LAHAD DATU: Sabah could be in for an influx of tourists from China if Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi holds true to his word.
The deputy Prime Minister said the federal government is very committed to assist Sabah draw in one million tourists from China.
And he has given the assurance that the safety of the Chinese tourists, as well as those from other countries, saying the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCom) was constantly doing comprehensive analysis on the security level in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZone) to ensure that the zone is safe for tourists.
“The Sabah Chief Minister (Musa Aman) and the State Secretary (Sukarti Wakiman) and all state government machineries have long term plans to achieve the goal (bring in one million tourists from China to Sabah).
“Obviously security is out top priority in asking tourists to come to Sabah which has great offerings like beaches, exotic islands, tropical forests and eco-tourism,” he was quoted saying after co-chairing the ESSZone Advisory Board meeting with Musa here
Ahmad Zahid, who is also the chairman of the Cabinet Committee on Tourism, said incentives offered by the government to encourage Chinese tourists to come to the country did not leave out Sabah, like the e-visa and e-entry facilities, especially during the ‘golden holiday period’.
According to him, other forms of support included cooperation with several low-cost carriers to bring in tourists from second tier cities in China direct to Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan and Tawau.
He said currently the security situation in the ESSZone was very good as a result of the concerted actions taken by the Royal Malaysia Police, Malaysian Armed Forces and the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency.
For the same purpose, Ahmad Zahid, who is also Home Minister, said the 6pm-6am curfew in the
ESSZone would be continued until the security forces were fully confident there were no longer any security threats.
Also present at the meeting were Gen (Rtd) Zulkifeli Mohd Zain, National Security Council director-general, Sukarti, Lt Jen Abdul Halim Jalal, ATM Headquarters Chief of Staff,
Noor Rashid Ibrahim, Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Admiral Maritime Zulkifili Abu Bakar, MMEA director-general, Ramli Din, Sabah police commissioner and Hazani Ghazali, ESSCom commander.