Results tagged “Kota Kinabalu” from Discover Borneo: Blog

Kota Kinabalu Property Bubble

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Is there a Property Bubble Danger in Kota Kinabalu?

Source: KKpropertyinfo.blogspot.com

Kota Kinabalu, in Malaysian north Borneo, is an emerging property market. Property has been booming. Especially among condo developments. In the last 5 years the number of condos and apartments in Kota Kinbalu has mushroomed. There are 1000's of units on the market for sale currently with the average 1000 sq ft condo in KK is priced between RM400,000 to RM800,000.

The price of property in Kota Kinabalu has apparently doubled in the last 4 years and is now beyond the reach of all but the very high-income groups.

This is because in Kota Kinabalu the average wage (and the average standard of living), for low and middle class families, is still quite stagnant. It seems inflation is outstripping the standard of living for all but the high income groups.

Therefore buyers will have to rely on foreigners looking for "lifestyle" properties if they want to sell and compete with Bali, Phuket, Koh Samui, and so on as places foreigners like to buy "lifestyle" properties.

It is likely the properties will attract low rental yields on the rental market as most renters cannot afford and may be traded at a very slow pace on the secondary market. It is predicted that the secondary market for these apartments in the next 2 to 5 years will be extremely slow moving. Therefore investors it is likely many will stop investing in KK apartments and look elsewhere for better prospects which will leave many local buyers "hanging".

Will this lead to a bubble burst?

This depends on the "holding power" of the initial buyers. Any new buyers who might not have "holding power" will be hurt. Any potential buyers thinking of entering the market better be careful.

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How many apartments developments in KK?

It is estimated that the numbers have more than double in the last 5 years. Prior to 2007 it seems there were less than 30 medium cost apartments and condo developments in KK. Between 2008 and 2012 an additional 40 medium cost apartments and condo developments have been built or are currently under construction, with an additional 10+ in planning.

What is the affordability for local residents?

According to this article on Malaysia's Property Bubble from the New Straits Times:

High Income family earning RM14,000 per month can afford property up to RM550,000 with repayments of RM3000 per month.

Middle Income family earning RM8,000 per month can afford property up to RM390,000 with repayments of RM1800 per month.

Low Income family earning RM3,000 per month can afford property up to RM140,000 with repayments of RM700 per month.

What is the population of Kota Kinabalu, and what is the average salary?

550,000 people live in KK. The population grows at a steady rate, though not as fast as the speed at which condos are built in the last 4 years. The average worker salary is RM1200 a month. The average middle class professional salary in KK is RM2000 to RM5000 a year.

What is the rental price of Kota Kinabalu aparments?

Most people in KK live in low cost properties, or kampung houses. Mostly sharing rooms to keep costs lower. The average worker salary is RM1200 a month, and they can afford to spend RM250 on sharing a room.

For the high end earners, the rental prices vary. It is easy to find good condo aparments in KK renting for RM1500 a month. They are in plentiful supply and many remain empty.

Currently it is generally agreed that the average rental yield across newly completed apartments in KK is about 30% less than what it would cost to service a 90% mortgage on such a property over 30 years.

Who is buying Kota Kinabalu apartments?

A diverse mix of buyers :
- Corporations
- International Investment firms (through lawyers)
- Palm oil millionnaires
- Buy-to-flip investors
- Buy-to-let investors
- Owner-occupiers
- Property developers

In some properties the purchasers are the developers themselves. In one condo we visited there are some 15 unsold apartments held by the developer. The developer has priced them at over RM600,000. This is despite the fact that others in the same block are selling at less that RM550,000.

What is hot money?

Since the 2008 global financial crisis the price of property in KK has doubled. Why?

Since the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, investors have sought to invest in emerging markets as a way of diversifying away from investments in slow-growing American and European economies. Unfortunately, the vast ocean of "hot money" that has poured into emerging markets has created a massive economic bubble throughout nearly the entire emerging world, including overheating economies and property bubbles everywhere from Brazil to Indonesia to Turkey: http://www.thebubblebubble.com/emerging-markets-bubble/

What is a property bubble?

From WIKI article on Real Estate Bubbles: A real estate bubble or property bubble (or housing bubble for residential markets) is a type of economic bubble that occurs periodically in local or global real estate markets. It is characterized by rapid increases in valuations of real property such as housing until they reach unsustainable levels and then decline.

Do people in Kota Kinabalu know what a property bubble is?
Yes, they do. But like with all property bubbles many people think that "this time is different". Fear and greed are pushing and pulling. Currently greed is winning and people with spare cash are buying property in the hopes of double-digit gains. Unfortunately those who want to jump on that bandwagon in 2012 or 2013 may be sticking their money where it is going to hurt.

Why do property bubbles hurt?

Property bubbles cause economic hardships not just for those who bought when the price was high (and who then have to face losses), but also for the entire economy.

This happenned in Japan in 1991, and then across the world in 2008.

The consequences have been severe. Real estate bubbles are invariably followed by severe price decreases (also known as a house price crash) that can result in many owners holding mortgages that exceed the value of their homes. As of the end of 2010, 11.1 million residential properties, or 23.1% of all U.S. homes, were in negative equity at Dec. 31, 2010. Commercial property values remain around 35% below their mid-2007 peak in the United Kingdom.

See this article on the effects of the Japan 1991 crash: Take it from Japan: Bubbles Hurt

Is the Malaysian government taking steps to avoid a bubble burst?

