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Advice from foreign office on terrorism in Sabah

UK
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Advice from foreign office on terrorism in Sabah

I am looking to travel to Sabah on honeymoon in July. Currently the British Foreign office have a rather scary message on the website about this region. Any thoughts from recent visitors?

UK
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1. Re: Advice from foreign office on terrorism in Sabah

Dear Graham , please provide the link I cannot find anything on the website?

Cheers Jamie

Perth, Australia
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2. Re: Advice from foreign office on terrorism in Sabah

When i was in Sabah last year, Bali was bombed, i was in London in early May last year and after i arrived home to Australia that place was bombed also. My point is that you have as much chance of being a terrorist victim just going to work in any large city in the world as you do going to Sabah on holiday. My opinion? Sabah is safe apart from a few small islands off the East coast which-unless you are an intrepid thrillseeker, you probably wont be going to. These areas are heavily patrolled by the Malaysian military anyway, just go, you will love it and when you get back you will probably wonder why there is even a warning at all.

Perth, Australia
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3. Re: Advice from foreign office on terrorism in Sabah

This is (probably) the link-its the same advice they have been telling folk for years.

www.fco.gov.uk/servlet/Front…

Maidstone, United...
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4. Re: Advice from foreign office on terrorism in Sabah

I go to Sabah regularily including isolated areas off of the East coast and it feels one of the safest destinations I have ever been to, (Maidstone on a Saturday night is MUCH scarier).

Seriously, Goverments have to cover themselves so you just need to take normal precautions.I

UK
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5. Re: Advice from foreign office on terrorism in Sabah

This is what it says:

Still Current at: 11 April 2006

Updated: 22 March 2006

Malaysia

This advice has been reviewed and reissued with amendments to the Summary and Health section. The overall level of the advice has not changed

SUMMARY

Malaysia shares with the rest of South East Asia a threat from terrorism. Attacks could be indiscriminate and against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.

We believe that terrorists and criminal elements are continuing with plans to kidnap foreign tourists from the islands and coastal areas of Eastern Sabah. Boats travelling to and from offshore islands and dive sites are possible targets. If you wish to visit resorts on, and islands off, Eastern Sabah, you should exercise extreme caution.

We believe that terrorists and criminal elements are continuing with plans to kidnap foreign tourists from the islands and coastal areas of Eastern Sabah. Previous kidnappings in this area include the taking of foreign tourist and local hostages from the Malaysian island of Sipadan in 2000, and of foreign resort workers from a resort near Lahad Datu in 2003. On 12 April 2004, a Malaysian vessel was hijacked and three crew members taken hostage just outside Malaysian waters off the eastern coastline of Sabah. In 2001, kidnappers took hostages (including two foreigners) from the Philippines island of Palawan, close to the Philippine/Malaysian border. In June 2002, one foreign hostage was killed and another rescued. Boats travelling to and from offshore islands and dive sites are possible targets. If you wish to visit resorts on, and islands off, Eastern Sabah (from Kudat eastwards to Tawau), you should exercise extreme caution. If you wish to go to remote areas, you are advised to register your itinerary with the local police beforehand.

Kuching
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6. Re: Advice from foreign office on terrorism in Sabah

The kidnappings happened in April of 2000 and it was executed by the Philippine Muslim rebels (Abu Sayyaf). the problem is not home grown. They went to the disputed islands and secluded areas between Malaysian and the Philippines and caused trouble and kidnapped people. These areas are very far from the TA and KK. These are also not the islands that the tours go on from KK.

Nowadays most people don't go to these islands and most resorts and dive operations have either moved operations, quit going there, or have gone out of business all together. Its a shame because these areas are amazing.

The coast directly off Sabah is now heavily patrolled by Malaysian armed forces and police. Also the Philippines have been cracking down very hard on Abu Sayyaf and they have been saying they are patrolling their side of the waters more frequently.

There have not been any problems with staying on the mainland Borneo city of Kota Kinabalu EVER. KK is a large city, one of the safest cities in S.E. Asia, and home to several great and very safe resorts. KK is not home to terrorists and the people love tourists.

KK is also a fantastic place to snorkel and dive around and not nearly as touristy as most places in Thailand or Bali. You wont run out of stuff to see or do and the resorts hotels there are great.

Sabah was really hurt by what happened in 2000 and as such the government has stepped up measures to try and keep it from happening again.

The only thing I would be a bit worried about is a long ocean voyage to some of the islands between Malaysia and the Philippines. Unless you are a hard core diver chances are you wont be going out there. Even if you are a diver there are numerous great spots to go close in to KK that are very safe. Good Luck.

Maidstone, United...
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7. Re: Advice from foreign office on terrorism in Sabah

Well summed up by new22003!

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8. Re: Advice from foreign office on terrorism in Sabah

We plan to travel to "Selingan Turtle Island". I guess this doesn't fall into the realms of danger given what people have said already?

Thanks for all of the information

Maidstone, United...
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9. Re: Advice from foreign office on terrorism in Sabah

Turtle Island is to the North East of Sandakan and Sabah,the area in question is off of the coast of South East Sabah opposite Semporna to Tawau.

Kuala Lumpur...
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10. Re: Advice from foreign office on terrorism in Sabah

Hi Graham, regarding your trip to Selingan island, I been there, quite a few years back.

I was staying at the Ramada Renaissance in Sandakan, and went to a pier to take a speedboat.

Maybe because my travelling partner (being in the travel journalism world) and myself, on the speedback, we were accompanied by a man with a M16 machine gun.

We were told this is just a precaution, as nearby is the Philippine border.

Well, I am back in one piece and till today could still remember the clear water on this island--at almost the seawater level reaching my waist, I could still see my feet. I am 1.8m in height.

It was so peaceful, and later after basking on the beach, we were treated to a simple lunch at the turtle sanctuary.

I am not sure if they knew my travelling partner was a travel reporter, but though service was simple, it was all done with great smile and when we reached the pier, the Hotel's general manager did arrange for his Benz to return us back to the hotel.

Graham, you will be safe, who would have anticipated bombs in central London??