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Monday, June 25, 2018

City Hall, mosque to set up memorial hall for tourists

KOTA KINABALU - The Kota Kinabalu City Hall (DBKK) is ready to work with the management of Masjid Bandaraya in Likas to set up a memorial hall as a tourist reference to visit the iconic mosque.

City Mayor Datuk Yeo Boon Hai said such facility would be able to stop the recurrence of a recent incident involving two female foreign tourists behaving disrespectfully at the compound of the mosque.

“I was surprised and sad to see a video clip of (two female foreign tourists dancing on the fence) of the mosque that has gone viral on social media,” he said when met at the launching ceremony of the National Yoga Day celebration at Taman Likas Sports Complex here yesterday.

“We should respect places of worship be it a mosque, temple or church.”

The Masjid Bandaraya sits on a man-made lagoon and is one of the most popular tourist sites in the State Capital.

Yeo said following the incident, City Hall would contact the mosque’s management and ask them to put up a three-language warning signboard in Bahasa Malaysia, English and Chinese at the site to ensure tourists behave respectfully while visiting the place.

He said City Hall would also be contacting the tourist guide association including tour operators to get their explanations on the matter and to find a solution so as to prevent a recurrence of such incident in the future.

He said tour agencies and tour guides should be more responsible for their clients by providing them with disciplinary and behavioral guidelines when visiting certain areas, especially places of worship.

Commenting on the yoga day celebration, the mayor said he personally loved the exercise that could provide physical and mental intelligence.

“This exercise (yoga) gives us a good experience, and I hope that more exercise activities like this will be held for the public in the future,” he said.

In addition, Yeo also reminded yoga class operators to comply with the rules and regulations set by the local authorities.

He said although the activity had no impact socially and environmentally, the exercise class operator still needs to get approval for recognition of their qualifications.

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