India boost next for Sabah tourism


KOTA KINABALU: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Hj Aman expressed confidence that the visit of popular dance troupe from India would go a long way to strengthen the cultural ties between the two countries.

He said festivals such as this showcased the diversity that we have in Malaysia, particularly in the state of Sabah.

“We live in harmony despite our diversity and it is my hope that we will all continue to appreciate the different traditions that each community brings, adding vibrancy and strength to the Malaysia fabric,” he said.

Sabah too can introduce its unique cultures to India as the state is a melting pot of over 30 ethnic groups, the Chief Minister said in a speech delivered by Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun during the Festival of India in Malaysia – Folk Dance and Music from Punjab (Bhangra and Gidda) at the Culture and Arts Complex (JKKN) here on Tuesday night.

Organised by the Ministry of Culture, India and supported by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, the dance troupe from India showcased here for the first time in Malaysia the Bhangra and Gidda Folk Dance from Punjab.

Speaking to reporters later, Masidi said the dance festival has opened the eyes to look further to India as it has lots of potential to further develop Sabah tourism sector.

“We would like to see more interaction between India and Malaysia. India is another continent that we could tap the potential in tourism and develop niche market as more and more Indians are visiting Malaysia,” he added.

Indian High Commissioner to Malaysia, T.S. Trimurti, said he truly appreciated the Sabah State government for allowing 20 talented dancers from India to showcase their dance in Kota Kinabalu.

He said the Indian High Commission recently set up a Visa Outsourcing Centre in Kota Kinabalu to facilitate visitors to India to apply for Visa (with biometric system) without having go to Kuala Lumpur.

Also, the Indian Navy ship visited the Sepanggar Naval base for the first time last year, he said.

“The performance of the dance troupe from India showed again that the relationship between India and Sabah is growing very well,” he added.