Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Possibility to increase divers in Sipadan Island

KOTA KINABALU: Discussion is on the way to look into the possibility of increasing the number of divers at Sipadan Island at any one time.

Minister of Tourism, Culture & Environment Datuk Masidi Manjun said the issue had been raised by tour operators many times but there was a need to look into the capacity of the island.

“The island cannot accommodate more than 120 divers at one time. So there is a possibility that we may want to see into limiting the time for each diver.

“Usually, they will want to carry out their activities marvelling underwater marine life for one whole day. Perhaps we may limit the time into two sessions – morning and afternoon – so that more divers will have their chances,” he said when receiving a courtesy call by members of the Semporna Tourism Action Council (STAC) led by its president, who is also Semporna district officer Abd Mohd Ibnu yesterday.

He said it would be discussed further with diving operators.

There is also a need to talk to the federal government about increasing the security level on all the islands in the state.

“Sipadan had recently been gazetted as part of Sabah Park but its security is still under the jurisdiction of the federal government,” he said.

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