KOTA KINABALU: Basic Mandarin language classes are ongoing for frontliners of the Sandakan and Tawau airports to ease the difficulty in communication experienced by tourists, particularly those from China.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Christina Liew said the Sabah Tourism Board (STB) was facilitating and organising basic Mandarin language classes for officers and staff members serving in the Tawau and Sandakan airports.
The move was necessary as a remedial measure, following the incident last year where four Chinese tourists from Shanghai were detained in Tawau for 18 days until December 28, 2019 for failing to get their passports stamped on arrival at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA).
STB general manager Noredah Othman, meanwhile, said the participants of the basic Mandarin classes were making progress.
"We (STB) arranged the classes with full support from the state Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister. The classes are sponsored by the ministry as the tutors are outsourced from the private sector," she said.
Noredah said 55 participants were involved in two-weekly basic Mandarin teaching sessions that will be carried out over three months from July 9 to Oct 9.
At the Tawau Airport, the classes are being held for 25 participants every Tuesday and Thursday from 11am to noon while 30 participants in Sandakan Airport take their classes from every Wednesday and Friday from 2.30pm to 3.30pm.
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