Yes, many have expressed their worries and they do not want a locals to face unaffordable housing, nor do they want buyers and banks facing a bubble burst:
http://malaysiapropertyinvestment.com/blog/malaysia-property-prices-crazy-daim/

The following measures are being taken:
- Bank Negara has tightened up lending so that anyone buying their 3rd property cannot get a loan more than 70% of the price of the property. See Malaysia Takes Measures to avoid Property Bubble.
- The government has imposed a 5% capital gains tax on property starting in 2013. See Malaysian Property Downgraded.
- The government plans to build more low cost affordable housing for the vast majority of the population who have been completely priced out of the market. See Malaysian Government Committed to Building More Affordable Homes.
- In Sabah the government has recently imposed that 30% of all new developments to be priced below RM250,000. See Affordable Housing Units Underway in Sabah.


LIST OF KOTA KINABALU APARTMENT AND CONDO:

On Sale or Under construction or Recently Completed Apartment and Condo in Kota Kinabalu

1. 1 Sulaman
2. Alam Damai
3. Angkasa Apartment
4. Bayshore Phase 3
5. Cyber City Apartments 2
6. Hartamas Height
7. KK City Waterfront
8. KK Times Square Phase 2 - The Loft
9. Peak Vista Tower B
10. Puncak Luyang Tower B
11. Putatan Platinum Apartment
12. Surian Residence Condo
13. University Condo Apartment 2
14. Canggih Heights
15. The Pinnacle
16. 8 Avenue
17. Bay 21 Condo
18. D'Vantage Condo
19. Elements at Likas Condo
20. Jade Residence Condo
21. Jesselton Villa Condo
22. Legenda Saujana Apartment
23. Millennium Residency Apartment
24. Peak Vista Tower A Condo
25. Puncak Menggatal Condo
26. R55 Condo
27. Signal Hill Residence Condo
28. Taman Nelly Studio Condo
29. Suritz Condo
30. Lido 4 Seasons
31. Inti Suites
32. Aeropod
33. Jesselton Residences
34. Kasigui Tower - Central Million Properties
35. Pacific City / Pacific Parade / Pacific Residences
36. 1 Likas Condo
37. The Bay Residences Condo
38. 1 Borneo
39. Grace Gardens
40. Cyber City Apartments 1
41. Hing Tower Condo
42. University Apartments 1
43. University Apartments 2
44. University Condo Apartments 1

Proposed/Planned Apartment and Condo in Kota Kinabalu

1. Alam Bersatu Condo
2. C Park suites
3. Condo - Bina Puri / Kepayan Ridge
4. Condo - Fine Landmark
5. Condo - IJM Land / Likas Hill
6. Condo - New Age Portfolio
7. KK City Waterfront Phase 2
8. Kurnia Perdana Apartment Phase 2
9. Peak SOHO Condo
10. Puri Fantasi - CL Pertama Development
11. Riverside Condo - KK Land
12. University Prime Condo
13. Titijaya Sdn Bhd - 1. Mixed waterfront containing serviced apartments, shop-offices and a hotel / 2. Green residential enclave with bungalows and condominiums near Tun Fuad Stephen Park.

Existing Apartment and Condo in Kota Kinabalu

1. Bayshore Condo
2. Beverly Hills Apartment
3. Bundusan Villa Apartment
4. City Apartments
5. Colonnades Condo
6. Country Heights Apartments
7. Delta Heights Apartment
8. Eden Heights Condo
9. Fairway Mansion Condo
10. Grace Court Apartment
11. Grace Ville Apartment
12. Habiba Suites
13. Hing Apartment
14. Indah Court Apartment
15. Jesselton Condo
16. Kendara Court Apartment
17. Kurnia Perdana Residence Apartment
18. Lucky Heights Condo
19. Marina Court Condo
20. Nounton Apartment
21. Pearl Tower Condo
22. Public Jaya Apartment
23. Puncak Luyang Tower A Condo
24. Puteri Damai Condo
25. Radiant Court Condo
26. Radiant Masoniette
27. Radiant Tower Condo
28. Rainfield Court Apartment
29. Signal Hill Tower Condo
30. Taman Bakti Ikhlas Apartment
31. Taman Ketiau Apartment
32. Taman Penampang Apartment
33. Taman Seri Borneo Condo
34. Taman Wangsa Apartment
35. Tanjung Aru Condo
36. The Peak Condo
37. Waikiki Condo

Discuss Kota Kinabalu's real estate future on KK Property Info.

Malaysia Airlines' 72 hours Merdeka sale is offering fares from RM99 for travel within Peninsular Malaysia and within East Malaysia.
There are bargains from just RM149 for travel from Kuala Lumpur to Kuching, Sandakan, Tawau and Sibu. Customers connecting from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu, Labuan, Miri and Bintulu can enjoy fares from RM169. (All fares quoted are for one way travel only.)

The sale runs from August 29 to 31, with tickets available at www.malaysiaairlines.com and via mobile at http://flymas.mobi.

Malaysia Airlines senior GM commercial strategy, Dr Amin Khan said the promotion is designed to coincide with Merdeka celebrations.

"With flexible travelling dates from September 29, 2010 to May 30, 2011, we encourage customers to take advantage of these offers and plan ahead for their holidays and balik kampung trips."

For those planning to visit local attractions, Malaysia Airlines' travel portal, MAStraveller.com offers travel tips on accommodations, sights and best eating spots.

