KOTA KINABALU 22/10/2012: Sabah tourist guides must not allow their principles to be compromised, Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said.
Have trust in your own abilities, love your profession, love yourself and be proud to be a tour guide as it is an honorable profession, he said at the Sabah Tourist Guides Association (STGA) Appreciation Night for its members and industry players here on Saturday night.
“You should never allow yourself to compromise your principles because what you do and what you don’t do really describes who you are in that profession,”
“So in the issue of licensing foreign tour guides, I did not hesitate but to go along with your stand simply because I think Sabah is too valuable for us to take the risk to allow everyone to take part in the industry lest they make a mess of the industry.
“To me, I don’t mind doing it slightly slower but we do it right rather than going full throttle only ending up in a crash that in the end we will realize that perhaps, we have made the wrong decision,” he said.
Masidi said tourist guides must see their profession as guardians of Sabah as they are holding the trust on behalf of the people to look after the best of what nature has given to them.
“Everything nature bestowed on us is free and all we have to do is to look after them. So we must make sure we Sabahans, hand in hand, look after the blessing of God. You go to other countries and you cannot even find half of what we have in Sabah.
“I think it is next to irresponsibility, even madness to allow others to look after what have been given to us. They must be looked after by Sabahans, by you all the tour guides of Sabah,” he stressed.
Masidi also reminded the tourist guides and STGA that there is a need to make good and right decisions because whatever decision we make or don’t make will have far reaching implications.
“It may not hit us in our lifetime but it may affect those who come after us. We must make correct decisions and I have stressed many times that right decisions may not be popular ones.
“Unfortunately right and popular are not synonymous. What is a right decision may not be popular but a right decision will always be a right decision,” he said, adding that all of us must have the courage to make the right decisions.
Sabah, Masidi believed, is just about to embrace the industry and it is yet to create an impact all over the world.
He said he personally looks at this positively and although the state may not have made the profit that it has in mind over the years, the slow start has allowed the industry players to look back and really reflect at the mistakes, the right things that they we did and the not so right things they have decided in the past.
That is a good lesson, what needs to be done and done better and not to be repeated as it is important to learn lessons from the past because we do not want to repeat them over and over again, he stressed.
Masidi further pointed out that life is not all about making money, as it is also about doing good things for yourself and the state.
Life, he said, is also about leaving a good legacy to the future generation.
“On behalf of the ministry, I would like to thank all of you for having been very, very cooperative and I don’t think you should consider yourself as being different. We are in the same team and the team is called Sabah Tourism.
“Whether you are in this line or MATTA or wherever you are, we are all in the same team and for that reason alone I think we need to work with each other. If there are reasons for you to feel that we are not in the right direction or have made wrong decisions, I think it is your responsibility to tell us what needs to be done to correct the decisions,” Masidi said.
by Nancy Lai