PUTRAJAYA – The people, including tourists need not worry about the security level in Semporna district, Sabah during the Lepa Regatta festival from April 24 to 26, said Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.
He said the festival could also gained the confidence of the local and foreign tourists that security in the district, which is located about 200 kms from Lahad Datu, was under control.
“At least an event such as this can promote Semporna and gained the confidence of the local communities and tourists that the security situation is under control.
“Even though many people are worried and afraid of threat elements, we are still able to organise this festival,” he told reporters after attending the pre-launch of the Lepa Regatta 2015 here today.
He said even though the Kiram terrorists intrusion incident had occured in the district, it did not bring about any impact on the organising of the sea festival.
The Lepa Regatta festival, an annual event being held in April, is a platform to introduce and promote the arts, culture and customs of the Bajau and fishermen in Sabah.
Hence, Shafie, who is also Semporna Member of Parliament, said the festival could raise the locals’ economy, especially through the various handicrafts of the Bajau such as mengkuang mat and lepa replica made from wood.
He said the construction of the lepa replica was very complicated and is one of the popular souvenirs among tourists who witnessed this Bajau arts and culture festival. – BERNAMA