From Aviation Record

Kota Kinabalu: The Calligraphy Society of Malaysia and Mega Sunwise Property Group are jointly organising a Chinese calligraphy competition simultaneously at 10 venues in Sabah on September 18.Mega Sunwise Property Group managing director Datuk Susan Wong Siew Guen said the 10 venues are Papar, Beaufort, Tenom, Kudat, Sandakan, Lahad Datu, Tawau, Keningau, Labuan and Kota Kinabalu.
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The competition in Kota Kinabalu will be held at SRJK (C) Chung Hwa in Kampung Air.
The biggest calligraphy contest ever to be held in Sabah this year is divided into four categories - open, senior secondary schools, junior secondary schools and primary schools.

Continue reading

Kota Kinabalu: Malaysian Red Crescent Society (MRCS) Kota Kinabalu chapter will be organising a blood donation campaign on Aug 8 at K.K Plaza in conjunction with coming fasting month.

Its Chairman Vanessa Teo said the campaign, jointly by Relia Kota Kinabalu, is to create awareness among the public about blood donation and its importance.

Each donator will receive a certificate of appreciation and also some goodies, she said.

The campaign will begin at 10am until 4pm and for more information, call Venessa at 013-8635506 or Peter Wong at 0198105329.

Source: Daily Express

According to Malaysian English language daily The Star, a large, blue disk may have been seen hovering within sight of Tuaran Beach Resort near Kota Kinabalu, capital city of the Malaysian state of Sabah on the South China Sea.

The daytime sighting, which took place July 18 and lasted only a few minutes, seems to have generated only one photo, albeit a rather impressive one, reportedly because the cell phones of most of the hotel's guests and staff who tried to photograph the object "went dead."

Temporary interference with electronic devices, including cars, is a common component of UFO close encounter reports. Also common are claims that some people present during a sighting were "switched off" at the moment of contact so that they remember nothing about it afterward.

The Kota Kinabalu sighting was first reported by the Malaysian tabloid Harian Metro, which interviewed at least two witnesses, both in their late 20s. They described the object as first appearing to be blue, then green, then disappearing suddenly.

Continue reading on www.technorati.com

Malaysia Airlines (MAS) will operate more flights to Japan from Sabah, including a new destination from Kota Kinabalu to Haneda Airport, south of Tokyo, from Nov 15.

Bernama.

Kota Kinabalu: A Taiwanese man drowned while snorkeling in the waters off Manukan Island, near here yesterday.Marine Operations Force officer ASP Mohd Aris Jambul, when contacted, said Hsieh Ming Sung, 33, was among 24 tourists who arrived at the island around 10.50am.
"While they were snorkeling, one of his friends saw his lifeless body floating about 110 metres from the beach," Mohd Aris said.
"They immediately informed the island guards who plucked the victim from the water and performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on him while rushing him to Sutera Harbour here," he said.
The victim was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival, he said, adding that an autopsy revealed the cause of death was drowning.

From The Borneo Post

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Fifth SIFF will be taking place from 18th to 27th July 2010 in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah (arrival on the 18th & 19th and departure back on the 27th). Fifth SIFF is set to be different from all of the previous SIFFs. Other than the performance of the various international participants, we will also present the folkdances of the various ethnics of Sabah during the festival ! Fifth SIFF is not only a folkdance festival but it is also a venue for cultural exchange.

For more informations Sabah Cultural Board

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Most motorists were simply bemused at the sight, taking photos of the geological menace - but the fact the road collapsed in the middle of the night caused trouble for others.
At least one truck overturned on the side of the road as it approached the crevice.
And the warning tape strung across the road doesn't really seem rugged enough to hold back determined drivers - although, by last night, no one had been reported injured.

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June tends to be the wettest time for this part of the country, with the southwest monsoon dumping nearly a fifth of the annual rainfall during the month.
But since no one has yet come up with a definitive explanation as to the appearance of the hole, officials continue to look into it.

Source: Metro UK


Sandakan: Alvin Landy Illod carved a new record when he successfully pulled a 12,010 kg bus during the Orang Kuat Sabah Roadshow in Sandakan over the weekend.
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Hundreds of people, including Sekong assemblyman Datuk Mejar Samsudin Yahya, watched the 40-seater tourist bus with 12 persons on board being pulled 36 metres.

Alvin, who has just turned 24, said he felt an enormous pressure before the start of the event with the big crowd waiting to watch him.
"The big crowd heightened my anxiousness," he said, adding that during the attempt, he lost focus momentarily and had to break off his first stab.

"The pressure to succeed was tremendous as the crowd expected to see the bus move and not to mention the VIP who was waiting for me at the end of the track," he said.
"I felt relief washing over me as I neared the end; the crowd was supportive and their cheers helped," he said.

Alvin was among a group of "Orang Kuat Sabah" who toured Sandakan to promote the 2011 Orang Kuat Sabah competition. The others were Orang Kuat Sabah 2010 champion James Wee, Chin Ket Shin, Mr Sabah contender Mark Allan Mogindol and Mohamad Faizal.

Roger Frederick, the Orang Kuat Sabah competition director, said the Orang Kuat would be visiting other districts soon to promote next year's competition.
He said the Orang Kuat Sabah will also be conducting a Pre-Orang Kuat Sabah Competition in the coming month.
"I met up with the National Malaysia Day organising committee on Monday and they are quite receptive to the idea of holding an Orang Kuat competition during the Malaysia Day celebration," he said.

Roger hoped to feature three events in the upcoming challenge, namely Truck Pull, Grip Endurance and Car Dead Lift.

