KOTA KINABALU: Sabahans are talented people and most of them are musically inclined, Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said.
Speaking at the launching of Tour of Borneo 2012 (TOB2012) theme song ‘Menyahut Cabaran Destinasi’ yesterday, Masidi said it was proof of the talented pool of musicians that Sabah has.
“The song can also open the eyes of the world to the high quality of composers Sabah has,” he said.
On the TOB 2012 which is a prestigious international cycling event, Masidi stressed that it was more of an effort to showcase Sabah’s beauty to the world.
“And the results of the race do not really matter because Sabah will always win because we have the beauty of the state and the people to offer the world,” he said, adding: “Not only the state is beautiful, but Sabahans are great people as well.
“We are blessed that we do not have issues with race or religion … there is a high level of tolerance throughout the state. There is always hope for racial and religious tolerance in the state.
“If ever you want to learn about tolerance, you can come to Sabah to learn from us,” he said.
Masidi also called on all Sabahans, especially those in the towns and villages to give the participants a rousing welcome when they stop by.
“Show them the hospitality that Sabahans are famous for and give them the experience of a lifetime,” he said, adding that the event was also being held at a time of festivities in Sabah as the Regatta Lepa Lepa, Sabah Fest and Borneo International Marathon will be on during the same time.
Meanwhile, TOB 2012 organising chairman Datuk Fredie Sua said it was the first time that Sabah was hosting such as prestigious event.
The 757km cycling race would start on April 27 and end on May 1 in the state capital, he said, adding that it would be carried out in five phases starting from Semporna to Tawau (103km), Tawau to Lahad Datu (146.6km), Lahad Datu to Sandakan (181.6km), Sandakan to Kundasang (214.8km) and Kundasang to Kota Kinabalu (111.7km).
The Sandakan to Kundasang phase is the longest distance and a new challenge for the participants.
Fredie also said that there would only be 20 teams of six cyclists each, including one each from Sabah and Malaysia before adding that they expect teams from Malaysia, Latin America, Africa, Europe, Oceania and Asia to compete in the prestigious event.
“Our objective is to inject an interest in cycling among Sabahans, especially the younger generation, and with support from all quarters we can make this an annual event which has also been included in the state’s tourism calendar,” Fredie said.
He also disclosed that Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal was the person who mooted the idea to have the event in Sabah.
“Our success in being given the opportunity to host the event is also in line with Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman’s vision to instill the sporting spirit among Sabahans and to promote the state’s tourism destinations,” he said.
“It is the first time Sabah will be hosting the event which is sanctioned by the Union Cycliste Internasional (UCI) and listed in the UCI Asian Tour 2012 calender,” Fredie said.
The cycling event is also on par with the Le Tour De Langkawi and Jelajah Malaysia.
More information about the event can be obtained from: www.tourofborneo.com or on Facebook by clicking Tour of Borneo Fan Club page.
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