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Plea on the safety of tourists
Published on: Thursday, February 13, 2014

Kota Kinabalu: The Government in its efforts to promote Visit Malaysia Year 2014 should also note the welfare and safety of tourists.

Kota Kinabalu Basel Christian Church Malaysia Chinese Council Member, Kong Yu Kiong, said this is because most tourists would have problems and need assistance especially in terms of language.

Kong said this during a press conference by the family of the 28-year-old China tourist, Li Yong, a businessman, who drowned at Mantanani Island off Kota Belud after a snorkelling outing with his family members on Jan 24.

Li Yong's uncle, Mickey Xia Jing Wang, said Li Yong along with five of his family members had arrived in Kota Kinabalu on Jan 24 from the peninsula and decided to go for snorkelling at the island even though all six could not swim.

"Before they went snorkelling, they were required to sign an agreement letter regarding their safety. However, Li Yong's wife and two of their relatives went to the toilet and upon their return, discovered that their husbands had already signed the agreement letter," he said, explaining they were not aware of the contents of the letter as it was written in English.

Xia also said they still do not know the progress of investigations till now as they do not understand nor speak the Malay language.

"The police only did a simple report on the death of Li Yong and because we are not able to converse and understand Malay, we do not know the latest progress in the investigation," he said.

However, Kong also said that the tour guides did show their concern and tried to get in touch with Li Yong's family members but to no avail.

"It was due to the chaotic situation which caused the family members to refuse to answer their calls," he explained. Xia said they had contacted the ambulance but could not wait for it to arrive. So, the tour guide decided to send Li Yong to the district hospital instead.

He also stated that Li Yong along with the rest did wear life jackets during their snorkelling activity and that the post mortem results had revealed that there was no foul play.

"The post mortem results had been released and the remains had been flown back to China yesterday," he said.

According to him, Li Yong who just got married last year left behind a wife and a daughter aged six months old. He thanked the Kota Kinabalu Basel Christian Church Malaysia for their assistanc.

Kota Kinabalu Basel Christian Church Malaysia Chinese pastor in charge, Rev Eric Wong said the church emphasised on social care regardless of religion, races and nationality.

Police had earlier classified the case as sudden death.

"The situation is not good, more than 2,000 cases a week. We all hope everyone will do their part to combat this menace," he said.

Dr Subramanian also lauded a recent report by InternationalLiving.com, which listed Malaysia as among the top three countries in the world for health services.

Malaysia came behind France and Uruguay and ahead of countries like Spain, Italy, Ireland and New Zealand in the report.

"Besides this, Malaysia was also placed 18th out of 45 country for efficient health services by Bloomberg.com last year.

I am confident the reports will boost health tourism for Malaysia," he added.

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