KOTA KINABALU- The state Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry has located and identified the tour operator and the two foreign tourists involved in dancing sexily outside the City Mosque here, but no action will be taken against them.
Assistant Minister Assaffal Alian, who echoed the statement by Minister Christina Liew, said yesterday the perpetrators were being located to allow the authorities to explain what was wrong about their actions.
Liew was quoted as saying the two foreign tourists were unaware of the severity of their action but nevertheless needed to be made understand that what they did was disrespectful of a place of worship.
In view of the issue, the ministry would also be meeting tourist operators in relation to the dos and don’ts of tourists at places of worship.
A circular will also be issued soon to remind the operators of their duty to ensure the tourists they bring here adhere to the rules.
“The Minister (Liew) has issued statement yesterday, so we hope all the parties cool down; calm down (in processing) of what has happened. We do not want to do things hastily.
“What I was told was that the tour operators and the individuals involved have been identified but no further action is taken at the moment,” Assaffal told reporters, adding that he was not aware whether the tourists in question were still in Sabah.
He was asked about the case update when met at an environmental workshop on riparian buffers in Sabah here, this morning.
Commenting on the event, Assaffal said it was a good initiative to gather response from each stakeholders, providing a meeting point for scientists and planters.
Asked if this would mean renewed interest of the new government in restoring riparian reserve throughout Sabah rivers, he said: “Of course, we cannot have conflict with nature and we need to take care of it as this is part of our rich resources.”
In his speech earlier, he stressed the importance of riparian buffers – which are land that borders a river, stream of lake – which holds great value for biodiversity in Sabah.
He noted the great challenges ahead including more areas opened for development as well as pressure from climate change, which he hoped the workshop would be able to address.- New Straits Times