KOTA KINABALU: Al Hambra Juhar aspires to raise the living standards of Sabahans some day.
But unlike his father who is the Sabah Yang Di-Pertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin, the 27-year-old would like to do so – not from behind the desk of a state dignitary – but instead through his newfound love: The tourism industry.
Collecting his certificate in event management and convention, the young man was one of the 450 students who received their certificates and diplomas at the Asian Tourism International College (ATI) 14th convocation here on June 23.
Despite a degree in Banking and Finance at the Sunway University College in Kuala Lumpur in 2009, Al Hambra was eager to learn new things and decided to go with tourism.
“After I enrolled in ATI, I took the seven-month event management and convention course because it sounded interesting,” he said. And the love affair with the tourism industry has been growing thus far.
He has enjoyed his four-month attachment as part of the ATI industrial training with a hotel here and has recently landed a communications executive post with a five-star resort here.
“I would really like to help the people of Sabah. I want to help raise the quality of life of Sabahans maybe like that of Singapore,” said the eldest of four siblings.
“As we know in Sabah, tourism is a booming industry and there is a lot of potential here. In the long run, I would like to have a business of my own, any business will do.”
But as the saying goes: ‘the apple does not fall far from the tree’, Al Hambra is also keeping tabs with the political world.
“I am interested and follow politics but I’m not sure if I want to follow in my father’s footsteps,” he said.
Juhar and wife Toh Puan Norlidah R M Jasni were present to witness their son’s graduation ceremony.
In relation to the event, Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman, who officiated at the convocation, said the tourism industry in Sabah is expected to generate an income of RM4.7bil for the state, with 2.6mil tourist arrivals anticipated this year.
He also pointed out that whilst the state government continues its efforts to further boost the tourism sector, tourism players must also provide attractive remuneration and incentive packages to prevent workers from leaving the state to look for better pay.