Continue reading Strong man pulls tourist bus for 36 metres

Kota Kinabalu: Healthcare in Sabah is a sick joke! Take the district hospital in Kota Belud, for instance. Patients sleep on the concrete floor, the wards are hot and poorly ventilated and the atmosphere is chaotic.

This was the sight that met Kota Kinabalu MP and Sabah DAP chairman Dr Hiew King Cheu when he paid a visit to the government's main healthcare centre in the district.

Wards that were designed for four beds and were supposed to be air-conditioned had 12 patients sweltering in the heat.

Hiew and other Sabah DAP leaders who paid a surprise visit to the hospital on Sunday were shocked to see patients being treated on the floor.

He said he could not believe what he was seeing.

He questioned the Health Ministry over its judgement in assigning a 29-year-old doctor to take charge of the hospital.

"How can the ministry appoint such a young doctor with limited experience in administrative work to run a big hospital like this?" he asked.

He said he had brought the issue to the attention of the Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai during the debate on the 10th Malaysia Plan (10MP) in Parliament recently.

He added that he was dissatisfied with the answer given by Liow who merely said the young doctor is qualified to do his job.

He said the situation at the hospital clearly showed that either the doctor cannot cope or that the government is ignoring its duty to provide healthcare in Sabah.

Continue reading here

Casino in Sabah ?

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Kota Kinabalu: The odds of Sabah getting a casino licence are probably a million to one but that's not stopping a Member of Parliament from trying his luck.

Batu Sapi MP Edmund Chong Ket Wah (PBS) made the call while debating the 10th Malaysia Plan at the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.

Chong urged Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to consider approving a casino licence for the state to help boost its tourism industry.

He said the existing law that allows Genting Highland could also be applied to allow a casino in Sabah and the stakes are high.

"Kundasang in Sabah has the same climate and environment like in Genting. In Sabah now, there are 44 jackpot licences and 425 jackpot machines. If all these 425 jackpot machines are placed in one building, it is already a casino," said Chong.

"If not for the casino in Genting, there would be no indoor and outdoor theme parks. If not for the casino in Genting, there would be no Arena of Stars for international stars and shows.

"If not for the casino in Genting, there would not be thousands of rooms up there and if there is no casino up there, there would be no millions of people going up there and no millions of ringgit earned," he said.

Continue reading Casino in Sabah

Kota Kinabalu: no plastic mili2.jpgCity Hall Director-General Yeo Boon Hai said he is confident people will gradually get used to not depending on plastic bags.

"Since the 'No Plastic Bag Day On Monday' campaign was launched on June 7, we are proud to see more than 20 supermarkets participating and more will be joining," he said at the Lido Milimewa Superstore, Monday.

Though it is hard and may be a little bit of hassle for consumers at this early stage, he is confident they would gradually get used to it as time went by.

"For plastic bags used by customers who do not bring their own on Mondays, 20 sen will be charged and all the money collected will go to the Sabah Environmental Action Centre for awareness activity and other similar purposes," Yeo said.

He also said these campaigns are held nationwide so that people start doing something seriously for the environment and the State and country become a cleaner place to live in.

"We always get the same complaints from tourists when it comes to the cleanliness of the city.

"Most say there is too much rubbish especially plastic bags in the rivers, drains, roadside and other regular tourist sites," he said, adding it is a shameful fact to swallow and, thus, has to be changed.

Meanwhile, Milimewa Superstore West Coast Region 2 Senior Manager, Gui Cheng Oo, said participating in this campaign is one way to prove they really are trying to do something to save the environment.

"The earth is now facing serious global warming issues and our country is among contributing to it," he said.

Continue reading 'No plastic bags on Mondays': growing response

Kota Kinabalu: All proceeds from the 10th Sutera Harbour 7K Sunset Charity Run 2010 on July 10 at Sutera Harbour Marina, Golf and Country Club will go towards the Special Olympics Sabah (SOS) and Sabah Thalassaemia Society (STS).

The 7K Run aims to raise funds and awareness for the beneficiaries in a fun and exciting way as well as promoting a healthy lifestyle among the public.

Students who signed up for the event will receive a T-shirt and an Adidas voucher worth RM20.

Those keen to take part can obtain the entry forms at Sutera Harbour Marina, Golf and Country Club as well as at the Gaya Street Sunday Market.

The SOS provides year-round sports training and athletic competitions in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with mental disabilities.

The STS, on the other hand, provides medical services to thalassaemia patients, an inherited blood disorder that requires regular blood transfusions and bone marrow transplants as treatment options.

For more information, contact 088-303036 or 088-303341.

Source: Daily Express

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Kota Kinabalu: The Kota Kinabalu Wetlands Centre celebrated the World Environment Day 2010 by inviting the public to its open day.

A statement from Sabah Wetlands Conservation Society (SWCS), Wednesday, said the activity was aimed at educating the public and increasing their awareness on the importance of wetlands as part of the ecosystems.

The celebration theme this year is "Many Species. One Planet, One Future" which reflects the important of raising awareness about the vital importance of the millions of species that inhabit the planet and that their wellbeing and sustainable future depend very much on biodiversity.

The theme this year also urges the public to conserve the diversity of life that exists on the planet.

It said every living thing on this planet is ecologically connected and that if even one species is taken out from the ecological system, the results could be catastrophic.

"With this same concept, the survival of the living organism within the wetland's ecology is very much dependent on the survival of the wetland," it said.

Continue reading the article Here

'Sayang Kinabalu' singer dies

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Kota Kinabalu: Popular local singer Kimin Mudin, whose song 'Sayang Kinabalu' was named the Sabah tourism promotional theme song, died early yesterday due to a heart ailment.

