By Chris Maskilone
KOTA KINABALU: Malaysia Association of Hotels (MAH) Sabah & Labuan Chapter views seriously the latest abduction incident in waters off the East Coast of Sabah.
But, MAH Sabah-Labuan Chapter Chairman Gordon Seet said travelling around Sabah was quite safe, particularly in Sandakan and Tawau as they have full confidence in the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) controlling the situation there.
Seet said this included protecting the security area covering 1,400km of the east coast of Sabah from Kudat to Tawau, including the island resorts.
“The safety of tourists in the state is the utmost priority,” he said in a statement here Tuesday.
According to him, Sandakan and Tawau were ideal destinations for nature and seafood lovers.
“Tours to the islands are safe since Esscom has verified that the security in the east coast of Sabah is under control.
“Travelers are highly encourage to experience Sabah’s many attractions to experience South East Asia’s best of nature.
“Due to the high occupancy rates among hotels in Semporna and Lahad Datu, visitors are advised to book early,” he said.
It was reported that 10 heavily armed men abducted 10 crew of two fishing boats during curfew hours at about 2am in waters near Tawi-Tawi Island in the Philippines.
Tawi-Tawi is just a 15-minute boat ride away from the Malaysian waters of Tambisan off Lahad Datu.
Being one of the seven areas designated as the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (Esszone), the area is off limits and that no vessels without permission should be going through it from 6pm to 6am daily.-SabahNewsToday