Special post code for Sabah island

Jailani Johari posting a postcard at the Layang-Layang post office.

Jailani Johari posting a postcard at the Layang-Layang post office.

The deep sea post box.

The deep sea post box.

KOTA KINABALU: Layang-Layang, one of the world’s best diving destinations located 300km or one hour by air from Kota Kinabalu, now has special post code.

Pos Malaysia acting chief executive officer Azlan Shahrim said the 88005 special post code symbolises Malaysia’s sovereignty over the remote island.

Azlan said 88 is the Sabah code while 5 refers to the Royal Malaysian Navy’s (RMN) Station Lima based in Layang-Layang.

“We decided to have a post code to improve postal services,” he said after the launch of the special post code by Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Jailani Johari.

Maritime Sovereignty Security Division secretary Shakib Ahmad Shakir said the initiative symbolised Malaysia’s sovereignty over Layang-Layang.

“By giving the special post code, we recognise the island as part of Malaysia and this will enhance our sovereignty and claim to the Exclusive Economic Zone,” he added.

Also launched was a seabed post box, an initiative of the RMN, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, the National Security Council and Avillion Layang-Layang Resort.

At 40m deep, the seabed post box made it into the Malaysia Book of Records as the first of its kind in the country.

“This underwater post box is our second project, after the first was launched in Mount Kinabalu as the highest altitude post box in Malaysia,” he said after launching the underwater post box.

Jailani said the underwater post box allows divers at Pulau Layang-Layang to share their experience with family and friends via waterproof postcards stamped with a special postmark and Malaysia Book of Records logo.

Azlan said Avillion Layang-Layang Resort was appointed agent with postal delivery by MASWings flights departing Kota Kinabalu twice weekly.

Two postmen would be assigned to collect the waterproof postcards from the underwater post box.

Victorley Marden, 25, and Ritchie Lester Lee, 35, were selected as the underwater postmen.

Lee, a diving centre manager on the island, has more than 10 years of diving experience and has held a diving license since 2001, while Marden a dive master, earned his diving licence in 2011.

The duo from Kota Belud would ensure that postcards sent through the underwater mail box would be safely delivered to recipients.

Layang-Layang, which is located near the Spratly Islands, is among a group of 600 islands and reefs claimed by several countries. It is located about 300km from Sabah’s coast.