The Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture (Motac) is set to unveil enhanced safety guidelines for tourists in Sabah following a series of reported accidents involving tourists in the region.
Originally reported in The Malaysian Reserve, Minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing, stressed the urgency to address this matter stems from over 13 documented cases of accidents, such as the capsized vessels incident on Pulau Timba-Timba and the drowning incident involving foreign tourists in Kudat in July.
“I emphasize the pressing nature of addressing this issue to revitalize the country’s tourism industry and restore the sector’s image, which has been affected by these incidents,” Tiong remarked.
He further stressed the need for immediate action by all relevant departments and stakeholders, including the tourism industry itself, to demonstrate commitment and resolve the issue promptly, aiming to rebuild the trust of tourists. Tiong highlighted Motac’s continuous commitment to tourist safety and expressed hope that all involved parties would adhere to the guidelines to prevent such incidents from recurring.
“The authorities must guarantee tourist safety by monitoring compliance with required safety standards, ensuring the provision of life vests, and enforcing regulations on passenger capacity,” Tiong emphasized in a statement.
Motac, in collaboration with representatives from Sabah, including the Tourism, Culture, and Environment Ministry (KePKAS), police, Marine Department, and the Semporna district office, discussed these issues during a recent meeting. The agenda also covered the necessity for scuba diving instructors to hold a recognized and regularly updated license. Additional screening measures were proposed, requiring the full display and scrutiny of scuba diving instructor qualifications before allowing them to conduct any activities.