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Published on : Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) Vice President (Inbound) Datuk Tan Kok Liang has commented that proactive measures made by the State Government and tourism industry players is showing positive results.
He said “Up to June this year, foreign visitor arrivals to Sabah dropped by 6.9%, lower than the 9.4% for the whole country. But from July to September, foreign tourists to Sabah increased by 2.9% over the corresponding period last year.”
“At the same time, the number of Malaysians from other states visiting Sabah shot up by 5.3%, from 518,577 last year to 546,256 during the third quarter. This is because Malaysians are aware that Sabah is safe and not affected by sensational reporting in the media.”
“However, continuous negative reports and speculations, if remained unchecked, may later be accepted as facts. The realities are new trails to Mt Kinabalu summit opened from 1 December. On the same day, Air Asia moved to Terminal 1 of Kota Kinabalu International Airport, which will be boosted by many new scheduled and chartered flights.”
“For example, China Southern Airlines is flying thrice weekly from Guangzhou to Kota Kinabalu from 1 December. Air Asia will begin daily services between Kota Kinabalu and Wuhan from 22 January. 180 charter flights from secondary cities in China are expected to land in Kota Kinabalu from mid-December till March next year.”
“It is preposterous for a Deputy Home Minister to disclose that militants are planning a revenge attack in Sabah. If the information was authentic, it should have been kept secret and use to snuff out any such attempt. Or it may just be a red herring. In any case, the identity of those in the intelligence network that gathered this information may now be exposed.”
“One would expect the authorities to handle security information with confidentiality. Multi- national corporations, including insurance companies, do not rely on media reports but engage international emergency assistance companies to provide accurate and real-time information on the ground. They rate Malaysia, including Sabah, as low risk.”
“National security has to be managed with quiet efficiency and not otherwise” concluded Tan.