Kimin, 46, the elder brother of top Malaysian songwriter Asmin Mudin, breathed his last at the Likas Hospital here at 1.35am.
Asmin said his brother was admitted to the hospital just before midnight after complaining of breathing difficulties after taking a bath in his house in Kampung Rampaian, Menggatal, near here at about 10pm.

"His wife sent him to the hospital. While there he passed out and pronounced dead at 1.35am," he said when met at the Jalan Kepayan Muslim Cemetery here.
Also at the cemetery were several local artistes including Abu Bakar Ella.
Kimin, from Kampung Kelatuan, Papar and the father of seven children, shot to fame in Sabah through the song 'Sayang Kinabalu' composed by Asmin in 2000.

It was made the Sabah tourism theme song in 2008.
Asmin, who composed some of the country's most memorable songs such as Kau Ilham Ku, Anggapanmu and Gemilang sung by Man Bai, Ziana Zain and Jaclyn Victor respectively, said the Sayang Kinabalu album sold 50,000 copies so far.

Source: The Borneo Post

SEPANG, 17 May 2010 - AirAsia's much-awaited Free Seats promotion is back! Guests can expect even more exciting destinations with 1 million FREE SEATS offered including the new India destinations, Thailand, Indonesia, Laos, Singapore, Philippines, Vietnam, China and many more across AirAsia's extensive network of over 130 routes which stretches across 20 countries.

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The booking period for the Free Seat promo is from 18th - 23rd May 2010 for the travel period from 3rd January - 8th May 2011. Promotional seats are limited and available on first-come, first-served basis and made exclusively online via www.airasia.com and mobile.airasia.com

The Free Seats promo offers all-in fare from as low as RM6*. Guests will only have to pay the airport tax from Kuala Lumpur to destinations such as Johor Bahru, Alor Setar, Kota Kinabalu, Kuching, Langkawi, Penang and others.

The international routes are expected to be snapped up quickly as the Free Seats promo offers an amazing all-in fare from as low as RM25*. Guests planning to visit the various destinations in Indonesia including Bandung, Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Padang and Banda Aceh; are all well known for its beautiful sceneries, shopping venues and delectable local cuisines will be able to enjoy all-in fare from as low as RM25*.
Other hot international destinations which are also offered all-in fare from as low as RM25* include Phuket, Krabi, Bangkok, Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). AirAsia's newly launched routes in India such as Bangalore and Hyderabad are also offered all-in fare from RM25*.

In addition to Free Seats on these selected routes, AirAsia is also offering super low all-in fare from RM49* to destinations such as Bali, Hanoi, Haikou, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and many more. Highly in demand "Kangaroo Routes" in Australia such as Gold Coast and Perth are available from RM149*, Melbourne from RM199* while those planning for a European getaway can opt to fly to London from as low as RM699*. Those who are into exotic attractions can opt to go to New Delhi or Mumbai, India from as low as RM199*.

Continue reading Airasia offers 1 MILLION free seats!

Kota Kinabalu: Sabah can be the next musical art hub in the region given its natural setting and abundance of talents among its youths as well as availability of performing space.

Director of Drama of therockschool Musical Theatre, Chris Colby, from London's West End, said the youths here are amazing but don't realise just how talented they are.

"There is so much untapped talents and we believe Sabah has the potential to become an art hub," he said after witnessing 39 young performers in a drama at Music Mart on Sunday.

He said he and his colleague, David Kort, who is Director of Dance at therockschool Musical Theatre, made the decision to come to Sabah because of its potential in musical theatre.

He said Sabah is a beautiful place with an abundance of space to carry out musical theatre.

Citing the under-utilised theatres at the Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park (KKIP), Yayasan Sabah and Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS), Colby said there is a need to train people with interest in musical theatre here.

According to him, plans are underway through a performing project for children in orphanages in Sabah on May 29 to perform at the KLCC in Kuala Lumpur.

Continue reading...

Kaamatan Rugby 7's Tournament

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A game for the "flat bellies"??
Your Discover Borneo correspondent reports from the field of play at the annual Kaamatan rugby 7's tournament

I love 15-a-side rugby. Why? Because it's a game for all "shapes and sizes"... And, after a few years of enjoying the fantastic Malaysian gastronomical lifestyle, and the sedentary life of the office jockey, I have also become all kinds of shapes (mainly round) and sizes (mainly extra-large).

Despite my lack of fitness, earlier this year my passion for rugby was re-ignited, as it is every year, by the start of the RBS 6 Nations tournament. And every year, around about the same time, I think about playing rugby again (I haven't played since a one-off game in 2001). And every year I never do. Except this year, following a chance encounter with some members of the KK Sharks on a speed boat trip between Menumbok and Labuan.

So I joined the club side in Kota Kinabalu - Sharks Rugby Football Club. And I'm back playing rugby again. Since my first game in February, until now, my fitness has slowly been improving. So when our lovely rugby club secretary, Lena, asked me if I could make up the numbers and join in the upcoming Kaamatan (Harvest Festival) 7's tournament I thought "yeah sure, why not?".

Big mistake y'all !!!

7-a-side rugby and 15-a-side rugby are 2 different beasts.

Your resident DiscoverBorneo blogger, several decades after having last played the 7-a-side version of the game, was pulp within just minutes of the first kick off.

With only less than half of the number of team mates, on the same size pitch, 7-a-side rugby is meant for the fast and the fit. And as one of my friends warned me beforehand: "the flat-bellies are going to get you". And get me they did.

