May is the month of Culture where the Harvest Festival is celebrated mainly by the Kadazan-Dusun ethnics to celebrate “rice”, as the gift of life. The highlight of the event is the State Harvest Festival which will be held on 30th & 31st May 2019. This year the Muslim will also observe fasting from dawn to sunset as they enter the month of Ramadan. The towns will be buzzling with food bazaars. An opportunity for food discovery! Food Bazaar or locally know as Bazaar Ramadan normally starts from 3 pm onwards.
From January to February 2019, Sabah has received 659,207 visitors. This is 9.8% higher compared in the same period in 2018 that recorded 600,473 visitors.
Conservation work continues in Sabah. Last month, the Semporna Marine Day and the Mabul Turtle Day was held to raise environmental awareness and underwater conservation especially the turtles. Earlier in April, Lampoopalooza a light and art installation street event was held in Gaya Street, Kota Kinabalu saw around 3,000 attendances by locals and tourists. In Semporna,on the east coast, around 10,000 people attended and participated in the annual State event, Regatta Lepa-Lepa between 26 – 28 April 2019.
Giving back to the community. MICE group of 600 delegates, Genesys from the US was in Kota Kinabalu in April. Together with an international chain hotel, they raised RM157K or USD39.5K income for the local community through the purchase of local produce and crafts as part of their CSR practice. The Lion Club International, China donated 200 units of solar energy street lights costing RM100, 000 to the Bajau community in Bum Bum Island near Semporna in order to provide a more convenient environment for the local residents. This week, another 600 pax Incentive group from China will be in Kota Kinabalu.
East Coast Security Updates
The Malaysian Government has designated the entire eastern portion of Sabah (extending from the town of Kudat in northern Sabah to Tawau district near the border of Indonesia) as the Eastern Sabah Security Zone and established the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) to coordinate security forces’ activity. Security forces are stationed on the islands with resorts. Curfew hours between 7 pm to 5 am up to three nautical miles offshore is put in place by ESSCOM. Malaysia, the Philippines, and Indonesia have formed a trilateral committee on this.
Currently, the Malaysian government has enhanced the efforts for patrolling our maritime border and are in constant contact with counterparts in the Philippines. Dusk to dawn curfew is strictly enforced on the sea to ensure the safety of tourists and divers.
These intrusion preventive measures are welcomed by all Malaysians and people of Sabah, to ensure safety and security for all Malaysians and visitors.