Malaysia

Wan Junaidi apologises for ‘close down’ resort remark, blames media for distortion

Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar has backed down after receiving much flak over his remark that all resorts on Sabah’s eastern coast must be closed down following the abduction of two women at an island resort off Semporna.

The deputy home minister apologised to the people of Sabah, but not before claiming that his statement had been misinterpreted by the media.

"I had previously said: 'If I can have my way, all the isolated resorts in the red zone area must be closed. But we cannot because is it one of the main components of tourism infrastructure and as such, resort operators must contribute to the safety of their properties'.

"But only the first part was used," Wan Junaidi (pic) said before winding up the Corrosive and Explosive Substances and Offensive Weapons (Amendment) Bill.

His remarks raised a storm among Sabahans, with MPs from both sides of the divide flaying him.

The first-term deputy minister from Sarawak said he had no hard feelings although his remarks were misinterpreted.

"I have no problems, I apologise to all Sabahans even though the statement was misinterpreted," he added. 

On April 2, two women identified as 29-year-old tourist Gao Hua Yun from Shanghai and a Filipino resort worker, Marcy Darawan @ Mimi, were abducted from the Singamata Reef Resort.

The latest kidnapping incident comes on the heels of a string of kidnapping incidents last year, including two cases involving fishermen on their boats in April and November, as well as the kidnapping of a Taiwanese tourist from Pom Pom Island, also in November.

Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz earlier this week criticised the security in Sabah, calling it “unsatisfactory", while Kalabakan MP Datuk Seri Abdul Ghapur Salleh suggested that security efforts in the area come under either the home or defence ministry. – April 10, 2014.

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