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Sabah (Borneo) Travel Alert
The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs has updated its travel warning for eastern Sabah, and now says Do Not Travel to the region because of an incursion by armed intruders and an ongoing military operation to remove them.
The area affected is Kudat to Tawau, including Sandakan, Lahad Datu, Kunak and Semporna, as well as nearby islands and dive sites.
DFAT also strongly advises Australians presently in the region to leave immediately if it is safe to do so.
Malaysian government authorities have declared the region a Special Security Zone as they battle the intruders.
Because of its proximity to the Sulu archipelago of Philippines, eastern Sabah is an unpredictable and generally insecure region. The Sulu archipelago, far from the control of Manila, is haven to rebel militia, including radical islamists. Foreigners are at high risk of kidnap.
This is pirate territory, and they're not as nice as Jack Sparrow!
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Malaysia represents different things to different people: A melting pot of cultures, a vibrant developing nation and a haven of natural bio-diversity.