Tourism industry not affected by stand-off


KOTA KINABALU: Malaysian Association of Tour & Travel Agents (MATTA) Sabah has not received any cancellation of visit by foreign tourists from travel agents due to the current stand-off with intruders in Lahad Datu.

MATTA Sabah chairman KL Tan said the incident had not affected the tourism industry or recreation spots in Lahad Datu yet as the intrusion took place far from town.

However, he hoped that the government would resolve the issue as soon as possible as it was not a good publicity for Sabah.

He said that after a joint press conference with various business and industry-based non-profit organizations on this issue here yesterday.

Meanwhile, the people in the east coast of Sabah should not feel worried and fearful of the intrusion of an armed group of people from Sulu as the situation is under control by the security forces.

Commanding officer of the 516th regiment of the Territorial Army for east coast of Sabah, Brigadier General Tan Sri Liew Yun Fah, gave the assurance after visiting Lahad Datu on February 19.

Liew said he is happy to see Lahad Datu residents viewing this incident rationally and having confidence with the government and the security forces in handling the situation.

He said the people should always understand the role of the government, the police force and the military in ensuring the safety of the people and security of the country. Everyone should therefore keep their trust in the government and the security forces and not listen to rumours passed around by irresponsible parties through the various forms of communication channels.

Liew visited the operation room here to update himself of the current situation there and the status of the negotiations with the intruders.

Thereafter, he visited the campsite of the security forces and presented 1,000 boxes of mineral water and three water tanks to them for their daily needs.

In the afternoon, he met with Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein at Tawau airport. It was learnt that Hishammuddin had just returned from his visit to Felda Sahabat, Lahad Datu.

Liew hoped the impasse could be resolved as soon as possible without any shed of blood.