Thursday, March 07, 2013

Sabah Tourism Board: Tourism is Business as usual in Sabah

As per Thursday, 7th Mar 2013 issued at 09:00 am

Kopi'vosian and Greetings from Sabah!

The Sabah Tourism Board wish to assure our visitors and partners worldwide that the tourism industry, hotels, island resorts, river, jungle and mountain lodges and activities throughout Sabah including the east coast, are operating as usual. The various dive destinations of Sipadan, Mabul, Kapalai, Mataking, Pom Pom, Pandanan, Lankayan and Selingan (popularly known as Turtle Island) are open for business and visitors. In the past several years, the Malaysian Government has installed armed national security personnel on these islands. The National Security Council (NSC) confirmed there is no prohibition to visit the resort islands. All activities continue as usual.

On February 09, a group of armed intruders went into the remote coastal village, Kampung Tanduo, more than 150km from Lahad Datu town on the east coast of Sabah. They claimed to be the 'Royal Army of the Sultan of Sulu'. After a three-week standoff, the intruders opened fire at the police, who had no option but to return fire. Twelve intruders and two Malaysian commandos were killed.

On Saturday night March 02, policemen on normal operations at a water-village, Kampung Simunul in Semporna were ambushed and two policemen were killed. In the Sunday shoot-out, six policemen and six armed intruders were killed. On Tuesday, the police and army launched an offensive against the intruders in Kg Tanduo with aerial attacks followed by ground assault. No Malaysian personnel were injured.

Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar said the operations went according to plan. He said the security situation is under control in Lahad Datu, Semporna and Kunak. He informed the people to go about their daily activities as usual for the armed forces are working closely with the police to address the security situation. He advised the public not to panic and not to listen to rumours. He assured the public, visitors and tourists their safety. "I would like to assure tourists that it is safe to travel to Sabah." Ismail said.

Business is as usual in Sabah including the State Capital, Kota Kinabalu and all the towns including Kudat, Sandakan, Lahad Datu, Semporna and Tawau. There is No curfew. The airports, domestic and international flights are in full operations.

Thank you. Terima Kasih.

Datuk Irene Benggon Charuruks
General Manager/Board Director


ED NOTE: While it is 'business as usual' for destinations in the West Coast and Interior (which are relatively calm and normal) where we are still bringing our clients to, we have decided to temporarily stop operating in the Lahad Datu and Semporna region, as a precaution to our guests and staff until further notice -- E-Borneo.Com Tours & Travel Sdn Bhd