On 9 April 2019, the United States (US) State Department’s updated travel advisories listed Malaysia, particularly “the eastern area of Sabah”, among the countries with high risk of kidnapping.
FYI, 34 other countries like the Philippines, Iran, Sudan and more were also listed on the “K” list which was on the site.
Following that, Malaysia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has released a statement regarding the matter and they are urging the US to immediately remove Malaysia from the “K” list. In a statement, Wisma Putra was quoted as saying,
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malaysia strongly protests the decision of the US government to subject Malaysia to the newly introduced “K” indicator.”
Wisma Putra further claimed that the US State Department travel advisory lacks objectivity because it doesn’t truly reflect the security situation in Sabah.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sabah is safe for travel and also, the number of tourists there has grown by 3.87 million in 2018. Wowza!
On top of that, the number of kidnapping incidents in Sabah has significantly reduced to almost zero cases. So, Wisma Putra said that Eastern Sabah still remains an attraction to world-class divers. You can read the whole statement from Wisma Putra here:
PRESS RELEASE: Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the United States Travel Advisory 2019 pic.twitter.com/yX2hUltxtL
— Wisma Putra (@MalaysiaMFA) April 14, 2019
As of now, the US State Department has yet to give their comments on Malaysia’s response to being labelled “K” on the travel advisory.
What do you think of this issue? Do you think that eastern Sabah shouldn’t be labelled “K” on the US State Department’s travel advisory? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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