Friday, May 12, 2017

Sabah tourism ministry drawing up new guideline, policy on salvaging works

KOTA KINABALU: A new guideline and policy for salvaging works especially on historical shipwrecks in Sabah waters is underway, said Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun.

Masidi assured that a special committee set up under the Ministry following a recent controversy over the removal of three wartime Japanese shipwrecks from Sabah’s northern waters.

The next step now is to complete the work on a set of new standard operating procedures (SOP).

“It is a continuous process and they (the special committee) are updating the current SOP to ensure better guidelines and policies with regards to the protection of shipwrecks are put in place.

“So far we have had very good cooperation with all the relevant quarters,” he told reporters after launching the Sabah Malaysian Association of Tours and Travel Agents (MATTA) Fair at Suria Sabah Shopping Mall, here.

In Feb, Masidi announced the state government under his Ministry would introduce the new guidelines to better preserve the remaining 27 historical shipwrecks in Sabah waters.

The move came after a local company Ugeens Berjaya Enterprise in collaboration with Universiti Malaysia Sabah carried out salvaging work on three World War 2 Japanese shipwrecks in Usukan – Sabah’s popular wreck dive site off Kota Belud.