Shafie insists Sabah safe for tourists, says Malaysia ought to be taken off US’ list of kidnapping hotspots

Shafie said tourists from China and Europe continue to flock to the state. — Picture by Julia Chan
Shafie said tourists from China and Europe continue to flock to the state. — Picture by Julia Chan

KUALA LUMPUR, April 15 — Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal hopes that The United States will remove Malaysia from the ‘K’ list of potential kidnapping in the state’s east coast.          

He said Sabah is a safe state to travel in and tourists from China and Europe continue to flock the state, including Sipadan Island and Semporna.          

“I do hope the request by the Foreign Ministry to remove Malaysia out (of the list is taken into consideration), and that the area is safe to travel. The situation is manageable and nothing to worry about.         

“Incidents (of kidnappings) have happened before. But we are doing our level best to ensure the security to not only be tightened but also to intensify surveillance in that area,” he said.          

He told this to reporters after receiving a courtesy call from Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar at Pusat Pentadbiran Negeri Sabah (PPNS), here today. 

Mohd Shafie said the US authority would share to counterparts Malaysia any information on the possible dangers in the area by sharing intelligence.

Recently, the US state department had marked indicator ‘K’ that identifies countries with “risks of kidnapping and hostage taking” by criminal and terrorist for 34 other countries including Malaysia.          

As for Malaysia, eastern Sabah was earmarked as a region with increased kidnapping risk. — Bernama