TAMBUNAN: It is an amazing experience when visiting Tambunan, the Switzerland of the East, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Haji Aman.
He said a visit to this area would be interesting because the area is also rich in the various customs and culture of the Dusun community who live in harmony with people of various ethnic groups, religions and cultures.
“All this in itself has explained the theme of Visit Tambunan Year 2017 (VTBN2017),” he said in his speech when launching VTBN2017 at Pisompuruan Square here on Wednesday night.
He said the launch of VTBN2017 was timely as this area was not only progressing rapidly but also very famous for its beauty and its own uniqueness.
According to Musa, this district, located in the interior, has priceless natural treasures such as the tropical rainforests and its many attractions such as Mount Trus Madi, Mahua Waterfall as well as a variety of flora and fauna.
He said tourism and culture continued to grow rapidly in this state and it included health, education tourism and so on.
However, the major tourist attractions are the charming and historic destinations as well as the customs and culture of the people, he said.
“Because of that the state government remains committed to intensify and promote the tourism sector as a catalyst for the state’s economy.
“Through the Sabah Development Corridor (SDC), for example, we have been focusing on key sectors, including the tourism sector to achieve economic growth that is strong and sustainable,” he said.
For that, he said it was important that all parties continued the efforts and energy to drive and promote the state’s tourism sector at regional and international levels.
“In addition to the duties and responsibilities of government departments and agencies related to regulating tourist places, we are also responsible for ensuring the cleanliness and beauty of tourist attractions to maintain the good image of the our state and country that is known as a ‘tourism paradise’.
“I would also like to emphasize, in particular the industry players, to adopt a balanced development on tourism. Do not only be concerned with tourism business activities and profits without taking into consideration the balance between tourism development and environmental quality,” he said.
More than 5,000 people including Deputy Chief Minister and Minister of Infrastructure Development Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Seri Panglima Hajiji Mohd Noor, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun, Minister of Rural Development Datuk Seri Panglima Radin Malleh, Minister of Community Services and Consumer Affairs Datuk Hajah Jainab Ahmad Ayid, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Tawfiq Abu Bakar Titingan, Minister of Resource Development and Information Technology Datuk Siringan Gubat, State Secretary Tan Sri Sukarti Wakiman and District Officer Thomas Logijin attended the event.
A total of 15 tourism products were introduced in conjunction with the launch of Visit Tambunan 2017, among which were the Rafflesia Park, the Mahua Waterfall, Mount Wakid, Mount Trus Madi, the Tambunan Golf Club, the ginger plants and the manufacture of bamboo musical instruments at Kampung Tikolod, the Batu Gong, the traditional food and several other historic places here.
Earlier in his speech, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, urged everyone, including tourists from abroad, to come and visit Tambunan district.
He said there are many attractions, unique and historic that have never been explored by the tourists from abroad and within the country.
“Many tourists from abroad, especially China, have visited the interior and with this VTBN2017, they will have more opportunities to come to this district and witness the beauty of the culture and background of the people living in this area.
“At the same time, I ask the people here to take this opportunity to improve their economy in line with VTBN2017 throughout the whole of next year,” he said.
Pairin, who is also Infrastructure Development Minister, is confident that with the increasing awareness of the people here on this industry, they will create their own initiatives to develop tourism products available in their respective places.
Pairin, who is also Tambunan assemblyman, stressed that the theme of VTBN 2017, “Amazing Experience” is the foundation that creates the mysterious legendary folklore and this is the greatness of this area.
“We have a lot of potential in this area. Let us work together for our mutual benefit to make us stronger,” said Pairin, who is also the member of parliament for Keningau.
Pairin described the presence of the Chief Minister and members of the state cabinet is testimony of the support for the people here in striving for self-development.
Meanwhile, VTBN2017 main committee chairman Thomas Logijin in his speech, said that this event is Pairin’s brainchild to make this district a popular tourist destination.
He said VTBN2017 is the catalyst in the development transformation of Tambunan district with its rich and unique cultural background, traditions. Indirectly, this event will also benefit residents here in raising their living standards.
“VTBN2017 was mooted in 2015, and from January to December next year there will be 24 programs held here as an attraction to tourists,” he said.
The launch of VTBN2017 also saw performances by local artistes, including Rosario Bianis, Justin Lusah, Francis Landong, Philip Jani Juakim Gabir and traditional dances.