Photo of woman strolling in bikini bottom and T-shirt causes stir in Sabah

The photo of the woman, believed to be a foreigner, near the Asia City shopping complex in Kota Kinabalu has been widely circulated on WhatsApp.
The photo of the woman, believed to be a foreigner, near the Asia City shopping complex in Kota Kinabalu has been widely circulated on WhatsApp.PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

KOTA KINABALU (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Another instance of a tourist being insensitive to local culture has cropped up in the Malaysian state of Sabah, after a photo of a woman walking in Kota Kinabalu wearing just a bikini bottom and long-sleeved T-shirt was circulated on social media.

The photo of the woman, believed to be a foreigner, near the Asia City shopping complex prompted many to ask if she was dressed that way because of the hot weather in the last few weeks, where temperatures have averaged 34 to 35 deg C every day.

The woman was seen in the photo walking with a man.

It is not known if anyone has lodged any reports or complaints about her attire.

Attempts are being made to contact Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Christina Liew to comment on the matter.

Cases of tourists in Sabah dressed inappropriately and acting with a lack of sensitivity to Malaysian culture have been reported numerous times. On June 27, two female tourists from China who danced in front of the Kota Kinabalu city mosque were fined RM25 (S$8) each and escorted to the airport for their flight home.

On July 11, a video of a woman doing a handstand in the middle of tourist area Gaya Street in the same city sparked criticism, and concern for her safety.

 
 

There have also been efforts to brief and educate foreigners on Malaysia's cultural norms.

Sabah tour agents have been given the task of explaining the dos and don'ts for visitors to the state, especially at religious sites.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 27, 2018, with the headline 'Photo of woman strolling in bikini bottom and T-shirt causes stir in Sabah'. Subscribe