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A history-making mermaid show
Published on: Sunday, March 19, 2023
By: Kan Yaw Chong
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A frozen magic moment of two mermaids depicting the full grace and beauty as described in ancient folklore, at Aquascape historic mermaid show last Friday.
AQUASCAPE’S history-making public “mermaid” show in Sabah last Friday night proved to be a hit – sold out! 

Dubbed “Magical Mermaid Show”, four Padi certified divers – Xu Ying, Angie Hedger, Joanne Lee and Maggie Foh, entered the fresh water aquarium in free flowing flapper style exactly as centuries-old folklores have described it – like aquatic creatures with female human bodies but tail of a fish.       

The four divers who played ‘mermaids’: Xu Ying (left), Angie Hedger (3rd left), Joanne Lee (4th left), Maggie Foh (right) and Doreen Goh (2nd left) – MD of YSG Bioscape which operates Aquascape.

The largest fresh water fish in the world – Arapaima Giga.

Cameras clicked away at the end of the popular mermaid show.

‘The Magical Mermaid Show’– fascinates children.

All of a sudden they are swimming in the company of one of the largest fresh water fish in the world – the Arapaima Gigas, a native of the basins of the Amazon River, in addition to the Black and White Pacu (known to have human like teeth), the Giant Gourami and different species of catfish, located at the Voluntary Association Complex, Mile 21/2, off Jalan Tuaran.

The moment the foursome fair-lady ‘mermaids’ plunged into the depth, they stole the awe and wonder away from the fish completely for the next 30 minutes! 

Keenly anticipated 

But this keenly anticipated novel show, which comes under flagship company YSG Bioscape Sdn Bhd, a commercial subsidiary of the Yayasan Sabah Group, should be understood in a context of diversification.

The core businesses of this company are tissue culture production of forest tree species, particularly teak, eucalyptus, acacia, ornamentals (orchids) and cash crops like banana, pineapple, vanilla, as well as various Landscape activities (design, maintenance, functions set-ups, sale and rentals of potted plants, says Doreen Goh, Managing Director of YSG Bioscape Sdn Bhd.      

“We started our core business on tissue culture of teak more than 25 years ago and we have been exporting tissue-cultured teak all over the world to Latin America, Africa, and Australia.”      

Aquascape – a step in diversification 

“As a step in the diversification of YSG Bioscape businesses, Aquascape which was previously known as Green Connection, was re-created in 2019 as a fresh water Aquariums cum Edu-Botanical Center showcasing a variety of tropical fish surrounded by carefully-designed landscapes of interesting plants and trees,” Dr Doreen noted.

“Unfortunately, the centre suffered a two-year setback during the Covid pandemic,” she added. 

“Now, with the economy opening up again, we noticed interest in outdoor activities had increased, we saw a surge in the number of visitors at our Centre, particularly school children, since the second half of last year”.

Centre piece – freshwater aquarium

“Of course, at the Aquascape Centre, the centre-piece is our fresh water aquarium where the visitors have the opportunity to take a close look at the grand and awe-inspiring Arapaima Gigas, as well as other uncommon fishes such as the Black and White Pacu, Giant Gourami and different species of Catfish.” 

“The daily star attraction is the fish feeding show scheduled at 3pm and usually it attracts a lot of interest,” she said.

The Pacu, another large fresh water fish which has human-like teeth (inset).

Fish feeding show – fresh water turtle snaps up fish from diver.

The sold-out crowd listening to a live band of Danny and Lyla awaiting the fish feeding show and the climatic mermaid show.

“But the Center also features themed gardens with different planting techniques, koi pond and cultivation of herbs and flowering plants to inspire ideas based on creative functionality to the public at large,” Dr Doreen added.

“In addition, there is an Education Zone where school children can learn about Science, planting, and craft-making, have the opportunity to see and play with different animals and reptiles.”

“So if visitors walk around the garden they can see a lot of interesting things like rabbits, tortoise, frogs, snake etc to show children.”

Certified divers and the mermaid show

“The Magical Mermaid Show launched at 5pm last Friday (March 17) is our latest attraction at Aquascape Center,” Dr Doreen pointed out. 

“The idea started when the four Padi certified lady divers approached us, they looked at our freshwater tanks and said: we can do this for you – perform shows, perform mermaid shows and then we said: why not. So they did some practices and we found there is a good interest that people are attracted to this sort of show,” Dr Doreen recalled.   

“Tickets, inclusive of a live band entertainment and dinner for this very first and one-of-a-kind mermaid show in Kota Kinabalu, was sold out within three days after the sale was announced on their social media (FB/IG: Aquascapecenter),” she beamed.  

Planned: Another show

“Due to the overwhelming response to this first show, a second show is being planned for next month,” Dr Doreen said.  

“Announcement of date and ticket sales will be made on Aquascape Center social media sites.  So, for those who do not want to miss the show again,” she advised.  

“The Aquascape Center is the latest addition to the company, this is an educational tourism centre – a one-stop tourism centre in the city.” 

“So people from outside can come in and visit, can come here and just walk around the different gardens. Of course, the star attraction is the daily fish feeding show, we have giant fish – the Arapaima Gigas, Black & White Pacu, Giant Gourami,” Dr Doreen repeated. 

“Actually we have been around for about three years and a lot of people still say, ‘oh, how come we don’t know about this’. So we are out to create awareness, ” Dr Doreen said.


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