Britain lifts travel advisory on Sabah islands and dive sites

PETALING JAYA: Britain has lifted its travel advisory on islands and dive sites around Kudat in Sabah.

The British government acknowledged that the security situation in eastern Sabah had improved, over a decade after the Lahad Datu incursion in 2013.

British High Commissioner to Malaysia Ailsa Terry said the travel advisory change was a testament to efforts by the Malaysian government to improve security in eastern Sabah.

"This travel advice review has been a priority since I arrived in August this year and I am very pleased that thousands of British nationals who call Malaysia home or visit every year will now be able to see more of this amazing country," she said in a statement on Wednesday (Nov 29).

However, the British government noted that it would continue its travel advice against all but essential travel to the islands and dive sites from Sandakan to Tawau, including Lankayan Island.

The decision represents the first major change in Britain's travel advisory for Sabah since the 2013 incursion by over 200 Sulu terrorists, which resulted in the deaths of 56 militants, 10 Malaysian security force personnel and six civilians.

Britain's Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) had previously issued a travel advisory for its citizens against all but essential travel to areas throughout the coast of eastern Sabah due to the increased risk of kidnapping by pirates or Sulu militants.

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