Kuala Lumpur: Sabah dropped a bombshell at the Diplomatic Tourism Awards night, Wednesday, when it won the prestigious Celcom "Favourite Tourist Destination" gold award in a revolutionary judging system where ambassadors and senior diplomats voted.
Since about 70 diplomats in Malaysia voted, the verdict reflected strong element of "world" perception and opinion of Sabah. That point was actually verbalised by the event's organisers.
"Indeed we have the world with us tonight," remarked Dato Shamsul Falak Abdul Kadir, President of the Kuala Lumpur Tourism Council, noting the presence of ambassadors and senior representatives from 70 countries.
" I believe this is their vote of confidence in Sabah," said a beaming Datuk Masidi Manjun, Sabah Minister of Culture, Tourism and Environment, after receiving the award from His Excellency Alfredo Morelli, Ambassador of Argentina, Dean of the Diplomatic Corps and Dato Sri Zulhasanan Rafique, Minister of Federal Territories, at a packed "Diplomacy In Tourism Dinner" at Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur.
Malacca, Penang and Langkawi were among the nominees for the "Favourite Tourist Destination" category. The chase for the gold in the end was between Sabah and Langkawi but Sabah came out tops and Langkawi took the Silver.
Continue reading at: Sabah, Malaysia's No 1 destination