Tourism Malaysia

The Regatta Lepa Colourful and Excitement

The Regatta Lepa Colourful and Excitement

Every year in April there is a water festival held in Semporna, a small town in the eastern coast of Sabah, called The Regatta Lepa, one of the major important events in our National Tourism Calendar.

This year, the 20th Regatta Lepa will be held from 26th – 28th of April 2013 and the event attracted thousands each year. “Lepa” means “boat” is believed to be originated from the Pa’alau Bajau people who live in Bum Bum Island and used by fishermen along the coast of Semporna.

The unique lifestyle and festival is celebrated by the Bajau Laut ethnic community, the major dwellers in Semporna. The Bajau Laut people are seafarers at heart and well known for their Lepa, which is the traditional single-mast sailing boat used in their daily lives.


colourful Lepa

Nowadays, the practice of this traditional lifestyle is slowly dispersing with modernity. Few modern Bajaus use the Lepa today as many of them migrated to the mainland. Nonetheless, Lepa remains a symbol of tradition and a precious legacy for the Semporna Bajau community.

With the change of time, the Lepa might not be used in the same way as it used to be but the Lepas will never be forgotten for yet another year as the symbol of pride of the Bajau people and a cultural heritage.

The Bajau seafarers’ proud maritime heritage came alive in this annual festival of Regatta Lepa, featuring their boats, the Lepa with participants dancing at the helm of their boats, decorated with bright colour sails known as sambulayang and tapis (small triangular flags).

The sleepy Semporna town comes to life as the colourful sails take to the sea to compete for the prize of the most beautiful Lepa! The highlight of the event is the sail-past of the Lepa, each boat decked with smiling dancers and lively musicians, hoping to be crowned `Most Beautiful Lepa’ – the grand prize of this much-anticipated water festival.

Every Lepa family has their own or daughter beautiful girl welcoming visitors with graceful igal-igal dance, a traditional dance of the Bajau.

beautiful girl welcoming visitors with the traditional igal-igal dance

The Regatta Lepa is not just a water festival, in fact the whole town of Semporna has a carnival atmosphere, what with the various concerts staged, and so many stalls set up to promote or sell products and services to the population, visitors and tourists that have certainly swelled manifold.


Further Information

Organiser : Semporna District Office
Venue : Semporna, Sabah
Contact Person : A.M Ibnu Haji A.K baba
Telephone : 6089-781518, 6089-781663
Fax : 6089-781472
Email Contact :
Event Website :








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Cuisine in Melaka


Email Print 06 April 2013| last updated at 11:29PM

Malacca’s ‘hidden treasure’


FOR LOCAL TOURISTS: Walking tour celebrates city’s cultural diversity

MALACCA: NESTLED in the heart of this historical city’s Jonker Street area is Harmony Street (Jalan Tukang Besi), which is a reflection of Malaysia’s cultural and religious diversity.

This hidden treasure is home to some of the country’s oldest places of worship for the Muslims, Buddhists, and Hindus.
These are the Kampung Keling Mosque, the Cheng Hoon Teng temple and the Sri Payyatha Vinayagar Moorthi Temple.
To help today’s young people, aged between 18 and 28 years, get to know these hidden treasures, a tour on foot dubbed Suci-suci Melaka is being organised.

The tour covers a total of eight places of worship, beginning with the ones at Harmony Street.
Suci-suci Melaka project assistant, Lew Pik Svonn, said the project aimed to provide greater insight on such places of worship and enrich the participants with more knowledge of these different religions.

“A friend once told me that you can trace the history of cultures through places of worship.
“If that is true, then Malacca town was and still is one of the most culturally diverse towns in Malaysia because there are churches, mosques, as well as Hindu, Taoist and Buddhist temples, all having co-existed for the past 200 years,” she said.

“As Malaysians, we are proud to live in a multicultural society but even after centuries of co-existence, we still know so little about each other.”

Lew hoped the walking tour can strengthen community relationships and understanding, as well as promote respect between people of different faiths in Malaysia through the perspective of young Malaccans.
The two-and-a-half hour tour of the eight places of worship covers the history, beliefs and practices associated with these places.

Designed mainly for local tourists, Lew said the free walking tour included food, community performances and photography.

“Along the way, participants can sample free local delicacies such as Nyonya kuih and community performances by the Malacca Teo Chew Association’s Chinese orchestra and a youth band from the Tamil Methodist Church,” he said.
“There will also be an exhibition of 200 photographs showcasing life in Harmony Street, along with a T-shirt and bag-printing station and free postcards to be given out.”

The organising committee, divided into 11 youth volunteer teams, spent two months conducting research with local folks on the different places of worship.

The walking tour is on this Sunday, from 8am to 2pm. It starts from Jalan Tukang Besi behind Hard Rock Cafe in Jonker Street.

