KOTA KINABALU: The Federation of Chinese Associations Sabah (FCAS) has urged the government to review the licencing and enforcement system for tourist boats following the recent catamaran capsize incident that has claimed the lives of several Chinese tourists.
FCAS president Datuk Seri Panglima Dr TC Goh also called on the government to set up a telecommunications network and control centre to monitor the movement of tourist boats in the West Coast in an effort to ensure the safety of tourists.
He said the beautiful sea and beaches in Sabah were very popular among tourists, especially travellers from China.
“However, a weak safety control system will generate negative publicity and in turn, threaten the progress of our tourism industry,” Goh said in his speech during the Pesta Ang Pau hosted by FCAS here on Wednesday.
The event was graced by the Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Haji Aman.
On the other hand, Goh urged traders in Sabah, particularly businesses in Kota Kinabalu, to sell their products at reasonable prices to tourists.
“I have received complaints that some traders in Segama are selling a durian for RM200 and RM10 for a mangosteen to tourists from China.
“The prices are outrageous and is bound to scare off tourists from returning to Sabah.
“Businesses should make profits at reasonable margin,” he said.
On the event, Goh said the Chinese New Year celebration saw the gathering of people from different races and cultures.
“This is the uniqueness of Malaysia and Sabah, where the people live in peace and harmony, free from natural disasters and wars.”
He urged the people not to take harmony in the country for granted.
“We must preserve and safeguard harmony with moderation.”
In the 10am tragedy on January 28, a tourist boat carrying 28 Chinese nationals and three crew members was believed to have capsized due to strong winds and huge waves while travelling to Pulau Mengalum, 56 kilometres northwest of Kota Kinabalu.
So far, 25 victims have been found, including three dead.
Also present at the event were Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia, Musa’s spouse Datin Seri Panglima Hajah Faridah Tussin, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Raymond Tan Shu Kiah, Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Seri Panglima Hajiji Haji Noor, Minister of Tourism, Culture, Tourism and Environment Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun, Minister of Resource Development and Information Technology Datuk Siringan Gubat, Minister of Rural Development Datuk Seri Panglima Radin Malleh, Community Development and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Jainab Ahmad Ayid, Assistant Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Pang Yuk Ming, Assistant Minister to the Chief Minister DAtuk Edward Yong Oui Fah, Deputy Speaker of State Legislative Assembly Datuk Johnson Tee, FCAS president Datuk Seri Panglima T.C. Goh and spouse Datin Seri Joanne Ho, FCAS deputy president Datuk Jimmy Yong Kyok Ming and organizing chairman Datuk Chua Soon Ping.