Malaysia Truly Asia X Cuti-Cuti Malaysia. Visit Melaka 2019 + Visit Sarawak 2019 + Visit Malaysia Year 2020 + Visit Johor Year 2020 + Visit Sepang Year 2020 + Experience Penang Year 2020. compiled and managed by Farsa.
Sunday, 31 March 2019
Husband and wife aim to put Lahad Datu on world's diving map
KOTA KINABALU: Its logo depicts a mean looking
pirate wearing goggles but dive centre, Pirate Divers, is working towards
dispelling perceptions that Lahad Datu is a danger zone.
Located between Sandakan and Semporna, Lahad Datu
has often been known mostly as the gateway to the Tabin Wildlife Reserve and
the Danum Valley.
For the past decade, the centre's diving instructor
Glen Hapirulla and his wife, Kristy Chan, have been hard at work trying to put
Lahad Datu on the world's diving map.
To many outsiders, Lahad Datu is a dangerous place
to visit due to its proximity to areas that have seen a spate of cross-border
crimes over the years.
In fact, Glen said he was even advised to relocate
to Tioman Island in Pahang, where he worked for seven years in view of his
ailing business and the perceived security risks in Lahad Datu following the
However, he and Chan decided to persist with their
dive outfit, Pirate Divers.
"Even locals from Kota Kinabalu were afraid to
come here. But we never gave up. We continued our efforts to restore confidence
among people that Lahad Datu is safe to visit.
"Now, we are starting to see the fruits of our
labour," said Glen, who has almost 20 years experience in the diving
Together with his wife, they have been working towards
gaining recognition for Pirate Divers as the go-to outfit for diving excursions
in Silam Bay, Lahad Datu.
Glen, 56, led his team to map 60 sites such as the
"Blue Ring" reefs. Many of these sites have been named after his
clients and fellow divers as a show of appreciation.
Having worked on Tioman, Redang and Tenggol islands
in Peninsular Malaysia before returning to Sabah, Glen believes that Lahad Datu
is home to the most beautiful dive sites and reefs he had ever
"In my opinion, Lahad Datu has the best dive
sites. But the funny part is, local divers don't know how beautiful the seabed
is. They would rather go to other places," he chuckled.
"Even so, I still think that there needs to be
a system in place to prevent overcrowding here so that it doesn't become like
Semporna," he added.
Recently, Sabah Parks credited Glen with his
discovery of the "Blue Ring" reefs, also known as the only "blue
holes” (large marine caverns or sinkholes) in Malaysia.