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Sabah to set up council to regulate burgeoning diving industry
Publication Date : 28-08-2013
The state of Sabah in Malaysia has proposed to set up a council to be participated by all players to “supervise” its burgeoning diving industry.
Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Masidi Manjun said the council would act as a bridge between the diving industry and state government to thrash out any issues related to the industry.
“Sabah is among the destinations of choice in terms diving in this part of the world,” Masidi said after a meeting with the Semporna Resort Operators Association at his office here.
"To maintain this, the only way forward is to make ourselves better and that’s what the council is for,” he said.
Masidi said the ministry wanted diving associations in Sabah to sit on the council as well to ensure the smooth running of the industry.
He said it was important for the industry to be well regulated to ensure its sustainability, particularly at a time when it was was doing well.
Masidi said the council could also look into the matter of employment of foreign skilled staff such as dive masters and their expertise.
“We are not just talking about numbers. We are talking about numbers with quality,” Masidi added.
“Eventually, we would like this council to be a one-stop centre for Sabah to recommend any application for new licence on operating a dive centre,” he said.
Earlier, the Semporna resort operators lamented about the shortage of Chinese-speaking divemasters in the state.
Masidi hoped that locals would be willing to undergo training to be dive masters.
He said his ministry’s permanent secretary Michael Emban had been tasked with preparing a draft for the setting up of the council and the document would be presented to the state Cabinet for consideration.