Luckily my team has some exceptional players who proceeded to play some excellent 7's rugby and go on to win the tournament in style.

So anyway, I would like to say congratulations to all my team. It was really a lot of fun being there and just taking part in the games.

My next ambition in life: to become a "flat-belly".
;-)

Here are some photos from the Kaamatan 7's tournament (held at La Salle school, Tanjung Aru, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia!)

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KK Sharks players warming up

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A young "shark", maybe only 55 odd kg in weight: see the dorsal fin is still a little small.. teeth are quite well developed however..

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After the rugby a little tapai to celebrate the Kaamatan. Tapai is Kadazandusun rice wine - which is stored in a Chinese-style clay Jar which is called a "Tajau".

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Pirates Part 2... of Borneo

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Well ok, this wasn't quite "Stagnetti's Revenge" guys, but maybe the closest thing we've got here in Malaysian Borneo: lots of hot chicks swinging from the rigging on a classic yacht !!?!!

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As you can see it was beautiful day to be sailing in the South China Sea... the skies blue azure, sun shining bright... too strong maybe, for even our local Borneans were left with reddish-pink noses at the end of this rather lovely day of sailing, diving, eating and drinking... The yacht in question is Borneo Tall Ships' very own classic yacht Raja Laut (www.rajalaut.com) which is currently berthed in Sutera Harbour, Kota Kinabalu - her "home town marina"...

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Borneo is Raja Laut's birthplace, her spiritual home. The classic gaff schooner was built on these shores.... and with it a dream of exploring the magnificent cruising grounds of Southeast Asia!..

The clue is right there in the name "Born(eo)"! True to this name Borneo is the birthplace of lots of inspiring, impossibly romantic, sometimes very real adventures...
a conclusion the writer Joseph Conrad must have come to having traced the paths to Borneo many times both as a sailor and novelist...

The great writer did more than any other to make Borneo legend, and we like to think of the journey from the Andaman sea to Borneo, and then onto Bali as "Conrad's Passage"!

For much of the world, and for Conrad in particular, interest in Borneo began with the "White Rajah" of Sarawak - Englishman James Brooke, who sailed from Singapore, armed with a 100ft schooner called the "Royalist" (not unlike the Raja Laut itself), and an inheritance, to take on the feared headhunters and pirates of Borneo, claim the Kingdom of Sarawak and found a dynasty that lasted from 1860 to 1940.

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But these are stories for another time. Today, the nearest thing you're going to find to a pirate in Malaysian Borneo are the pirated DVD makers me thinks.

Embarking at Sutera, we headed out to Pulau Sapi, the smallest island in the marine park but also the most popular because it is well sheltered by the bigger Pulau Gaya. Arriving near the Sapi-Gaya channel this crazed dreadlocked pirate on Ed's boat got his grappling hook on us... but it only turned out to be international travel photographer Suchen - plug time ! (www.suchen.com)

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Six of us elected to go for a dive, and Raja Laut's lovely PADI Dive Instructor got us all setup with new scuba gear for the yacht's dive store, so all we had to do is slap some sun cream on and get into the tender.

Here's Narvin demonstrating a nice backward roll out of Raja Laut's diving RIB. Thats Gav going the other way (as usual).

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Unfortunately no whalesharks were spotted (April is whaleshark season in Sabah) but we were pleasantly surprised by how the dive turned out: good visibility, healthy coral, and lots of fish, some rays, a moray eel, several species of nudibranchs which are always a welcome find...

After the dive we returned to the yacht for some lunch, prepared by Raja Laut's very own gourmet chef, weighed anchor and set sail around the north of Pulau Gaya.

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We stopped again in Gayana Bay for some wakeboarding in the bay's flat calm waters, and some kayaking too.. Its a 2-seater kayak but evidently Mr Aping wasn't going to let that stop him from joining in..

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As the sunset we entered the old port and ended the cruise at the Waterfront in downtown Kota Kinabalu, anchored right in front of Bar Su, using the RIB to go ashore we had Pizza ordered from Toscani's to be brought over to the Raja Laut...

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The sunset really was out of this world and we have the pictures to prove (thanks Suchen! - plug ! - www.suchen.com)...

A little champagne for starters... Well, I reckon it just doesn't get any better than this...

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I think Gavin was thinking the same thing... Looks like he probably had a few too many though...

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For more information on the Raja Laut visit www.rajalaut.com + or download by clicking on this link

Tadashi.jpgTAWAU: A lone Japanese man journeyed from Kota Kinabalu to Tawau on foot in 13 days.

52-year-old Tadashi Nagase from Izumo City, located some 300 kilometer from Osaka, Japan, cited friendly villagers he met along the route he took on the 512 kilometer journey.

'Once I was caught in a bad weather but I managed to find an empty hut and kind villagers nearby permitted me to use it as my shelter for the evening', he said when met at a HASH dinner held by YB Jimmy Wong, State Assemblyman for Sri Tanjong on Saturday evening.

But the trip was nothing compared to the long list of countries he had visited and walked since 1975 at the young age of 19 - he had walked for nearly 45,000 kilometers until today!

Tadashi claimed to have traveled to exotic places such as the Sahara and Kalahari deserts, Andes mountain range, the Australian desert and Amazon rainforest along with many other countries.

On all his trips, Tadashi pulled a two-wheels trolley filled with needed essentials such as water and food, with the heaviest weight estimated to be at around 150 kilograms depending on the trip's requirements.

