31 C
Kota Kinabalu
Ahad, Julai 14, 2024

Courtesy call by Batu Sapi MP Datuk Liew Vui Keong

Photo : Liew (left) with Vui Keong during the courtesy call.

KOTA KINABALU: Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Christina Liew has urged registered homestay operators in Sabah to apply for the RM20,000 funding for upgrading purposes from the State Government through the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment.

She made the call during a courtesy call by former Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department for Legal Affairs, Datuk Liew Vui Keong on Thursday.

“We will process the applications when we receive them from licensed homestay operators,” she said.

Liew, who is also Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment, said the funding for minor tourism-related projects is part of a special grant of RM10 million for the upgrading of homestay facilities and community-based tourism products, under the Sabah New Deal as announced by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, recently.

“This grant from the State Government is good news for local tourism players, and I am sure domestic tourism will flourish again.  I would encourage homestay operators in Sandakan in general, and Batu Sapi in particular, to avail themselves of the funding, so that they are ready to reopen their doors to visitors by the end of the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) on August 31,” said Vui Keong who is also Member of Parliament for Batu Sapi.

Briefing the Minister on tourism highlights in his parliamentary constituency, he said efforts are underway to transform the Batu Sapi Heritage Park (three-legged rock shaped like a cow), and Pasir Putih Beach into tourist hotspots.

“Our focus is on maintaining cleanliness of these natural attractions, and resolving the problem of water pollution in the affected area, among other aspects. Given its popularity as a tourist destination, we hope Sandakan will continue to draw tourists in the months to come,” he enthused.

The Minister said Sandakan should do well by virtue of its tourist hotspots such as the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre, Borneo Elephant Sanctuary in Kinabatangan and Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre.

Qualified homestay operators are certified and registered by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC). The Ministry and Sabah Tourism Board (STB) are represented in the Certification Committee under MOTAC. End