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Sabah looks beyond nature attractions
Published on: Tuesday, March 21, 2023
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Sabah looks beyond nature attractions
Joniston addressing the South Korean group, recently. (Pic: The Star).
Kota Kinabalu: Sabah wants to be known to visitors not just for its stunning landscapes but also for the ability of its multi-religious society to co-exist harmoniously, said Assistant Tourism, Culture, and Environment Minister Datuk Joniston Bangkuai.

He said with over 40 ethnic groups, Sabah’s population diversity is one of the State’s strengths contributing to its distinctive genetic makeup.

“Sabah’s multicultural population has proven to be adept at overcoming religious and cultural barriers to unity. “The locals’ friendly nature and peaceful existence have become an important selling point.

“Religious and racial extremism has no place in Sabah and cannot be tolerated here.

“We coexist harmoniously, and that shows in the proximity of our places of worship,” he said, citing the State Mosque, Sacred Heart Church, the Sikh Gurduwala, and the Peak Nam Tung Buddhist temple in the State Capital, which are located within a 6km radius, as an example.

He said the Sabah Tourism Board (STB) is looking into introducing a “harmony walk or harmony ride” covering all four places of worship to highlight the peaceful co-existence of Sabah’s multi-religious society, which could potentially become a unique attraction to tourists.

“In Sabah, we do not just want to be renowned for the beauty of our fauna and nature, but also the people,” he said.

Joniston, who is also STB Chairman, said this to a South Korean incentive group at the Repove Korea - Future Dream Festival Welcome Dinner, here, Sunday. The Korean-based Coceuco company organised the dinner to honour 450 high achievers. The STB supported the dinner.

Under the Repove brand, the company manufactures and sells multi-functional skin care products.

At the dinner, the group was delighted by a variety of traditional dance performances.

Also present were STB Chief Executive Officer Noredah Othman, Coceuco chairman Kim Seongee and Coceuco chief executive officer Lee Hwa Yong, among others.

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