'Water is the heaviest substance I had in my trolley, especially when I had to walk through deserts', he explained.

Asked on his future trip upon his return to Japan, Tadashi said that he loves forests and deserts and may plan such walks in future but has no plans at the moment.

Tadashi said his wife is very supportive of his endeavor.

'She always said go and walk when I plan my next walk', Tadashi said, adding that he made his living by giving talks on his trips and had written nine books over the numerous journeys he had undertaken.

Tadashi has two sons who had traveled to China, North Thailand, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Indonesia, South India, Philippine, Mongolia and Malaysia.
(Article is taken from NewSabahTimes)

As the sun goes down in Kota Kinabalu, party-goers come out and play! KK has a great selection of pubs, clubs and karaoke joints for your entertainment. We bring you a list of some of KK's favourite hotspots. Ready to paint the town red?

Shenanigan's Fun Pub, Hyatt Regency Kinabalu
KK's favourite after-hours hangout has withstood the test of time and remains one of the most popular nightspots in the city. Famous for its outstanding live band performances and efficient service, Shenanigan's is a cosy pub located at Hyatt Regency Kinabalu. Ladies flock here on Wednesdays to enjoy special privileges, and happy hours are from 5-9 pm, Mondays to Saturdays. Sunday means happy hours all night, and patrons can enjoy unlimited pool games for free. The dance floor gets tight on Friday and Saturday so put on those dancing shoes and party the night away! Open from 5 pm to 1 am from Sunday to Thursday and till 2 am on Friday, Saturday and the eve of public holidays.

BED (Best Entertainment Destination), Waterfront
Crawl into BED for an unforgettable good time! With its warehouse-style concept, BED is tastefully furnished and spacious enough to cater to large crowds. A private room, aptly named the Bedroom, is available for those who prefer a more relaxed ambience. Like most clubs, live bands entertain nightly, alternating with an in-house DJ. Isn't it time you went to BED? Open from 7 pm to 1 am on weekdays and till 2 am on weekends.

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Hunter's Terrace (Hunter's Pub, Café & Karaoke)
Located on Jalan Pantai, Hunter's Terrace is a great place to enjoy a refreshing drink as you watch the bustling streets of KK. Patrons particularly enjoy its al fresco concept and relaxed atmosphere. Sip on a Pina Colada as you share travel tales with fellow visitors or unwind after a long day at work with a mug of beer. They also offer special deals for scuba divers, so be sure to whip out that diving licence! If you feel like belting out a tune or two, check out their karaoke corner. Happy hours are from 4-9 pm daily. Open daily from 8 am to 1 am on weekdays and till 2 am on weekends.

The Loft, Waterfront
Picture this: A breathtaking view of the sun setting over the South China Sea and a cool breeze blowing as you sip on a tall glass of Long Island Tea. The Loft is another after-hours favourite, perfect for enjoying your beverage of choice complemented with a view to die for. The bartenders are friendly, and the DJ will keep you entertained with both contemporary hits and retro favourites. Pool sharks can challenge each other upstairs, while avid football fans stay glued to the screen during live football matches. Thursday nights are dedicated to the ladies! Open daily from 3 pm to 1 am on weekdays and till 2 am on weekends.

Cock & Bull, Waterfront
With a name like that, how could you miss it? Another hotspot found on the Waterfront in Kota Kinabalu, the Cock & Bull is a friendly bar where everybody just might know your name. A live band performs every night as you enjoy a pint or two. Sports enthusiasts can also do this without missing their favourite game on two large 8-foot screens. Happy hours are from 4-9 pm daily (30% off on wine, liquor and cocktails by the glass and 40% off on selected beers). Business hours: 4 pm-1 am (weekdays), till 2 am on weekends and the eve of public holidays.

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Blue Note
Another one of Kota Kinabalu's favourite party haunts, Blue Note has been around since 1994, entertaining crowds with non-stop music, friendly bar service and unique theme nights. This night spot, located at Shangri La's Tanjung Aru Resort, is both classy and funky with its great décor with a touch of understated glamour. Enjoy live performances and great music spun by an in-house DJ. Weekends are the best time to check out the happening crowd, and specially flown-in DJs play the latest in trance, dance and house music. Happy hours on selected drinks are from 9-11 pm. Open daily from 6 pm to 2 am.

Upperstar
Upperstar has grown from a modest pub and café into one of the most popular hang-outs in Kota Kinabalu, thanks to its laid-back atmosphere and affordable drinks. Enjoy 'buckets' of beer at extremely affordable prices and be sure to check out the extensive menu - we recommend the generous portions of lamb chops or for a snack, the deep-fried quail. The establishment also provides wi-fi services and computers, allowing you to surf, snack and sip! There are two establishments: in Kota Kinabalu (across from Hyatt Regency Kinabalu) and in the bustling district of Damai. Open from 6:00 pm to 1:00 am on weekdays and until 2:00 am on weekends.

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Source: Sabah Tourism Newsletter

Malaysian Dance Festival - Sabah State Level
8-10 Augus 2008

This festival will be held at the Kota Kinabalu Community Hall at 8pm onwards from 8-10 August. Featuring performers from all over the state, they will present an array of traditional dances.

