Sipadan Island - pic by mount kinabalu-borneo.comTourists continue to come to Sabah's east coast, an area known for its rich marine heritage and home to one of the world top diving spots, Sipadan Island.
They came despite the numerous advisories and notices issued over what was often described as possible attacks on foreigners in the wake of the kidnapping incident involving 21 foreigners and Malaysians by the Abu Sayyaf group from southern Philippines in 2000.
Increased security surveillance , however, helps restore confidence among tourists, many of whom are repeat visitors, who are attracted to the beauty and tranquillity of the area.
Zeina Itaoui, 26, of Australia, for instance, has been visiting Mabul Island, near Sipadan Island, with her husband.
Met at Mabul Island Tuesday, she said, this was their third time in the area and that they had no problem with security.
"We are well taken care of," she said, adding that she and her husband would spend nine days in Mabul this time around compared to only several days during their previous visits.
Carla Yodueno of Itali, who is in Semporna to study marine life since six months ago, said she had never faced any tense situation here.
"I have never felt that my security is under threat," Yodueno said.
Meanwhile, Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Noor Rashid Ibrahim said security in the state's east coast was under control. Read More
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