KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment hoped the request for devolution of power from the Federal government to approve and issue five types of tourism licensing, which has been put on hold, will bear fruit.
Its minister Datuk Christina Liew said the request made through the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) would enable Sabah to approve applications for tourism-related licensing and to issue licences.
However, MOTAC said the devolution of power to the state has yet to be implemented, considering that matters in connection with the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) are still under negotiation.
“I had urged the Federal government to empower Sabah to approve and issue five types of tourism licensing.
“These are the entry and exit licence for tourism agents, licence for tourist guides, licence for tourism vehicles, ticket licensing and licence to manage tourism training schools or institutions,” she said in her speech in conjunction with the 12th Sabah Tourism Awards 2019, here Saturday night.
Liew said If MOTAC granted licensing autonomy to Sabah, the move would boost tourism and enhance efficiency of the industry’s service delivery system.
“In short, my request for devolution of power in this respect has been put on hold subject to the finalisation of devolution of power based on the MA63 which is still under negotiation, I keep my fingers crossed and hope it bears fruit,” she said.
About the awards, there were 33 categories and Liew presented to the winner for Special Minister Awards won by Guangzhou World International Travel Co; Tham Yau Kong; Albert Teo and Clement Lee.
The other awards including the Best Partner Airlines under the Malaysian Based Category won by AirAsia; China Southern Airlines and Easter Jet won the Best Partner under the Foreign based category.
Meanwhile, Best Tour Operator Inboud (Malaysia/Sabah) award was won by Pelancongan Taikar Worldmart Sdn Bhd; Best Overseas Tour Operator-China category, won by Guangdong China Women International Travel Services Co.Ltd.
Taiwan category won by Fantast Travel Service Co.Ltd; Hongkong category won by Hong Kong Wing On Travel Service Limited; Korea category won by Hanatour Service Inc; Singapore category won by Amazing Borneo Travel & Event Pte Ltd and United Kingdom & Ireland category won by Natural Travel Collection Ltd (Wildlife Worldwide).