Home being Kota Kinabalu. Just spent three days on Tiga Island (now apparently known more as Survivor Island). We used to holiday there over twenty years ago - when there was no hotel or mod cons. No tourists or ferries either. We'd go snorkelling in the bay facing the mainland where the corals reefs were pristine...and our footprints would be the only ones on the sand. No plastic rubbish.
Alas, no more. The reefs - in part - are a mess. Not quite sure what the problem is, but fish bombing might have produced those kinds of dead holes... People (hotel staff and guests) were fishing from the jetty, and I saw one fishing boat right close in shore. Did not see any Park Rangers or patrols. And there are several notices saying all animals are protected. Maybe fish and corals aren't animals?
Nonetheless, we had a great three days. The beaches are mindbogglingly beautiful, the island forest is superb and snorkelling over the remains of a reef is still a wonderful experience. There were stingrays and clams and fish galore - and one or two spots where there were still living staghorn corals. I do wonder though, why no Sabahans care enough to stop the devastation of the reef.
It is National Day tomorrow. Everyone is flying their Sabah and Malaysian flags from their houses and cars. That is how they show their love of their country, rather than by preserving the state they live in or the environment - not even in a Marine Park. Not even when coral reefs are so important to the survival of edible fish species. I guess I'm just a weird orang putih who has my priorities all wrong...
Maybe they'll be happier eating imported beef burgers.
Photos to follow.