Kinabatangan: During a six-day working visit around the east coast of Sabah, the Minister of Tourism and Culture Malaysia, Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri Bin Abdul Aziz and his entourage visited Sukau Rainforest Lodge on Monday, 28th March 2016.

meeting SRL guest

Dato' Sri Mohamed Nazri talking with one of the SRL guest.

boardwalk visit

Mr. Albert Teo shows David Attenborough Boardwalk to Dato' Mohamed Nazri

albert teo with datuk nazri

Mr. Albert Teo taking a memory picture with Dato' Mohamed Nazri

Also present at the lodge, Malaysia’s first free-to-air television network, TV3, and the Sabah Parks Board of Trustees Chairman, Dato’ Seri Tengku Dr. Zainal Adlin Bin Tengku Mahamood, who is also one of the lodge’s Conservation Fellows.

During his hour-long visit, Founder and Managing Director of Sukau Rainforest Lodge, Mr. Albert Teo, Sandakan Branch Manager of Borneo Eco Tours, Mr. Fernando D. Rulloda, and Room Division Supervisor of Sukau Rainforest Lodge, Ms. Masnizah Bakri gave him a tour of the lodge.

He visited the Melapi Restaurant, Sundeck (where he was introduced to the local staff), Gecko Lounge, Abai Wing, Ape Gallery, Hornbill Boardwalk, David Attenborough Boardwalk, Bilit Wing, and Gomantong Hall.

“Me and the state are proud that employment opportunities are given to the local communities. I can see that 99.9% of the staff here are from Sukau. This made me happy because when we promote tourism in Malaysia, many will ask what is the purpose of it. We can say that with tourism comes employment opportunities for the local communities, and this is what is happening right now,” said Dato’ Nazri.

The tour follows the presentation of Mr. Albert Teo at Gomantong Hall on the lodge’s history, green policies, community and environmental projects and National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World recognition.

“Today, there are about 20 resorts in the Kinabatangan area. It is important to ensure that the resorts maintain its uniqueness and do not become too commercialised. I am happy with tourism in Sabah because there’s passion and care for the environment. Our buildings must blend in with the natural environment, which will then attract tourists from all around the world to visit Sabah, Malaysia.”

 “I hope there will be more local entrepreneurs in Sabah that will follow the footsteps of Mr. Albert,” commented Dato’ Nazri.

 His visit ended with a tea break at the lodge’s dip pool site.

Besides Sukau Rainforest Lodge, other tourist attractions he visited include Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre, Bakkungaan Kecil and Selingan islands at the Turtle Island Park, Sukau Village and Gomantong Cave in Kinabatangan.

Wong and family

Wong and family

Sukau Rainforest Lodge welcomed founder of Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre, Wong Siew Te and family to the lodge at the end of July 2015. Wong is a Malaysian wildlife biologist and sun bear expert. For the last 13 years, Wong has been studying and working on the ecological conservation of the sun bear. He is one of the few Malaysian wildlife biologists trained in a western country. In 1989, he continued his studies at Taiwan’s National Pingtung University of Science and Technology and received his diploma in Animal Science & Veterinary in 1992. In 1994, he studied Wildlife Biology at the University of Montana where he graduated as a Bachelor of Science in 1997. Wong then graduated with a Master of Science in 2002 with the thesis ‘The ecology of Malayan sun bear in the lowland tropical rainforest of Sabah, Borneo’.

From 2002 – 2005, he co-chaired the Sun Bear Expert Team for the IUCN/SSC Bear Specialist Group, a science-based network of voluntary experts within the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). During this time, he also pursued his doctorate in Fish and Wildlife Biology at the University of Montana and conducted his dissertation entitled ‘The effects of selective logging on Malayan sun bears (Helarctos malayanus) and bearded pigs (Sus barbatus) in lowland tropical rainforest of Borneo’.

His pioneering studies of sun bear ecology in the Borneo rainforest revealed the elusive life history of the sun bear in the dense jungle. Wong’s research has taken him to the most threatened wildlife habitat on Earth, where field work is exceedingly difficult. While rapid habitat destruction from unsustainable logging practices, the conversion of the sun bear’s habitat into palm oil plantations and uncontrolled poaching activities paint a bleak picture for the future of the sun bear, Wong is determined to help the present situation of sun bears in Southeast Asia. Wong is the CEO of the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo, which he founded in 2008.

He was also a fellow of the Flying Elephants Foundation, which awards individuals from a broad range of disciplines in the arts and sciences who have demonstrated singular creativity, passion, integrity and leadership and whose work inspires a reverence for the natural world. Wong is also a current member of three IUCN/SSC Specialist Groups.

Wong during his presentation

Wong during his presentation

Wong was born on May 16, 1969 in Bukit Mertajam, Penang and grew up with eight other siblings – four elder brothers and four elder sisters.

For more information on sun bears in Borneo, please visit the Sun Bear Conservation Centre website at

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