Sipadan island, one of the best diving spots in the world, is set to qualify for the final round of the New Seven Wonders of Nature search.
State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said that based on the unofficial result of the search, which ended yesterday, Sipadan was said to be in fourth place under the island category.
“I hope we get through and qualify for the next round,” he told reporters after launching orientation week for new students of the Kota Kinabalu Polytechnic near here Wednesday.
Masidi said the ministry, through the Sabah Tourism Board (STB), had embarked on an all-out “Vote for Sipadan” campaign to promote the island as one of the world’s New Seven Wonders of Nature since December last year.
It went through the first stage — the National Qualification — on Dec. 31 last year. The second stage of the search via an Internet online voting system was conducted from January to July 7 this year. Sipadan must be in the top 11 to go to the next round.
Sipadan is one of the 261 national and multinational nominees from 222 countries which participated in the search.
Sipadan is the only oceanic island in Malaysia, rising 600m from the seabed, and is located in the Celebes Sea east of the major town of Tawau and off the coast of East Malaysia on the Island of Borneo.
It is located at the heart of the Indo-Pacific basin, the centre of one of the richest marine habitats in the world and more than 3,000 species of fish and hundreds of coral species have been classified in this ecosystem.