For more information, visit or

Volunteers who helped organise the Suci-Suci Melaka walking tour are also members of the Projek Rumah Ibadat Kita group.

– See more at:

Cuisine in Melaka


Monday April 22, 2013

Malacca expects RM400mil cruise terminal and others to drive its growth

Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Bin Mohd Rustam during the interview at Seri Bendahara, Malacca.
MALACCA: The development of a RM400mil marina jetty terminal in Malacca for cruise liners is in the works, one of many projects lined up to drive the state’s growth.

Malacca was eyeing RM8bil of investments this year RM3bil and RM5bil for manufacturing and services sectors, respctively, Malacca chief minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam told StarBiz.

He said the manufacturing sector would create 6,000 jobs this year and the services sector, 2,000.

Last year, investments into the state totalled RM5.3bil. And in 2011, RM4.3bil was secured for the manufacturing sector.

Though on average local investments had outpaced that of foreign, the converse had been true for some years now, Ali Rustam said. The state has 26 industrial parks.

He said that in the past 12 years till 2012, the state government had managed to secure RM29bil worth of investments, of which RM20.46bil was foreign.

In the last few years, gross domestic product stood at between 5% and 6%, while the unemployment rate was at 0.7% and poverty, 0.5%.

Ali Rustam said for this year, he expected RM800mil in investments from US-based Guardian Industries a global float-glass maker to set up a high-technology glass products manufacturing plant in Jasin; a RM1.8bil solar thin film plant by US-based WNK Solar; and RM500mil worth of small projects for the manufacture of electrical and electronics as well as warehousing and automation.

“The groups are in the process of getting the various approvals to invest in Malacca,” he said.

Earlier, US-based Sunpower Corp had committed to invest RM3.7bil, of which RM2.4bil had already been pumped into a solar panel plant that has started operations. This year, the company is expected to invest the balance RM1.3bil to expand operations.

“Our focus is on the K-Economy and high technology, and our manufacturing is all high-tech. We also now have investments in green and biotechnology. Our manufacturing and services sector, tourism and health tourism are strong,” Ali Rustam said.

On tourism, he said with the increasing numbers of tourists coming to Malacca every year, plans were in place to build more resorts and hotels, an underwater world and a theme park.

“We are talking to Eden Enterprises for the Seaworld/Underwater world project and with an Indonesian party for the theme park project,” Ali Rustam said.

Two new specialist hospitals in Ayer Keroh and Kelebang also have been planned. They would be developed by local companies.

On the marina jetty terminal, Ali Rustam said it would be undertaken by Kejuruteraan Asas Jaya Sdn Bhd on a 121.81ha site.

“The jetty would be built for RM100mil and the needed land would be reclaimed for RM300mil. All these are initial investments,” he said.

This development will facilitate cruise liners docking at least twice weekly at the jetty. Each liner carries about 3,000 passengers. “Even if each passenger spends RM100 a day in Malacca, the spillover business activities would be huge over time,” he noted.

Tourist arrivals in the state in 2000 was 1.6 million, and rose to 12 million in 2011. Last year, the number increased to 13 million and Ali Rustam expects a steep rise with the docking of the cruise liners.

“That is also why we need more hotels and resorts to cater to this new growth,” he said.

The jetty terminal should be completed by 2015.

Malacca also made the New York Times’ list of 45 cities to be visited in the world this year. This could be attributed to its World Heritage City status granted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation in 2008, a report said.

Ali Rustam has been the Chief Minister since December 1999 and has, over the years, managed to make Malacca more attractive to investors, for instance, initiating a one-stop approval centre to facilitiate investor needs and requests.

Tourism Malaysia

Xterra Malaysia

Xterra Malaysia

Xterra Malaysia – XTERRA is a series of off-road triathlon, a three-sport race which include swimming, mountain biking, and trail running. This time around, in 2013 – XTERRA MALAYSIA will be offering an exciting new off-road experience. Surrounded by lush greenery, XTERRA offers participants the opportunity to explore the flora and fauna from a different perspective – off-road triathlon! It’s time to get sweaty and muddy. So, are you ready to have a dirty weekend with us?

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Tourism Malaysia

Sabah Fest – A Cultural Extravaganza

Sabah Fest – A Cultural Extravaganza

Be mesmerised by the poetry of music, song and dance at a cultural extravaganza which showcases Sabah at its absolute best. This expression of the local spirit will relay stories about the diversity of a land which is rich in unique traditions and beliefs. Besides engaging in theatre production, visitors can also observe the distinctive are of producing handicrafts such as wooden carvings and hand-woven cloth by some of the most talented local artisans.

Auditorium, Kompleks JKKN Sabah

+6088-232 121