KOTA KINABALU September 26, 2012: Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun has posed a challenge to tourism players to produce more Korean speaking guides within a year.
Speaking after a two-and-a-half-hour meeting with tourism stakeholders, including Sabah Tour Guides Association (STGA), yesterday, Masidi added that the call to engage Korean guides to guide their nationals while holidaying in Sabah will not be implemented as yet.
Describing the meeting as “harmonious and fruitful”, Masidi said the parties involved had agreed to accept the challenge.
The meeting was organised following objections from local tour guides in Sabah to the Tourism Ministry’s decision to allow Korean tour guides to be given licences and the right to operate in the State.
A group of 30 Sabah Tour Guide Association (STGA) members, who were outraged by the move, said yesterday they would not compromise on the issue and were prepared to do whatever it takes them to protect their livelihood.
On another development, Masidi disclosed that the ministry will be setting up a special committee to look into the alleged animal abuse.
Masid said he had instructed his permanent secretary to carry out immediate investigation into complaints on Korean tour guides feeding proboscis monkey to please their guests, but eventually destructing natural ecosystems.
It was learnt that a group of local tour guides had seen Korean tour guides offering food to proboscis monkeys and hitting monitor lizards while on tour.