Menara Tun Mustapha (or Yayasan Sabah Building) Base Jumping
9-10 August 2008

In conjunction with the Menara KL International Jump on the 9 - 10 August 2008 will be an explorace call the FUNtastic Explorace organized by the Menara KL. The event will be held at Menara Tun Mustapha on the 9th of August. Entry forms are available at Sri Pelancongan Sabah, Sinsuran Complex or Sabah Tourism Board, Gaya Street.
Participants are presented with the opportunities to explore and gather knowledge on Menara Tun Mustafa and its facilities. The major sponsor of this program is PruBSN. This explorace involves teams of 1 adult and 2 children that are required to complete the tasks assigned to them while exploring the Yayasan Sabah grounds. At the beginning of the explorace, each team will be given a PruBSN FUNtastic Explorace Passport. They will then be required to collect stamps which bear the logo of PruBSN upon the completion of each task. Cultural elements will also be included in the fun tasks assigned.

Kudat Festival
10 August 2008

Malaysians are invited to participate in the Kudat Festival 2008, which will be held at Dewan Tun Mustapha and the town padang in Kudat Aug 10.
A variety of programmes and activities have been drawn up for the festival, which is organised by Warisan Amir Entertainment together with the Persatuan Talassemia Kudat, Pemadam and Pewasa Kudat and Safa Zon Utara. The main objective of the event was to raise funds for Persatuan Talassemia Kudat as well as replenishing the Kudat District Hospital's Blood Bank.

Sepilok Nature Half Marathon
10 August 2008

Runners from near and wide are invited to the Inaugural Sepilok Nature Half Marathon which will be flagged off from the Sandakan Sports Complex at 5.30pm on August 10th.
Registration will take place on the 9th August from 8am-pm at the MPS Square.

Sandakan Memorial Day
15 August 2008

To commemorate those who died and suffered the terrible atrocities, relatives and friends in Australia have initiated August 15 as the Sandakan Memorial Day. The memorial service is held annually at the Sandakan Memorial Park which was once the site of the POW Camp.
The Park includes a small museum, serves as a memorial to the thousands of Australian and British who lost their lives during the Japanese occupation. You can also see the rusting remains of an excavator, a generator and a boiler lie in their original positions, near steps leading up to a small Commemorative Pavilion.

22nd Sabah International Climbathon
23-24 Aug

Deemed as "the World's Toughest Mountain Race", the Mount Kinabalu International Climbathon is the ultimate challenge to take for those game enough to test their endurance by running up and down Mount Kinabalu for a total distance of 21 kilometers.

Sabah Tourism Board and its wholly-owned subsidiary - Sri Pelancongan Sabah Sdn Bhd as the organizer for the Mt.Kinabalu International Climbathon; through the Malaysian Amateur Athletic Union (MAAU), initiated to have Malaysia as the member country in the World Mountain Running Association. Malaysia is the first Asian member country to be in the WMRA. Climbathon received a major boost when Malaysia won its bid to host the World Mountain Running Trophy in 1999 at Kinabalu Park--which is Malaysia's first World Heritage Site.

Borneo International Cat Show 2008
23-24 Aug

The Inaugural Borneo International Cat Show will be held at the Sabah Trade Center, Likas from the 23-24 August from 10am-6pm. The judges from Australia and USA will team up to judge the best cats from around Borneo. The competition categories are: Championship Class, Premiership Class, Kitten Class and Household Class.

KFC 15th Merdeka Day Regatta
29-31 Aug

The Organisers, Kinabalu Yacht Club (KYC) and Sabah Sailing Association has the pleasure in inviting sailors from various recognised sailing clubs / associations to participate in the Merdeka Day Regatta 2008 from the 29th - 31st August 2008. This is a National Ranking Regatta and non-discardable for Sabah State Ranking. The Regatta is sponsored by KFC, the Marathon and Keel Boat races are sponsored by Sutera Harbour Marine, Golf & Country Club.

The venue shall be the Kinabalu Yacht Club and the races shall be conducted at the sea in front of Kinabalu Yacht Club and Sutera Harbour Marina, Golf & Country Club.

Ambang Merdeka
30 August 2008

The countdown to Hari Merdeka (Independence Day) begins today and at exactly 12 midnight, the Malaysian flag is proudly hoisted, accompanied by the National Anthem.

Merdeka Celebration
31 August 2008

On 31 August 1957, the federation of Malaya States gained its independence from the British. Hence, this day is known as 'Hari Merdeka' or 'Independence Day'. Every state will have a march-past simultaneously with the National level held in Kuala Lumpur.

Borneo Marathon

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This one is for all you runners out there. The 2008 Borneo Marathon, the first marathon to be held in Kota Kinabalu in over 20 years, is the perfect opportunity to combine a holiday and get another marathon, or half marathon/10km (depending on which event you choose) under your belt !

Have a look at www.borneomarathon.com

10% of the entry fee will go to local charties, and you are encouraged to choose the one you want to contribute to specifically.

The race starts early in the morning on Sunday, the 12 of October, and I will be there !

I have entered the half -marathon part of the race (I am not completely nuts!).. although this running thing is not something I would normally do... Don't get me wrong: I love sports and I love the outdoors and that's why I live here in Borneo. But I'm not as fit as I used to be and running 21 km in the tropics... well I have visions of my face turning red, my head throbbing with heat, and my mouth and lungs sucking in air like vacuum cleaner when you accidentally get chunk stuck in it !

However, once my friend and colleague, William Dickens, had decided to take up the challenge it was only a matter of time before his enthusiasm and relentless badgering persuaded me to join too...

Its gonna be a hard 'road' ahead. If anyone else out there is running this I look forward to seeing you there at the start, and hopefully at the end too.

Onwards !

Ywan

Ps. Any tips from you experienced runners on how to train properly for the big day ?

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