Sabah racial, religious harmony to be showcased to tourists

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah wants to promote its diverse multi-ethnic religious society and harmonious co-existence as a tourism product.

Assistant Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Joniston Bangkuai said the places of worship in Sabah which is located in close proximity is a unique feature for tourists to see.

He cited the State Mosque, Sacred Heart Church, the Gurdwara Sikh temple and the Peak Nam Tung Buddhist temple in the state capital, are all located within a 6km radius.

For that, he said the Sabah Tourism Board is looking into introducing a “harmony walk or harmony ride” covering all four places of worship.

“We want to highlight the peaceful co-existence of Sabah’s multi-religious society, which could potentially become a unique attraction to tourists,” said Joniston.

He said this when hosting a welcoming dinner for the Repove incentive group from South Korea at a resort here.

“We don’t want Sabah to be known to visitors just for its stunning landscapes but also the beauty of its multi-religious society to co-exist harmoniously,” said Joniston.

He said with over 40 ethnic groups, Sabah’s population diversity is one of the state’s strengths contributing to its distinctive genetic makeup.

“The locals’ friendly nature and peaceful existence have become an important selling point.

“Religious and racial extremism has no place in Sabah and cannot be tolerated here.

“I say this because, in Sabah, we don’t just want to be renowned for the beauty of our fauna and nature, but also the people,” he said.

About 450 high achievers from th Korean-based beauty care company attended the event, where they were treated to a variety of traditional dance performances.

Also in attendance were Sabah Tourism Boardchief executive officer Noredah Othman, Coceuco chairman Kim Seongee and its chief executive officer Lee Hwa Yong, among others.

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