J.S Sandhu said Semporna has been recognised as a destination of choice for many tourists, including local and international because of its beautiful islands and marine life.

Apart from Semporna, he said the other east coast districts such as Tawau, Lahad Datu and Kunak also have some distinctive attractions that should be highlighted to attract tourists.

“Activities such as jungle trekking can be done,” he said, referring to the natural rainforest on the east coast like Danum Valley in Lahad Datu.

According to Anil, Kunak also has several islands that are suitable to be developed by investors.

“In Kunak, there are eight islands, where some can be developed, like an island which is often called the ‘Sand Island’ because it has a network of sand that rises and long and people can even walk from one to another during low tide,” he said.

Apart from the island, Madai Cave, the largest bird’s nest cave in Kunak is one of the places that is also the choice of visitors who come to the district.

The Blue Ring Hole in the Tingkayu coral reef area is also one of the natural treasures in the ocean that is attractive for exploration of the seabed by diving enthusiasts.

Anil also said that Sabah has started to receive South Korean tourists from May 26 via direct flights from Incheon (Seoul) to Kota Kinabalu.

He said the Malaysian Tourism Board together with the Arts, Culture, Tourism Ministry (Motac), Sabah Tourism Board (STB), Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry and other relevant agencies will continue to work to bring more tourists to the state from various countries including the neighbouring countries.

On the Monkeypox infection detected in Singapore recently, Anil said Malaysia is constantly monitoring current developments related to such cases and confident that the Malaysian Health Ministry (MOH) had an approach to increase the appropriate level of control in relation to infectious disease cases.

“So far, no specific cases have been detected in Sabah and Malaysia in general. We are confident that the MOH will do its best to deal with Monkeypox cases,” he said.

Earlier, Anil, who is also Lahad Datu Umno Youth Information Chief, officiated the Kunak District-level Circumcision Compensation Programme in the endemic phase organised by the Sabah Islamic Religious Affairs Department (Jheains) in collaboration with several non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and government agencies involved.

The two-day free circumcision programme funded by him targets 100 boys.

“This programme is to help the less fortunate parents in terms of providing costs for their children who need to be circumcised according to the age of the child. I also call on community members or those financially able to support and help this noble effort,” he said. 

Meanwhile, Jheains Kunak Administration Officer Asmuni Ali said such a programme will be made an annual event by Jheains Kunak with collaboration with several parties including NGOs and local leaders.

“We welcome cooperation from any party such as NGOs, the private sector or local leaders to collaborate through such a programme,” said Asmuni.


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