Thursday, May 01, 2014

Guidelines on tourists’ safety in Sabah to be drawn up

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment minister, Datuk Masidi Manjun will be sitting down with the Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) and the State tourism players to formulate comprehensive guidelines that would benefit all.

Asked about the action his ministry would be taking against errant tourism operators for allowing their guests to go inland to search for wild pygmy elephants, Masidi said they were looking at relevant laws which would enable the government to prohibit tourism players from letting their guests go near the wildlife.

Unfortunately, he said, the guideline on the matter was not clear.

“Hence, we would be having a discussion with SWD and the industry players to formulate comprehensive guidelines that would be a win-win to all,” he told reporters after launching the Stakeholder Validation Workshop Imbak Canyon Conservation Area Strategic Management Plan 2014-2023 held at the Pacific Sutera here yesterday.

Masidi also said that they were aiming at making the standard operating procedure (SOP) of the enforcement agencies clear.

At the same time, Masidi reminded tourism players in Sabah that it was dangerous to allow their guests to go inland to look for the elephants.

“Elephants are very dangerous,” he said, adding that the fatal accident involving an Aussie tourist should serve as a reminder to all on the risks involved.